How to Migrate SBS 2011 to Server 2019 (Exchange 2019)?


How to Migrate SBS 2011 to Server 2019 (Exchange 2019)?

Summary: Small Business Server 2011 (Exchange 2010) has already reached its end of life on January 14, 2020. This means no more security patches and updates, which will leave the SBS 2011 (Exchange 2010) server vulnerable to security breaches. Thus, if you haven’t upgraded your server, now is the time to do it. In this guide, we have discussed the steps to migrate the SBS 2011 to Server 2019, i.e., Exchange Server 2019, to help you move data and mailboxes from Small Business Server 2011 to Exchange 2019 server.

SBS 2011 includes MS Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1). The problem is that you can’t migrate the SBS 2011 with Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2019 server directly as Exchange 2010 and 2019 can’t exist in the same forest. Thus, to migrate SBS 2011 to Server 2019, you can follow any of these two methods:

  • Native Migration

First, migrate the SBS 2011 to server 2016 or 2013 and then migrate server 2016/2013 to server 2019. This is quite a long process as it requires you to set up two different servers, i.e., Exchange 2016 or 2013 and Exchange 2019, then migrate SBS 2011 to server 2013/2016, followed by server 2013/2016 to server 2019 migration.

  • Direct Migration

Create a new Exchange environment in a new Active Directory forest with a new domain. Next, use an Exchange mailbox migration tool, such as Stellar Converter for EDB to migrate mailboxes from Exchange 2010 on SBS 2011 server to the Exchange 2019 server directly.

This is the safest approach to migrate SBS 2011 to server 2019 in one hop, which will not only save significant time and resources but also avoid any unnecessary downtimes. The software provides the option to scan the Exchange database (EDB) file(s) that contains all user mailboxes and lets you export these mailboxes directly to a Live Exchange 2019 server in a few clicks. 

In this guide, we will discuss the second method to migrate SBS 2011 to server 2019.

Steps to Migrate SBS 2011 to Server 2019 Directly

To migrate SBS 2011 to Server 2019, you need to set up a clean Exchange 2019 environment with a new Active Directory forest. The steps are as follows,

Step 1: Install and Promote Exchange 2019 Server as Domain Controller

Follow this Microsoft guide to install and prepare a new Exchange 2019 server. You need to ensure the following while installing and setting up the new server,

  • Install Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Role
  • Restart the system and then open Server Manager, click the flag, then select “Promote this server to a domain controller”
  • Under the Deployment config page that opens, you’ll see three options
  • Select Add domain controller to an existing domain
  • Type Domain:, enter the password for Domain admin (domain admin)
  • Directory Services Restore Mode Password (DSRM):
    • Ignore DNS Delegation option
    • Replicate from any domain controller
    • Leave AD Default install locations

Step 2: Make DC a Global Catalog Server (Should be done by default when promoting to DC)

  • Open Server Manager>Active Directory Sites and Services>Tools
  • Expand sites, find a domain controller. Right-click NTDS Settings under your server and select properties
  • In General tab, check the Global Catalog server

Step 3: Configure DNS Server

  • Configure forward lookups

Step 4: Install DHCP on a New Server 

  • Shutdown DHCP on Old server (or Firewall)
  • Activate DHCP on a new server


Step 5: Transfer FSMO Roles

  • Open CMD and run syntax: regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll to register a schmmgmt.dll by using the Regsvr32 utility
  • Open MMC, add Active Directory Schema
  • Right click “Active Directory Schema and select Change Active Directory domain controller
  • Choose new DC (server name) from the list 

You might get a message: Active directory schema snap-in is not connected to the schema operations master. You will not be able to perform any changes. Schema modifications can only be made on the schema FSMO holder.

