How to disable SBS 2003 to 2008/2011 migration grace time period expiration

In the last couple of months we did a considerable amount of SBS2003 to SBS2008/SBS2011 migrations.

So far the 21 day limit to finish the migration haven’t been an issue – until now. We were waiting for a 3rd party system supplier to migrate their software to the new server. As this work has been delayed, we ran past the 21 day limit. And that’s where the fun started.

Without going in to any further details, here’s the process how to prevent the SBS2003 from shutting down after 21 days of migration have passed. The basic principle is to disable the SBS Core Service (sbscrexe.exe). The problem is when you just kill it, it will restart itself automatically. To achieve this goal follow the steps below:

  1. Download process explorer from
  2. Run Process Explorer and SUSPEND the sbscrexe.exe file.
  3. Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SBCore
  4. Right click the key and click permissions. Give the Administrators group full control on both the key and the child nodes.
  5. Refresh the key so you can see all of the registry settings for sbcore and change the Start DWORD value from 2 to 4 to disable the service.
  6. Using explorer navigate to the sbscrexe.exe file in the C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory and change permissions on the file to everyone deny.
  7. Go back to process explorer and kill the sbscrexe.exe process. If it doesn’t start again then you have successfully disabled the file.


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20 Responses to How to disable SBS 2003 to 2008/2011 migration grace time period expiration

  1. Man says:

    Thanks! works perfectly! 🙂

  2. CCPiper says:

    I think it’s sbscrexe.exe

    • CCPiper says:

      Clarification… for step 2. Typo on the name sbscrexe.exe
      Missing the second s.

  3. Peter Bursky says:

    Hi CCPiper

    Thank you for bringing that mistake to my attention.
    I corrected it now


  4. Mathias C says:

    Thanks for the great turtorial ! helpt me a lot !

  5. Herbs says:

    Thank you very much for this. Saved my bacon trying to migrate third party software!

  6. Grant says:

    The way I stopped the service was to run the following at a command prompt:
    taskkill /im sbscrexe.exe /f & ren sbscrexe.exe sbscrexe-not.exe

    It created a new sbscrexe.exe file (which I was able to deleted), but did not restart the service.

  7. Denver IT Tech says:

    Sweetness! Worked for me. Leaving on vacation the day after turning off the old server (day 21) was not a comforting thought.

  8. Jason says:

    Thank you very much. Worked perfectly!

  9. Erick says:

    Similar thing for a SBS2008 to SBS2011 migration?
    Can’t find the sbscrexe.exe on the SBS2008.

    • Peter Bursky says:

      Hi Erick

      I didn’t have a need for this tweak in the scenario you mentioned. I would expect it NOT to work, since SBS 2008 is so different compared to SBS 2003.

  10. mflores says:

    Any idea how long you can keep it going once the process has been stopped?

  11. jrodriguez says:

    Can this fix be applied at anytime after the FSMO Roles were transferred and before the 21 days?

    • Peter Bursky says:

      Yes it can. It actually happened to me that we ran over, and all that happens is that the source server starts shutting down every hour. That means you have to be quick and apply the “fix” before it shuts down again.

  12. Sancho says:

    Hi Peter, thanks for this post!
    With this fix may I demote a SBS 2003 to a “normal” server and leave it joined to my domain?

  13. Awesome tip and fix. Thanks so much. Takes a lot of pressure out of the migration process. Especially since the migration tools are far from reliable, supportive or good.
    Forcing a legally purchased server to shutdown is a very questionable business behaviour anyway.

  14. Little Worm says:

    Good post, thank you. My goal is to stand up a new 2012 Essentials server alongside a 2003 SBS. Exchange is currently run on the SBS. After disabling the SBS Core Service, will Exchange still run? Thank you.