A few tips for Exchange Server 2007 SCC & CCR clustered installations

Have you tried to install Exchange Server 2007 yet? Clustering is different. First of all Exchange Virtual Servers (EVS) are gone, replaced with Clustered Mailbox Server (CMS). You now have two options for clustering, Single Copy Cluster (meaning one CMS per server really) and it is not the default installation. The default is now Continuous Cluster Replication (CCR) which is something new to Exchange Server 2007,

You still install and configure clustering first, then install Exchange. But passive and active nodes are supposed to be handled differently now. And active/active clustering is simply not allowed anymore [:D]  I would use setup.exe or the GUI to install both nodes as passive. This will put the Exchange bits on machine, but won’t create the CMS just yet. From the command prompt you would use something like this syntax:

setup.com /mode:install /roles:mb

Which would should come back with:

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unattended Setup Preparing Exchange Setup    
Copying Setup Files              ……………………. COMPLETED
The following server roles will be installed
    Management Tools
    Mailbox Role
Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check
Mailbox Role Checks              ……………………. COMPLETED
 Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server    

Copying Exchange files           ……………………. COMPLETED
    Mailbox Server Role              ……………………. COMPLETED

 The Microsoft Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully.

Do this for both nodes. Then on the Active node you will need to run exsetup.exe. Why? Because of this little gem in the books online:

If you already have one or more server roles installed on a computer, you cannot use the Exchange Server 2007 Setup wizard or the Setup.exe command to add or remove server roles. Instead, you must use the ExSetup.exe command.

DOH! Not knowing this means you can try Setup.exe until you are blue in the face and never get Exchange clustered.

So the ExSetup.exe to create the CMS is (replace CMSNAME with a real meanful name, replace cip with a real IP):

exsetup /mode:install /clustered /cn:CMSNAME /cip:

Which would should come back with:

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unattended Setup
No server roles will be installed
Clustered Mailbox Server

Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check
Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server
Clustered Mailbox Server         ……………………. COMPLETED
 The Microsoft Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully.

This should create all the clustered resource Exchange needs.

Why not install the bits and create all the clustered resources together with the Setup.exe command? The syntax would look like this:

setup.com /mode:install /roles:mb /newcms /cn:CMSNAME /cip:

If you Active Directory is large it could take a little bit for the CMS to be registered properly, in that case you might get an error this like:

Welcome to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unattended Setup

No server roles will be installed

Clustered Mailbox Server
 Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check    
Clustered Mailbox Role Checks    ……………………. COMPLETED
 Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server    

Clustered Mailbox Server         ……………………. FAILED

     The computer account ‘CMSNAME’ was created on the domain controller ‘\\dc02.clusterhelp.ad’, but has not replicated to the desired domain controller (dc01.clusterhelp.ad) after waiting approxmately 60 seconds. Please wait for the account to replicate and re-run exsetup /newcms.
The Exchange Server setup operation did not complete. Visit http://support.microsoft.com and enter the Error ID to find more information.

So, you only get 60 seconds for AD to fully replicate – DOH! Interesting. See AD was using our DNS (dc02) on the Public, but the Exchange was on the private near dc01. The spelling error is Microsoft’s by the way, not mine. You can add /dc:dc02.clusterhelp.ad but setup will fail if the DNS is not on the same AD site as the Exchange server. You will see this error:

Setup cannot use domain controller ‘dc02.clusterhelp.ad’ because it belongs to Active Directory site ‘Public’. Setup must use a domain controller in the same site as this computer (Private).

Other DNS messages you might get:

Exchange setup cannot continue because DNS information for the clustered mailbox server “CMSNAME” has not finished replicating. Please run setup again after replication has completed. After replication has completed, the command  “nslookup CMSNAME” should succeed.

This one again means you need to let it bake some more, let DNS replicate. Check your event logs. In some environments, you might have to wait 30 to 45 minutes for things to settle down. Just rerun the exsetup command again.

Lastly you might get this error:

Error of unknown type occured while performing exsetdata operation; the original error code was 0xc103fd2c

This means might have a duplicate DNS record that needs to be removed before CMSNAME be created. Check your event logs for the exact error and believe them! The spelling error is again Microsoft’s not mine. If Exchange can’t create the record look for duplicates.

If after all that you just want to give up, the command would look like this:

exsetup /mode:uninstall /removecms /cmsname:CMSNAME

So why am I only showing you the command line for ExSetup.exe? Because you can only run the GUI seutp once, after that you have to use ExSetup.exe.

Good luck, check your event logs and hopefully this will help someone else out.

12 thoughts on “A few tips for Exchange Server 2007 SCC & CCR clustered installations”

  1. very nice thank you .
    i have exchange 2007 clustering sloution which including 5 server can i make 4 servers as active cluster and one server as passive and how ?
    please advice and help
    please send to my e-mail eng_omar78@hotmail.com
    plz help

  2. You might want to note that when you run the command line installs, it automatically defaults it to a CCR cluster, NOT SCC. I ran into the issue of adding Active nodes to the cluster and finding out it the cluster was installed as a CCR, by using the EXSETUP and/or setup.com commands you state above. I had to rebuild the whole cluster again and use the GUI to add the first Active node.

  3. First off .. great write up it helped a lot.

    Second .. to install the custer as a Singe Copy Cluster aka SCC run the following command.

    exsetup /newcms /cn: /cip: /css /cdp:

    You cannot point the shared storage to the root of the drive. It must go into a directory.

    If you ever plan on using Standby Continues Cluster Replication that is released in Exchange 2007 SP1 then your path should be unique on all servers. I am currently using the scheme of SERVERNAME-STORAGEGROUPNAME. So if the server is named mbx01 and and your storage group is named Storage Group 1 the path would be :\MBX01-SG1

  4. Thank you for your tips.

    I am facing the same issue of 0xc103fd2c while setting up the Single Copy Cluster. I have tried what you have mentioned in the article. Can you guide me please?

    The error message is appearing while starting the Cluster Mailbox Setup.

    Error of unknown type occured while performing exsetdata operation; the original error code was 0xc103fd2c

  5. Because of the failed Active Node install, I’m reading this thread. Here’s my cmdline:
    (And yes, cn and cip are unique)

    exsetup /newcms /cn:Mail01 /cip:x.x.x.x /css /cdp:”M:\SANDRIVE”

    This still fails with the following:

    An unexpected error has occurred and a Watson dump is being generated: Cluster Common Failure Exception : The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8007139F)

    The Store resource is “Offline” and the SA resource is “Failed”. I change the Pending timeout to 1800 from 180 and then try to bring them online but they both just fail.

    I’ve run exsetup /removecms and re-installed a few times now and still failures.

    Win 2k3 ent R2 SP2 (latest WinUpdates)
    Active/Passive SCC Cluster
    Installing Active Node
    Ex 2k7 ent
    Shared Storage
    -Data M:
    -Logs L:
    -Quorum Q:
    -MNS(FileShare Witness) \\server\share

    Has anyone solved this issue yet, i can’t find anything on the net. If I do, I’ll post back. Thanks.

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