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I renamed my Exchange Server - now nothing works.

    Question

  • I've spent most of the night trying to resolve this but got nowhere. I've just read today that you can't rename an Exchange server? I did not know this...

    When I did - it lost it's trust with the domain, so I logged on as local administrator (Windows 2012 - Exch2013) and renamed it back to it's new name (newmailserver).

    IIS and most Exchange Services don't start.

    The event log is filled with errors 2142, 4027, then a few 10xx one. The first two are the main ones I think.

    If I rename the server, the changes show on both DNS server - so it seems to be talking to them fine. If I change the IP address, that is reflected in DNS.

    I checked lots of solutions last night but none worked.

    I've made sure 'Exchange Servers' are in the right location in the default domain controller group policy. I've tried editing the Microsoft.Exchange.Directory.TopologyService.exe.config file the same.

    I've tried only have one DNS server in showing in my DNS.

    Tried rebooting DNS servers.

    I'm stuck.

    If I remove exchange and start again can I mount the mailbox database from this server? Any ideas on how to fix this - is there a fix?

    Any ideas on how I can get people their email temporarily?

    Currently people only have access to cached email in outlook - nothing else. I really need some help.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Edited by MartinThumbs Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:03 AM
    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 10:03 AM

Answers

  • It is not supported to rename an Exchange server.  It has never been supported, going back to the beginning, Exchange 4.0.

    Rename the server back to the old name, repair the computer account in AD and then try rebooting the server.  If that doesn't yield success, then I suggest you open a ticket with Microsoft Support.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 5:50 PM
    Moderator
  • You are right - I had to get Microsoft Exchange Support to fix this. It took a team of them 12 hours to fix.

    I would never imagine a server rename would cause such a problem - a huge lesson learnt. If anyone else is reading this - your messed up, open a ticket with Microsoft.

    The main issue that got all the services running was Dotnet was the latest version and needed to be rolled back to 4.5x, 4.6x. Also in AD, the server was missing from the Exchange Servers groups (there's a couple of them). I don't know if this will help others. He did have to run a few shell commands to refresh services.

    But still after this, there was too many other knock on effects - it had got in a real mess. Clients couldn't connect, mail flow wasn't working. OWA and mobile access worked (still without mailflow).

    Anyway - all is resolved now.

    Bottom line - DON'T RENAME YOU'RE MAILSERVER!!

    Added extra - Microsoft Support for £200 was a bargain! They were really good, Indian call centre but no language barrier - the engineers were excellent and knew their stuff. Definitely a few levels above me when it comes to Exchange.

    • Marked as answer by MartinThumbs Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:45 PM
    Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:44 PM

All replies

  • It is not supported to rename an Exchange server.  It has never been supported, going back to the beginning, Exchange 4.0.

    Rename the server back to the old name, repair the computer account in AD and then try rebooting the server.  If that doesn't yield success, then I suggest you open a ticket with Microsoft Support.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 5:50 PM
    Moderator
  • You are right - I had to get Microsoft Exchange Support to fix this. It took a team of them 12 hours to fix.

    I would never imagine a server rename would cause such a problem - a huge lesson learnt. If anyone else is reading this - your messed up, open a ticket with Microsoft.

    The main issue that got all the services running was Dotnet was the latest version and needed to be rolled back to 4.5x, 4.6x. Also in AD, the server was missing from the Exchange Servers groups (there's a couple of them). I don't know if this will help others. He did have to run a few shell commands to refresh services.

    But still after this, there was too many other knock on effects - it had got in a real mess. Clients couldn't connect, mail flow wasn't working. OWA and mobile access worked (still without mailflow).

    Anyway - all is resolved now.

    Bottom line - DON'T RENAME YOU'RE MAILSERVER!!

    Added extra - Microsoft Support for £200 was a bargain! They were really good, Indian call centre but no language barrier - the engineers were excellent and knew their stuff. Definitely a few levels above me when it comes to Exchange.

    • Marked as answer by MartinThumbs Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:45 PM
    Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:44 PM
  • For this issue, you can rejoin the domain with just the netbios, like contoso for the contoso.com, it will work fine.
    Thursday, February 28, 2019 3:39 PM
  • Glad you got it sorted out!

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    Thursday, February 28, 2019 5:49 PM
    Moderator