At SMB Nation 2012 in Las Vegas, I have been asked multiple times for the URL to the TechNet Article that has the simple steps to install Exchange Server 2010 on a member server in a Windows Server 2012 Essentials network. You can find it at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997281.aspx.
Steps below from the comments at the bottom of the TechNet page:
How to install Exchange 2010 in two steps!
The following comments are from Michael Smith, Exchange MVP, and posted here with his permission. – Steve
In general, I ignore the wizards when installing Exchange. It’s literally easier (IMHO) to install from the command line. And it takes only two steps.
1. In an elevated cmd prompt, install the Exchange prerequisites and reboot:
sc.exe config NetTcpPortSharing start= auto
REM cd into the ‘Scripts’ directory in the Exchange installation folder/media
cd /d c:\Ex2010SP2\Scripts
ServerManagerCmd.exe -ip Exchange-Typical.xml -Restart
(You’ll get a warning about ServerManagerCmd being old-fashioned. Ignore it.)
2. After the reboot, in an elevated cmd prompt, install Exchange:
setup /r:mb,ca,ht /on:”First Organization”
How do you use this with Windows Server Essentials 2012?
1. Purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard (Volume Licensing is your best bet in order to get the required Essentials keys for installation).
2. Install as parent Hyper-V OS. Windows Server 2012 provides 1+2 licensing. (http://download.microsoft.com/documents/uk/SMB/products/windows-server/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_Customer_FAQ.pdf)
3. Install Windows Server 2012 Essentials (Download the trial available at http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_CC=200142594 to get the bits) as your first child virtual machine. You will need an Essentials key for this at install. You are exercising your downgrade rights of Windows Server 2012 Standard in this process.