Products: IMail Server Plus, IMail Server Premium, Collaboration WorkgroupShare, IMail Server

How to move IMail to a new server

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This article describes the most streamlined process for moving an existing IMail installation to a new server.  Detailed steps are below, but the general process is as follows:
  • Export configurations and data from old server.
  • Import configurations and data to new server.
  • Shut down the old server.
  • Migrate IP addresses if needed.
  • Run the IMail installer on the new server.
  • Confirm new server functionality
Note: This process should work regardless of the IMail version on the old server, but it is recommended that you install 12.1 or later on the new server to ensure proper conversion of databases.
Note:  IMail licensing will not allow activation of the same license on two machines at the same time. If you wish to perform a mock run of the migration process, you can download a trial version of IMail to run temporarily on the new machine. Otherwise, you will need to be prepared to deactivate IMail on the old server before installing IMail on the new machine.
Please Note that to obtain a trial based on the version that you have currently please visit --  Make sure to obtain the trial that's relevant to the version of iMail you have installed!
  1. How to move iMail to a new server (Applicable from v12+):

    1. Download and install SQL Express w/ Tools [ usually identified by the executable name SQLEXPRWT_bitver_ENU.exe ] for the specific version of Windows Server you are running. 2012 SQL for Windows Server 2012 etc.

        Note: During installation you will be prompted to add Administrative users, there are three to add:
            - Network Service
            - System
            - Add the current Admin by clicking the Add Current User button.

    2. After SQL is installed download and install a 30-day trial version of IMail [ ].

    3. Using the Registry Editor, export the following keys from the old server:
        Note: When exporting keys it is important to use the proper bit version of regedt32.
            - For 32-bit systems use Run > %windir%\System32\regedt32.exe
            - For 64-bit systems use Run > %windir%\SysWOW64\regedt32.exe
        Note: The locations of the keys will differ between 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
            - For 32-bit systems: 

            - For 64-bit systems:
        Note: If this a pre-emptive set up of IMail you may need to re-export the registry keys at a later date to capture any potential changes between when the first keys were exported and the migration date.

    4. On the old IMail server installation open up the SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the instance IMail is running under and right-click on the WorkgroupShare database, navigate to "Tasks", and perform a full backup to a location on the server by selecting "Back up to: Disk".
    5. If you are using an external user database [ ] create the new ODBC System DSN on the new server.

        Note: If the new server is a 64 bit, you must use the 32 bit ODBC  (c:\windows\syswow64\odbcad32.exe from the run command) to create the new DSN.

    6. On the new server, if web mail is desired IIS will need to be installed.
        - Under "Server Manager" add the Web Server (IIS) role.
        - Add the following roles (some will be selected by default):
            > Web Server
                > Common HTTP Features
                    - Default Document
                    - Directory Browsing
                    - HTTP Errors
                    - Static Content
                > Health and Diagnostics
                    - HTTP Logging
                > Performance
                    - Static Content Compression
                > Security
                    - Request Filtering
                    - Basic Authentication
                    - Windows Authentication
                > Application Development
                    - .Net Extensibility 3.5
                    - .Net Extensibility 4.5 or 4.6
                    - Application Initialization
                    - ASP
                    - ASP.NET 3.5
                    - ASP.NET 4.5 or 4.6
                    - ISAPI Extensions
                    - ISAPI Filters
        - Click next and follow through the prompts to complete the install of IIS.
    7. On the new server, open up the 32-bit registry editor and import the keys.

        Note: Prior to importing the keys, if there are any changes to the applications installation and/or domain directories you will need to open up the registry keys in a text editor and modify their paths.

        Note: When importing keys it is important to use the proper bit version of regedt32.
            - For 32-bit systems use Run > %windir%\System32\regedt32.exe
            - For 64-bit systems use Run > %windir%\SysWOW64\regedt32.exe

    8. On the new server after copying over the WorkgroupShare.bak file, open up the SQL Management Studio and right-click on the "Databases" folder underneath the HostName\SQLInstanceName of the machine and use the Restore Database option to import the old data into the database.

        Note: You will need to stop all services and IIS on the new machine to restore the database.
        Note: On the new server under the SQL Management Studio you may have to delete the WorkgroupShare database that was placed there by the installer if you are unable to restore the database at first. Removing it and trying to restore again should resolve the issue.

    9. Stop all IMail services and IIS on the old machine.

    10. Copy all of the Domain/Users data from the old server to the new server using either the same paths that were on the old server or the updated paths that were modified in the registry keys.

        - To determine a domain's top directory, open the IMail Administrator Console and check the domain's properties for the "Top Directory" value. Copy the entire domain directory to the new server, unless the domain’s top directory is the same as the IMail install directory (c:\IMail for example).
        - If the domain top directory and IMail install directory are the same, then copy the following folders and files:
            - Users folder
            - Lists folder
            - Group aliases (aliasName.lst)
            - ab.txt - Attachment Blocking List
            - antispam-table.txt - Anti-Spam Word List
            - Kill.lst - SMTP Kill File
            - orules.ima - Outbound Rules
            - phrase-list.txt - Anti-Spam Phrase List
            - rules.ima - Inbound Rules
            - smtpd32.acc - SMTP Control Access List
            - smtpd32.loc - SMTP Relay for Addresses List
            - smtpd32.ewl - SMTP White List
            - spamblks.txt - Enabled DNS Blacklist
            - spamblkm.txt - All DNS Blacklist configured in IMail
            - url-domain-bl.txt - URL Domain Black List
            - white-list.txt - White List
            - spamskip.txt - List of trusted IPs
            - domfwd.dfw - Domain Forwarding
    11. Verify any gateway or SMTP settings that need to be customized via the services option within either the IMail Console or Web Administration.
    12. Shut the old server down, and add the old server’s IP addresses to the new server, unless you changed the IP addresses in step 3.

    13. Start all IMail services and IIS and verify all paths are correct and users are showing in the IMail Console or Web Administration.

    14. If a trial license was used, you can now deactivate your paid license on the old server and apply it to the new server. [ ] 

    15. If you are licensed for and using Bitdefender or Symantec AV you may install it at this time. CYREN AV is included with the IMail installation if you are licensed for it.
Version12.3; 12.4; 12.5; 12.5.1; 12.5.2; 12.5.3; 12.5.4; 12.5.5

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