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remove Exchange server that was not decommissioned

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  • remove Exchange server that was not decommissioned

    We have 6 exchange servers on 6 sites (one for each site). Exchange 2003.

    In ESM there also 2 old Exchange 2003 servers in the list of servers of the First Administrative Group.
    - These servers were simply turned off, they were NOT decommissioned first. (orphaned servers)
    - I do not know if there were any mailbox enabled users on that server.
    - These were member servers, not master.

    I want to remove these 2 server from ESM.
    I know that I can just right-click the server in ESM, and select delete.
    I haven't tried yet, but I doubt it will work, because Exchange was not properly uninstalled from these servers.

    After some googling, I found that the way to do this is through AdsiEdit.
    Now I figured out how to find the entries for these server in AD, with AdsiEdit :

    > Cn=configuration
    > Services
    > Microsoft Exchange
    > DomainName
    > Administrative Groups
    > First Administrative Group
    > Servers

    The servers I want to remove are there. My question is if I can just rightclick "CN=Servername", and select delete, or do have to take some precautions (stopping services maybe ?/ ).

    Thanks in advance for your advice/ tips / thoughts.....
    cheers, Arnout.

  • #2
    Re: remove Exchange server that was not decommissioned

    Have a hunt through the MS KB's, there will be an article on how to remove an offline exchange server safely.


    • #3
      Re: remove Exchange server that was not decommissioned

      Here's an excerpt from a Microsoft KB regarding removing Exchange. I've included only the info pertinent to your situation.

      Remove the Exchange 2003 server from Active Directory

      To remove the Exchange 2003 server from Active Directory, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
      2. Expand Administrative Groups/Your_Administrative _Group_Name/Servers.

        Note In this step, Your_Administrative _Group_Name is a placeholder for the name of your administrative group.
      3. Right-click the name of the Exchange 2003 server that you want to remove, click All Tasks, and then click Remove Server.
      This procedure will remove all references to the server in Active Directory and remove the mailbox-enabling attributes from all Active Directory users who have mailboxes on the server that you removed.

      If you cannot install or run Exchange System Manager, you may use the ADSI Edit snap-in to manually remove enough of the server attributes so that you can try a successful reinstallation. This method does not perform cleanups of references to the server object outside the server's own container. Microsoft does not recommend that you use this method unless you intend to immediately reinstall the server in the same administrative group, because you may have to manually remove or edit many attributes on objects throughout Active Directory.

      The ADSI Edit snap-in is available in Windows Support Tools. For more information about how to install Windows 2000 Support Tools, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
      301423 ( ) How to install the Windows 2000 Support Tools to a Windows 2000 Server-based computer

      Warning If you use the ADSI Edit snap-in, the LDP utility, or any other LDAP version 3 client, and you incorrectly modify the attributes of Active Directory objects, you can cause serious problems. These problems may require you to reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, or both Windows and Exchange. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that occur if you incorrectly modify Active Directory object attributes can be solved. Modify these attributes at your own risk.
      To use the ADSI Edit snap-in to remove an Exchange 2003 server from an Exchange 2003 administrative group, follow these steps:
      1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows 2000 Support Tools, point to Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.
      2. Expand each of the following items: Configuration Container
        CN=Configuration, DC=Domain_Name,DC=com
        CN=Microsoft Exchange
        CN=Administrative Groups
        CN=Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_S ite_Name

        Note In this procedure, Domain_Name is a placeholder for the name of your domain, Your_Organization_Name is a placeholder for the name of your organization, and Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site _Name is a placeholder for the name of your administrative group or Exchange 5.5 site.
      3. Right-click the Exchange 2003 server object, and then click Delete.
      4. Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.


      • #4
        Re: remove Exchange server that was not decommissioned

        Thank you all for your answers, looks like it is fairly simple after all.
        I am going to remove the servers this weekend, will let you know if it worked out. Cheers !


        Update 3 aug 2009 : I have done this exactly as described in the answer below (with ADSI edit)
        Really easy to do. Thanks again everyone. Arnout.
        Last edited by r_nout; 3rd August 2009, 20:16.