Failed migration / downgrade from SBS 2011 to 2008

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    Hi gurus,

    I have inherited a frustrating situation and would like some help / advice.

    The client has an existing SBS 2003 network, about 12 users. They recently attempted a migration to SBS 2011 which went very well, but they have a mission critical application that will not run on 2011. According to the app support staff, it will not run in compatibility mode, so 2011 has been ruled out after the successful migration.

    Now the client is attempting to migrate from the original 2003 server to SBS 2008 server, which is supported by the app. This is where I came in.

    I have never downgraded a network before, but I did some metadata cleanup and I did get the GAL and the FSMO roles in order. Then I attempted the 2008 install. The software installed and read the migration file, but there were a handful of errors, such as,

    the connect computer web site cannot be configured
    IIS is not configured
    gatdets are not configured
    exchange 2007 cannot be installed
    updates cannot be installed
    incoming / outgoing email for sharepoint cannot be installed

    I am actually connected to the Internet and can manually download updates, but the SBS console reports that I am not connected to the Internet.

    The biggest problem is the Exchange server. The Exchange MGT Console will install, and it sees the old 2011 server as the Exchange server. I receive these messages,

    “object mailbox 2011082d15 has been corrupted and is in an inconsistent state. the following validation errors have occurred:

    warning: object cannot be saved because its exchange version property is 0.10( which is not supported by the current version 0.1(8.0.535.0). You will need a later version of exchange”

    I see several other exchange related errors as well. When I look at server configuration in the 2003 server I see that the 2011 SBS server is still listed in the exchange administrative group. The first administrative group still lists the 2003 server, which is still working fine in terms of email delivery, calendaring, etc.

    I have a feeling this involves an ADSI edit cleanup and I am not comfortable doing that on a production server.

    The client has insisted that she only have 1 physical server, which means that i cannot simply install a file server such as W2k8 standard and leave the SBS 2003 server in place. I also can’t virtual anything because the LOB app does not support it. (grr) Finally, I can’t find a good backup so I am not very comfortable trying a DR attempt on the old AD. Their backups are old and I’m not even sure how they work. :/

    So I have limited options.

    I am about to call MS support but I would appreciate any advice or opinions you folks have about this weird situation. My goal is to get SBS 2008 working as it should, but the client is willing to buy other software (standalone exchange, etc.) if she has to.

    Thanks, cb

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