The Sysadmins

Tips and tricks from the Sysadmins

SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 Migration – Extend 21 day limit

You may find yourself in a position where 21 days isn’t enough to finish the migration, if you find yourself in this situation there are two methods for extending this limit.

The methods below should only be used as a short term solution as they technically violate the EULA, but needs must.

How to determine how many days you have left:

Extend for another 7 days

This is as simple as moving the FSMO roles back over to the SBS 2003 server (

From the SBS 2003 server open a command prompt and run netdom query fsmo – confirm the SBS 2011 server is currently holding the FSMO roles. The procedure below gracefully transfers the FSMO roles back over to the SBS 2003 server.

  • ntdsutil
  • roles
  • connections
  • connect to server SBS2003
  • quit
  • Transfer domain naming master
  • Transfer infrastructure master
  • Transfer PDC
  • Transfer RID master
  • Transfer schema master

Run netdom query fsmo and confirm that the SBS 2003 server now holds all of the FSMO roles. The time limit has now been extended by 7 days.

After the 28 day period (21 plus the 7 above) – Disable Shutdown

This method will prevent the source SBS 2003 server from shutting down indefinitely. From the SBS 2003 server transfer the FSMO roles back to the SBS 2011 server.

From the SBS 2003 server, download and run Process explorer:

Find and right click sbscrexe.exe and choose suspend.

Open regedit and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SBCore.

Right click on SBCore and select permission, add the administrator account and give full control to this key and subkeys, click yes if warned.

In the right hand pane, change the “start” DWORD to 4 (from 2 default).

Now browse to C:\Windows\System32 and locate sbscrexe.exe. Right click, properties, security -> Add everyone and select deny for all.

Go back to Process explorer and select kill process, open task manager and confirm sbscrexe.exe doesn’t restart.


  1. Thankyou very much for this! Was a big help when needing more time in a troublesome SBS 2003 to 2011 migration

  2. Thanks a ton for this lifesaver! Have carefully uninstalled every unneeded application after sucessfully migrating a customers server and now I would hate to have to format a install from scratch. This saved me a lot of time. In my first migration this would have come in handy because I used all 21 days for the migration and I was taking the risk of not finishing in time…
    Great work!

  3. FYI to all – DO NOT set the “Start” value to 0 (zero).
    I did after trying to remember this from memory, it caused a continuous boot loop – zero is a boot time service. I had to boot up with a recovery disk, load up mass storage drivers, load the system registry hive and modify the value to 4.
    PAIN IN THE @SS!!!

  4. Ehtisham Qadir

    March 22, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I have moved FSMO from SBS 2008 to 2012 Standard and now almost at the end of 21 day grace period. Would this method work on SBS 2008 ?

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