Moving distribution list from exchange 2003 to 2010

During our migration from exchange 2003 to 2010 I ran into some issues with distribution list. Here’s some steps and gotchas that might help you though the process.

  • Watch out for alias name on distribution list. Alias that worked in 2003 don’t work on 2010. Spaces and special characters.
  • Upgrade the distribution list, this can be done via the GUI by just changing an attribute and when you go to save it you’ll see a message like this.


You can also use powershell with Set-DistributionGroup –ForceUpgrade

  • If your end users were managing the list in 2003 you’ll need to give them additional permissions on 2010 to manage list because of the new Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) This link has the step by step instructions on how to do it.
  • Convert the distribution list to a Mail universal distribution
    • Use the powershell command Set-Group –id “List Name” –Universal –DomainController <FQDN of DC from domain>

Helpful links

Exchange 2010 FAQ: How Do I Install the Exchange 2010 Management Tools?

“The user profile service failed the logon. User profile can not be loaded.” logging on to Exchange server

The Author


Welcome, my name is Jason Benway I am the owner and primary blogger for Savage Nomads. I have been in the IT field for over 20 years, I started this site to share my findings with others. I live in Michigan with my family and went to school for a degree in computer science. I’ve worked at the same company for the last 14 years, I get to test and deploy lots of new and emerging technologies.


  1. We are going through a transition like this now. Thanks for the post! I’ll be forwarding this on to our Network Administrator.

    Matt recently posted..My Top SharePoint 2010 ResourcesMy Profile

    1. Glad I could help.

Comments are closed.

Savage Nomads © 2014 Frontier Theme