Microsoft Exchange 2003 – ADMT

Introduction to Exchange 2003’s ADMT

ADMT (Active Directory Migration Tool) is an ideal utility for copying account information from Exchange 5.5 and then ‘pasting’ the user attributes into Windows 2003’s Active Directory.

Topics for ADMT (Active Directory Migration Tool)


Purpose of ADMT

If your situation is that the user accounts are in NT 4.0’s SAM database and the mailboxes are stored in Exchange 5.5, then ADMT can copy the information from the source domain into Active Directory.

Where you need to maintain account synchronization, or transfer information from different Exchange organizations, then ADC agreements would be the tool of choice.  However, ADMT allows for better roll-back, because if the accounts do not copy properly, then users will still be able to log on to the NT 4.0 domain.

Remember that there are actually two separate operations, transferring the user accounts from NT 4.0, then migrating the mailbox ACLs which are stored in Exchange 5.5’s Dir.edb.  It surprised me that ADMT can also migrate the passwords, so the users get a seamless transition to Exchange 2003.


The problem that you face, which ever method you use to move users from NT 4.0 to Active Directory is this; users still need permissions in the old NT 4.0 domain.  SIDHistory is designed for just this situation.  What happens is that Active Directory adds an extra property to the users; effectively this means they have two SIDs, one for NT and one for Active Directory.  As a result of transferring accounts with ADMT, the user maintains their old NT 4.0 SID as well as gaining a security identifier for the new domain.  In practical terms, this means that users can still use shares and printers in the old domain without any extra configuration by the administrators.

As a practical point, the Windows 2003 (target domain) must be in native mode before you can see an use the SIDHistory attribute.

Guy Recommends:  SolarWinds’ Free Bulk Mailbox Import ToolFree Download Bulk Mailbox Import Tool

Import users from a spreadsheet, complete with their mailbox.  Just provide a list of the users with the fields in the top row, and save as .csv file.  Then launch this FREE utility, match your Exchange fields with AD’s attributes, click and import the users.  Optionally, you can provide the name of the OU where the new mailboxes will be born.

There are also two bonus tools in the free download, and all 3 have been approved by Microsoft:

  1. Bulk-import new users and mailboxes into Active Directory.
  2. Seek and zap unwanted user accounts.
  3. Find inactive computers.

Download your FREE bulk mailbox import tool.

Installing ADMT

Unlike Exchange itself, installing ADMT is easy, just break out the Exchange 2003 Server CD, then navigate to the  \i386\ADMT folder.  Now execute admigration.msi.

As a pre-requisite to using ADMT, you will need to create and verify a two-way trust between NT 4.0 and Windows Server 2003.(See here – how to create two-way trusts.)

ADMT provides a series of Wizards who will guide you through migrating the individual users or groups from the NT 4.0 domain to the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory. 

When you use ADMT I have three pieces of advice.  Firstly, be sure that you know which is the target domain, and which the source domain.  Most people find it easy, but just as some people have trouble with left and right, so others have trouble with source (NT) and target (AD).

Secondly be prepared to run ADMT two or three times until you get just the options and configuration that you want.

Finally, verify from Exchange 5.5 (NOT Exchange 2003) that in the Recipients folder that the Primary Windows account now reflect the Active Directory name.

Bonus with ADMT – Migrating Profiles.

In addition to pure exchange tasks, I use ADMT to migrate user profiles particularly on member servers.  However, my preferred method to set up roaming profiles before the migration, that way there is no problem and nothing else needs to be done.

Guy Recommends:  A Free Trial of the Network Performance Monitor (NPM)Review of Orion NPM v11.5 v11.5

SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network.  This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.

What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems.  Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines.  If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.

Download a free trial of SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor


ADMT is an alternative to using ADC agreements for transferring user information from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003.  Where you just need to copy and paste users, then favour ADMT.  Where you need to synchronise accounts then choose ADC agreements.  Another use of ADMT is to migrate roaming profiles from NT 4.0 or Windows 2000, to Windows Server 2003.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends


See Also