Last night I spent a few hours getting our mailbox servers upgraded to SP3 in preparation for the Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 migration. The process is fairly straight forward and needs to be followed carefully.
First thing is to make sure you have the latest backup of your Exchange database. Also make sure to schedule appropriate downtime because when we’ll be upgrading the Clustered Mailbox Server, users will be unable to use their email.
1. Download Windows Installer 4.5 and install it on your Exchange servers (Requires a reboot)
2. Download and extract the SP3 upgrade to c:temp or anywhere you like, as long as you have access to it, there’s no preference of where you save the files
Before SP3 can be installed, a Schema extension needs to be performed. The exchange SP3 installation will do it for you, or you can do it separately before running the Exchange SP3 upgrade. Also make sure you use an account that has the permissions to extend the schema. When I was doing the upgrade, I used the domain administrator account and it worked well. The SP3 upgrade on CCR nodes can only be done in command line and not the GUI.
First we’re going to be upgrading the passive mailbox server. I personally disable the Antivirus and any monitoring tools that use SNMP, etc before proceeding. I found that when I try and run the installation and there’s an SNMP process, the Exchange pre-requisites check fails. Also make sure to run the command line with administrative privileges. Lets begin.
1. Open the command prompt and navigate to the extracted SP3 installation files
2. Type setup.com /Mode:Upgrade and the upgrade will begin. The following occurs in order when the upgrade is initiated
- Mailbox Role Check
- Preparing the SP3 setup
- Removing Exchange Files
- Copying Exchange files
- Installs the Mailbox Role
- Installs the Management Tools
- Finalizes the setup
3. Once the setup completes, a reboot is required
Now that the passive mailbox server has been upgraded, its time to upgrade the Cluster. Keep in mind that during the passive mailbox server upgrade, the cluster/active node were still servicing the users and thus we were only partially down (reduced redundancy). At this point, we need to warn the users that Exchange will be unavailable while we do the cluster upgrade. We begin by bringing the Clustered Mailbox Server offline on the active mailbox server, then moving it to the passive mailbox server and performing the upgrade to SP3 on the cluster.
4. Open Exchange Powershell and bring the cluster offline: Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer (Cluster name, no parenthesis) -StopReason “Upgrading to SP3“ and confirm your action by pressing Y. Double check to make sure the cluster is offline
5. Now its time to move the cluster to the passive mailbox server (the server we just upgraded to SP3). Type: Move-ClusteredMailboxServer (Cluster name, no parenthesis) -TargetMachine (passive mailbox server, no parenthesis) -MoveComment “Upgrade to SP3” and confirm the action and make sure the cluster is on the passive mailbox server
6. From the passive mailbox server navigate to the directory where Exchange was extracted and run the command, Setup.com /UpgradeCMS
At this point the CMS upgrade process will begin and it will go through its upgrade process as follows.
- Clustered Mailbox Role Checks
- Clustered Mailbox Server Configuration
7. Once the Cluster has been upgraded, it will be brought online and once again will be able to service the users
8. Perform the same steps on the active mailbox server (now passive) as we did on the passive mailbox server (now active)
Once the final mailbox server is upgraded, if you wish, you can move the Clustered Mailbox Server back to the original mailbox server. You can also verify the build number (83.6) in the Exchange Management Tools.