<FOR ANYONE READING THIS AFTER THE FACT — PLEASE READ THIS CAVEAT FIRST:>
Please note, I got here because I got stuck. This isn’t how you should normally uninstall or remove Exchange. Normally you just go into add/remove and do it from there. Remember I got stuck here. I also had previously moved the recepient update services ahead of time. I also had a safety net. I had a full backup of the entire server. I had a system state backup of the server. I knew that I could dig myself out of a hole and call in support if I needed to. Do not start ripping out Exchange without knowing that you have a backup, a system state backup and a safety net. This should be your absolute last resort should you get stuck. Got it?
It’s party time on a Friday night and I’m manually ripping out Exchange…wooo hooo! (yeah yeah I need a life, what can I say)
This article describes the steps to automatically or manually remove Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 from your computer.
Before you can remove Exchange Server 2003, you must disconnect all mailbox-enabled users from the mailboxes on the Exchange server. After all mailbox-enabled users have been disconnected, you can use the Exchange 2003 Setup program to remove Exchange Server 2003.
However, you may be unable to use the Exchange 2003 Setup program to remove Exchange 2003. In this scenario, you can manually remove Exchange 2003. To do this, you must first stop and disable all Exchange services. You can then use Registry Editor to remove registry keys that are part of the Exchange installation. After you have removed the registry keys, you must remove and then reinstall Internet Information Services (IIS). Then, you must reinstall any service packs or security updates that are installed on the server.
Actually I don’t need to reinstall IIS as I’m going to dcpromo down this server.
If you must remove Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 from your computer, you must first disconnect all mailbox-enabled users from the mailboxes on the Exchange server. You can then run the Exchange Server 2003 Installation Wizard. In the wizard, click the Remove option for the installed components on the Component Selection screen.
However, if you cannot use the Exchange Server 2003 Installation Wizard to remove Exchange Server 2003, you can use Registry Editor to manually remove the registry settings for Exchange Server 2003.
I know that all the mailboxes have moved so we don’t need to nuke users..
Use the Active Directory User and Computers snap-in to disconnect all mailbox-enabled users
You cannot remove the Exchange Server 2003 components if the Exchange server still has mailboxes for mailbox-enabled users. To use the Active Directory User and Computers snap-in to disconnect all mailbox-enabled users, follow these steps:
Ignore these steps all of my mailboxes don’t say “legacy” in the SBS 2011 so I know they have moved.
Run the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program to remove the installed components
You can remove the Exchange components by running the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program from Programs and Features in Control Panel on the computer that is running Exchange Server 2003. To do this, follow these steps.
Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
- Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
- In the Currently installed programs list, right-click Microsoft Exchange, and then click Change/Remove.
- In Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard, click Next.
- In the Action list on the Component Selection page, click the down arrow next to each component that has been installed, and then click Remove.
Note Installed components have a check mark in the Action list. When you click Remove, the check mark is replaced by the word Remove.
- Click Next two times.
- Click Finish.
In the case of SBS you are supposed to remove Exchange by going into Windows Small Business Server 2003 (just the 2003 not the 2003 r2 section of add/remove) click on it, and when the integrated components of the server pop up and you see Exchange pull the arrow key down to remove.
If we scroll up to where Exchange is separately listed.. we can’t remove it from there
So now we need to stop the services…
Manually remove Exchange Server 2003
If you cannot remove Exchange Server 2003 by using Add or Remove Programs, you can use Registry Editor to remove the Exchange entries from the registry. Before you edit the registry, you must stop and disable all Exchange 2003 services on the computer.
Stop and disable the Exchange Server 2003 services
The following table lists the core Exchange Server 2003 services.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
|Distributed Transaction Coordinator
||Coordinates transactions that are distributed across multiple databases, message queues, and file systems.
|Internet Information Services (IIS) Admin Service
||Allows you to administer the Exchange HTTP virtual server in the IIS snap-in.
|Microsoft Exchange Event
||Monitors folders and generates events for Exchange Server 5.5 applications.
|Microsoft Exchange Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4)
||Provides Exchange IMAP4 services.
|Microsoft Exchange Information Store
||Manages Exchange information storage.
|Microsoft Exchange Management Service
||Hosts Exchange WMI providers
|Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent (MTA) Stacks
||Provides Exchange X.400 services.
|Microsoft Exchange Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3)
||Provides Exchange POP3 services.
|Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine
||Processes Exchange message routing and link state information.
|Microsoft Exchange Site Replication Service
||Replicates Exchange information in the organization.
|Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
||Monitors Exchange and provides necessary services.
|Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
||Transports newsgroup messages across the network.
|Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
||Transports e-mail across the network.
|World Wide Web Publishing Service
||Provides HTTP services for Exchange and IIS.
