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Is exchange and DC marriage possible to divorce?

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  • Is exchange and DC marriage possible to divorce?

    I have looked and looked, but similar scenario is quite rare I think.

    I have been assigned to a small office sysadmin, and my biggest concern now is, to replace our old DC.

    I already have a new shiny 2003 rack server, but. A big but. Old DC is installed at the beginning of 2000 So it is almost 9 years old. Office was smaller, only two users then. And only one additional server, which is now shut down and replaced with other servers. And, there was an EXCHANGE 2000 installation in that DC.

    What I want to do is; introduce this 2k3 server into domain as DC, demote old DC, and use it for awhile just as a fax server. Before it finally dies. But because of that freaking EXCHANGE, I can not execute adprep /forestprep. It says, "error with exchange users" (or something related, do not have the errormessage, nor do I remember it). Installation of EX is partially removed, so that I cannot not use that "removeorg" installation option. Neither can I reinstall , because it would be totally new installation, not reinstallation. So, I have Exchange to much to ignore it, too little to work with it. I do not need that, for our e-mail server is outsourced 3 years ago.

    Now, out of this messy whining, can anybody give me a hint, what might be a good thing to try, to replace this old DC.

  • #2
    Re: Is exchange and DC marriage possible to divorce?

    Exchange and DCs do NOT co-exist well, but a clean "divorce" is almost impossible!

    Not absolutely sure since its 2000 not 2003, but roughly you need to:
    1) Create a new, clean DC, move FSMOs and make it a GC server
    2) Create a new, clean Member Server, install Exchange, and move all mailboxes, public folders, the GAL etc to it
    3) Cleanly uninstall Exchange from the old DC
    4) Cleanly dcpromo the old DC to remove from AD
    5) Remove the old DC from the domain completely and nuke the OS
    6) Since you want to remove Exchange entirely from your organisation (if I read the above correctly) you can then uninstall from the new server

    Maybe there are easier ways!
    Last edited by Ossian; 24th April 2009, 08:26.
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


    • #3
      Re: Is exchange and DC marriage possible to divorce?

      If Exchange is installed on a DC then it has to be uninstalled before the DC is demoted. You need to provide the error messages otherwise we can't really help but from what you have written I would be tempted to say:

      The environment is a Windows 2000 server running as a DC with Exchange 2000 on it. The Exchange 2000 installation is partially removed and is stopping any upgrade that is attempted.

      I would (pending input from others):
      1. Try a repair installation of Exchange on that box with the /disasterrecovery option to get Exchange working again.
      2. Uninstall Exchange from the box.
      3. Ensure SP4 is installed on the 2000 server
      4. Check the link at the bottom and install the 2003.

      Upgrading the forest to 2003 mangles Exchange attributes:

      Please read this before you post:

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


      • #4
        Re: Is exchange and DC marriage possible to divorce?

        Thanks guys for quick answer.

        I thought, that I just have not found that "repair everything fastly.exe" - program.
        Well, luckily that original additional server is now my testbench, so I can just import backup image of DC to it (similar boxes) and test both solutions you gave.

        Hope i soon have good news.

        Thanks again