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How to setup a Server 2003 AD lab to test Exchange

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  • How to setup a Server 2003 AD lab to test Exchange

    I need to develop some expertise with Exchange 2003 & would like to setup a Windows 2003 Active Directory environment, so I can install Exchange 2003.

    This project is to develop expertise for an interview & I have a deadline of Thursday next (02/24/2011).

    I installed Windows Server 2003 Enterprise with sp2 & all updates on a fairly current desktop with 4 GB of RAM. This is the only server/desktop I have available. I use a Windows 7 laptop for day-to-day use & connect to the server with Remote Desktop.

    I know it's not recommended, but I will be installing Exchange 2003 on the DC, as this is my only available PC at the moment.

    When I made the 2003 server a Domain Controller, DNS setup failed saying "the DNS server machine currently has no DNS domain name. Its DNS name is a single label hostname with no domain." I don't have a registered domain name available, I just need the domain to work in the lab environment. Can I just make one up?

    The server has a static Network IP of 192.168.1.x with a subnet of 255.255.255.0. I have DNS set to its own address with the ISP's 2 DNS servers as secondary, until I get DNS setup with DNS forwarders using the ISP's DNS server addresses.

    I have cable Internet to a Linksys WRT120N router doing DHCP with mine, my wife's & son's laptops connecting to the Internet & each other through this router. I don't want to mess up anyone's Internet access with this project.

    How should I setup the domain name & DNS?

    Other tips & recommendations appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: How to setup a Server 2003 AD lab to test Exchange

    What domain name did you give to your "server"? SERVER.LAN or MAIL.LOCAL should be sufficient. However for Exchange Server to actually work you will need a FQDN and have the router forward the appropriate ports to the "server".

    Have you ever setup a Domain Controller before?
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: How to setup a Server 2003 AD lab to test Exchange

      Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
      What domain name did you give to your "server"? SERVER.LAN or MAIL.LOCAL should be sufficient. However for Exchange Server to actually work you will need a FQDN and have the router forward the appropriate ports to the "server".

      Have you ever setup a Domain Controller before?
      I have not. I've managed servers, etc. in an existing domain, but have never set one up from scratch.

      I gave the server the domain name exchsrvr.lab.lan. When I login, I see the domain name as "lab".

      The information you provided is exactly what I was looking for. So, if the server that will be the domain controller is named "exchsrvr", how do I set the FQDN? Do I have to have a registered Internet domain name? I'm not sure I actually want the Exchange server on the Internet, but on the other hand, it will be difficult to perform testing of any value if it's not.

      I do have a freebie domain name through Microsoft OfficeLive.com, can I use that?

      I have experience forwarding ports in Linksys routers, so I just need to know what ports.
      Last edited by TangleWeb; 21st February 2011, 01:42. Reason: Added info

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