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Removing single exchange 2003 server/organization RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I took over a exchange 5.5 organization, exchange 5.5 was removed a while back, and 2003 was installed.  All mailboxes were migrated, and exchange 5.5 servers removed years ago.  Am now running a native 2003 single exchange server/organization.A couple of years ago, I did a cut-over migration to Office365, and now am wanting to completely decommission my exchange 2003 server.  I have found the article;

    https://support2.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;833396&Product=exch2003

    which seems to be the most relative article.  But there are also others.

    Another article speaks of rerunning /forestprep and /domainprep.

    Seems to be a lot of confusion on how to remove a single exchange 2003 server/organization.

    1. Since I will not re-use the server, I simply uninstalling exchange, and will re-use hardware for something else.  Is there a simpler or more securing method of removing a single exchange server installation in a single domain/forest.

    2. Reading the cutover migration steps, it ends with the direction/vague steps of decommissioning "on-premises exchange servers" and also ends with a note "Note   Decommissioning Exchange can have unintended consequences. Before decommissioning your on-premises Exchange organization, we recommend that you contact Microsoft Support.", is this a concern?

    3. Is there a more specific article that relates to removing a single exchange server in a single domain/forest, which equals the very last exchange server period (no transfer of roles etc.)?

    4. Is there any reason to rerun /forestprep and /domainprep after getting exchange removed?

    Thank you


    Robert


    Monday, April 27, 2015 10:48 PM

Answers

  • 1. The best way is to uninstall Exchange 2003 except for the management tools.  Then use ESM to remove all objects.

    2. If you use DirSync, there could be.  Do you?

    3. See #1.  You're overthinking this, really.

    4. Absolutely not.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Wednesday, April 29, 2015 1:54 PM
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 6:31 AM
  • I believe you can uninstall from Add/Remove Programs, but it may ask you for the original CD, or you can uninstall from the installation CD.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Wednesday, April 29, 2015 1:54 PM
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:48 PM
  • 1. Mail-enabled objects, as opposed to mailbox-enabled users, just have e-mail properties associated with them.  If you have no Exchange server installed in the organization, there shouldn't be anything that would be using those attributes so there should be no compelling reason to write a script to sanitize all your users, groups and contacts.

    2. I don't understand the question, sorry.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Monday, May 4, 2015 8:26 PM
  • 1. All properties are visible in ADSI Edit, yes.

    2. You can leave it or remove it.  All you will be able to do with it is manage the e-mail attributes on recipient objects.  It shouldn't hurt anything to leave it installed.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Monday, May 4, 2015 10:03 PM
    Monday, May 4, 2015 9:32 PM

All replies

  • 1. The best way is to uninstall Exchange 2003 except for the management tools.  Then use ESM to remove all objects.

    2. If you use DirSync, there could be.  Do you?

    3. See #1.  You're overthinking this, really.

    4. Absolutely not.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Wednesday, April 29, 2015 1:54 PM
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 6:31 AM
  • Ok Ed, thank you.

    No I currently do not run DirSync, so I won't worry about it.

    Regarding uninstall, I thought the uninstall should be run from the original CD, correct?

    Thanks.


    Robert

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:22 PM
  • I believe you can uninstall from Add/Remove Programs, but it may ask you for the original CD, or you can uninstall from the installation CD.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Wednesday, April 29, 2015 1:54 PM
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 2:48 PM
  • Hi,

    I recommend just shut down Exchange server for serval days testing to ensure everything works fine before remove this server.
    Additional, here’s an similar thread about your question:
    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/370ab979-a993-4859-8f6b-20eae06bc4d1/decommissioning-exchange-2003-after-office-365-migration?forum=exchangesvrgenerallegacy

    Thanks


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Allen Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015 9:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Allen_WangJF,

    The server has been shut off for a year or so, and I have been operating solely in Office365 for about 2 years, so exchange is definitely not used locally any longer.

    I will begin uninstall likely today, and will try to report back of any issues.

    Thanks.


    Robert

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015 2:05 PM
  • Allen, that's a terrible idea.  Exchange servers expect all servers in an organization to be up.  Shutting one down creates issues that removing servers doesn't.  There are better ways to see if the server is doing anything, such as enabling IIS and SMTP logging and looking at the IIS and transport logs.

    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015 9:02 PM
  • Hi,

    I ended up virtualizing physical environment exchange and primary domain controller, and after doing cleanup, have now done an uninstall from add/remove programs with original CD inserted.  This worked smoothly, and removed all registry settings and AD domain exchange objects.  This was the test run, so will be doing some other unrelated tests and then will do cleanup on production environment after.  But using add/remove programs worked great.

    I wanted to ask, regarding mail enabled contacts/groups.  Article 833396, mentions only to remove exchange mail-enabled users.

    1. Is it an issue regarding mail enabled contacts/groups after removing the last exchange 2003 server/organization?

    2. Is it any problem, to still run the Exchange ADUC snap-in on another Domain Controller after having removed all of Exchange on Exchange Server? 

    Thank you


    Robert

    Monday, May 4, 2015 8:03 PM
  • 1. Mail-enabled objects, as opposed to mailbox-enabled users, just have e-mail properties associated with them.  If you have no Exchange server installed in the organization, there shouldn't be anything that would be using those attributes so there should be no compelling reason to write a script to sanitize all your users, groups and contacts.

    2. I don't understand the question, sorry.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Monday, May 4, 2015 8:26 PM
  • Hi,

    1. So I understand that the mail properties on contacts/groups, are simply the same properties on an object that I would see using ADSI Edit?

    2. I have the exchange tools installed on a separate domain controller, I assume running that tool has no effect on domain?, I of-course don't see a need for this tool since I don't have an exchange server anymore.

    Thanks.


    Robert

    Monday, May 4, 2015 8:39 PM
  • 1. All properties are visible in ADSI Edit, yes.

    2. You can leave it or remove it.  All you will be able to do with it is manage the e-mail attributes on recipient objects.  It shouldn't hurt anything to leave it installed.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    • Marked as answer by NordMann1087 Monday, May 4, 2015 10:03 PM
    Monday, May 4, 2015 9:32 PM
  • Great, Thank you

    Robert

    Monday, May 4, 2015 10:03 PM