  • Right-click Active Directory SchemaOperational Master
  • Click Change. When prompted, “Are you sure?” select ‘Yes’


  • Go to AD Users & Computers, right-click domain, and select operations master
    • Click Change, and when prompted Are you sure? Yes!
  • Under PDC Tab:
    • Click Change, and when prompted Are you sure? Yes!
  • Under the Infrastructure Tab:
    • Click Change, and when prompted Are you sure? Yes!
  • Go to ADSI (Active Directory Services Interface)
    • Right-click Select Connect to…, Leave the defaults and click OK
  • Go to old server:
    • AD Domain & Trusts>Right-click>Operations MasterChange
    • When prompted, “Are you sure?”, click Yes>OK
  • Check that FSMO Roles are moved to New DC: 
    • In new server open command prompt type “netdom query fsmo.”

Step 6: Decommission the OLD Server

  • Click Start, click Run, and then type dcpromo
  • Click Next on the welcome screen
  • Click OK to dismiss the global catalog server warning
  • Click Next on the delete the domain screen. Do not select the delete the domain because this server is the last domain controller in the domain checkbox
  • On the Remove DNS Delegation page, verify that the Delete the DNS delegations pointing to this server checkbox is selected and then click Next
  • When prompted, enter a password of the local administrator account and click Next
  • Click Next on the review screen to begin the demotion
  • Click the Reboot on completion checkbox.
  • After the machine has finished rebooting, remove it from the domain by following these steps:
    • Log on to the SBS Server 2011 as an administrator
    • Click on Start, right-click on Computer, then click on Properties
    • Click on Change settings
    • Select the Computer Name tab and click Change
    • Select Workgroup under Member of and enter a unique value for the workgroup name
    • Click OK and reboot when prompted

Important Note: While running DCPROMO on the Old server, you may get an error that no other domain controllers could be detected, and the entire domain would be deleted. In such a case, modify the following registry key: 

  • Open Registry Editor and Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters\
  • Select Key Name: SysvolReady
  • Change Value from 0 to 1

After this, run DC Promo on the old server. It should detect the new PDC. If so, demote the old server.

Step 7: Migrate Mailboxes from SBS 2011 Exchange 2010 to Server 2019

Now that you have installed and set up a new Exchange 2019 server, all you need to do is migrate the mailboxes from SBS 2011 to Exchange Server 2019 by using Stellar Converter for EDB software. The steps are as follows,

  1. Install and launch Stellar Converter for EDB software and select the Offline EDB option

Click ‘Browse’ to select the EDB file on the SBS 2011 server that contains mailboxes which you need to move to Server 2019

Click ‘Next.’ This will scan the EDB file and list all the mailboxes. At this point, you can preview all the mailboxes and view recovered mailboxes also

Then select all the mailboxes that you want to migrate to Exchange 2019 and choose ‘Save’ option from the main menu

  • From the options, choose Export to Live Exchange and click ‘Next

Enter the new Exchange 2019 admin credentials,

  • Select the Exchange version from the drop-down menu
  • Enter Server NameAdmin Mailbox, & Password
  • Click the checkbox for Auto Map. The Auto Map function auto-connects the users with their specified mailboxes on Live Exchange server
  • Click ‘OK

This will open a new window. Although the software maps the mailboxes with correct users, you can also manually map the users (Source Mailbox) with their respective mailboxes (Destination Mailbox)

Post mapping, click on ‘Export’ to start exporting the mailboxes from Exchange 2010 on SBS 2011 to server 2019

  • After the migration process completes, the software displays a message ‘Export process completed successfully.

Stellar Converter for EDB is one of the most convenient and efficient tools to migrate mailboxes from SBS 2011 to server 2019. It saves time, resources, and migrates mailboxes from Exchange 2010 on SBS 2011 to Exchange 2019 directly in a few clicks, with 100% precision and accuracy. Download the free demo version now and try it yourself.

The software also migrates public folders from SBS 2011 to server 2019. However, if you don’t use public folders, then there is no need to migrate them. Simply remove the public folder database before decommissioning the old SBS 2011 server.



Kon Belieu

Partner   |  513-575-3500

4440 Lake Forest Dr., Suite 102B, Cincinnati, OH  45242



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