To stop and disable the Exchange Server 2003 services, follow these steps:
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
- In the Name list, right-click an Exchange service, and then click Stop.
- After the service stops, right-click the Exchange service again, and then click Properties.
- In the Startup Type list, click Disabled, and then click OK.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4 for every Exchange service.
I’ve disabled the services that are left
Now we have to remove the registry keys
Use Registry Editor to remove the Exchange registry keys
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Translation – if you screw up you blow up Cleveland. Since the point of this exercise is to totally remove this server from the network anyway, screwing up the registry is okay. Remember that you cannot have a SBS 2003 on the same network as SBS 2008 or SBS 2011. Bofh of them will check for another SBS DC in the network and will shut down every hour on the hour.
- Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
- Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
- Right-click Exchange, and then click Delete. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog box.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the following registry keys.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
||Microsoft Exchange Installable File System
||Exchange OLE DB
||Microsoft Exchange IMAP4
||Microsoft Exchange ActiveSynch Notifications
||Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Connection Agreements
||Microsoft Exchange Address Lists
||Microsoft Exchange access to Active Directory
||Microsoft Exchange Event
||Microsoft Exchange Publish Free/Busy
||Microsoft Exchange Information Store
||Microsoft Exchange Management
||Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent Stacks
||Microsoft Exchange Directory Service to Metabase
||Microsoft Exchange Outlook Mobile Access
||Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
||Microsoft Exchange Site Replication Service
||Microsoft Exchange Message Routing
||Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access
||Microsoft Exchange POP3
||Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine
Did that…. but now when they ask me to use the Exchange system manager to remove Exchange stuff from AD I can’t.
Remove the Exchange Server 2003 server from Active Directory
To remove the Exchange Server 2003 server from Active Directory, follow these steps.
Note This procedure removes all references to the server in Active Directory. It also removes the mailbox-enabling attributes from all Active Directory users who have mailboxes on the server that you removed.
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
- Expand Administrative Groups/Your_Administrative _Group_Name/Servers.
Note In this step, replace Your_Administrative _Group_Name with the name of your administrative group.
- Right-click the name of the Exchange Server 2003 server that you want to remove, click All Tasks, and then click Remove Server.
Not to fear, we have adsiedit to the rescue.
If you cannot install or run Exchange System Manager, you can use the Active Directory Service Interfaces (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. We do not recommend that you use this method unless you intend to immediately reinstall the server in the same administrative group. This is 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 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/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 that you reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, 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 Server 2003 server from an Exchange Server 2003 administrative group, follow these steps:
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows 2000 Support Tools, point to Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.
- Expand the following items:
Note In this procedure, Domain_Name represents the name of your domain, Your_Organization_Name represents the name of your organization, and Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name represents for the name of your administrative group or Exchange Server 5.5 site.
- Right-click the Exchange Server 2003 server object, and then click Delete.
- Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion
I can’t remember if I installed this on here or not.. but all I had to do was type in adsiedit.msc and it launched the interface. Now on this one be careful as you can blow up Cleveland in here.
See where we are at?
Configuration Container [domain.lan]
CN=Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name <in SBS this is first administrative group>
Under Servers it will list your old SBS 2003.
See where you are at?
- Right-click the Exchange Server 2003 server object, and then click Delete.
- Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.
Go look again at what you are deleting and where you are. You are under the CN=first administrative group and are deleting out the OLD SBS 2003 box.
Are you really sure?
Delete the container?
So right about now you are probably wondering why I didn’t just nuke the “CN=first administrative group” right?
Microsoft recommends that you do not remove the original Administrative groups from an organization.
My nicely migrated SBS production 2008 box to this day lists both the Exchange Administrative Group from Exchange 2007 and the first administrative group of SBS 2003
So if you have manually gone in and just nuked that first administrative group thinking that that will not cause issues, guess again, public folders and other such things want that folder there.
So to review, you want to delete the SERVER name out of that adsiedit.msc, you do NOT want to delete that CN=first administrative group that you see there. Regardless that that’s the name of the Exchange group in Exchange 2003, you keep it on the server even after you just have Exchange 2010 in the network.