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Remove 1st exchange 2k server - unable to restart services on it to move system folders

Posted on 2004-09-23
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Last Modified: 2011-04-14
Hi,

We have what I think could me a major problem with our exchange set-up here, we currently have 2 fully working E2K servers in 2 sites (1 in each), we also have a 3rd E2K server based at the main site which was the 1st E2K server in the site/domain.

I had been told by the previous sys admin that problems occurred with the 1st E2K server which resulted in a 2nd E2k being installed and used, the sys admin then went through some processes (which I don't have details of) to remove it from AD. However the 1st server is still running, but with all the exchange services stopped. The previous sys admin informed me that when he tried to switch off the 1st server completely that users reported errors, so he switched it back on and left it with the e2k services all stopped.

I have been tasked with re-installing the 1st server, so I found the article Q307917 from MS site, and the first step for removing E2K is to right hand click on a top-level public folder from within ESM, when I do this a system error appears after about 1 min, then I notice that ESM has a description bar which clearly says: Public Folders (Connected to NameOf1stServer) .

So from this it's clear that the system/public folders have not been correctly moved to the 2nd server, one of the reasons of course that I get the system error is because the E2k services are no longer running on the 1st E2k server - if i try and start the System Attendant service the service cannot be started with "The service did not report an error".

In event viewer I see the following errors logged: event 7001 (relates to System Attendant not starting with %%0), event also logged - 2102(all domain controllers in use are not responding), 1002 (metabase agent failed to start 80040a01), 1005(id 80040a01) , 9004 (metabase update failed 80040a01)

I think that about covers it, any info / help you can give is much appreciated, please let me know if you require more info.

Gaz
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Question by:Gazzap
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by:Sembee
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I think you are on the right track with suspecting that some system information hasn't been moved across correctly.

You need to get the original Exchange server running again.

First - check that it is still a member of the domain and that the network settings are correct - especially DNS. These should be pointing at the domain controller.

My first instinct for Exchange itself would be to run setup on that server again - on top of the existing installation. This will fix most problems and repair any damage. Reboot the server after it is done and see if the services come up.
Next make sure that both servers are at the same service pack level.

Once you are into Exchange, follow that article from MS very carefully - it is "the" article for doing this job.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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Thanks for the response Simon.

If I do I select to re-install exchange from the setup wizard, an error which says - The component "Microsoft Exchange Messaging and Collaboration Services" cannot be assigned the action "Reinstall" because: - The local domain configuration is not up to date. You must run setup with the "/DomainPrep" switch within this domain. If you have already done this with the current version of setup, then you must wait for replication to complete.

I also checked MS site with the id 80040a01 error and found article 283179 which mentions that the server may no longer be part of the Exchange Domain Servers group - it wasn't - so I added the server to both Exchange Domain Servers and Enterprise Exchange Servers Group and then used secedit to force machine policy update to AD.

I can now get the System Attendant service to start, but can't get the information store to start - get events:
5000 (0x8004010f unable to initialize IS)
9153 (Microsoft Exchange System Attendant reported an error '0x80005000' when setting DS notification.)  
1121 (Error 0x8004010f connecting to the Microsoft Active Directory. )
9098 (The MAD Monitoring thread was unable to read its configuration from the DS, error '0x80041001'. )
8213 (System Attendant Service failed to create session for virtual machine <servername>. The error number is 0x80005000. )

Any further assistance much appreciated.

Gaz.
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by:Sembee
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Looks like permissions might be wrong.
A couple of things to do.

1. Make sure you are logging on to the server with "the" administrators account. Trying to use an equivilent can cuase problems.
2. Make sure all the services are set to use Local System as their account and not a specific user account.

It will also do no harm to re-run forest and domain prep in this domain. That will reset many settings on the domain.
Wait for it to replicate and then reboot the Exchange server you are trying to get access to.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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Thanks Simon,

I am logged in as the domain admin, and all the exchange services are using Local System account.

I am concerned about running forest and domain prep, our 2 existing exchange servers are operating normally, it's only the fact that I need to now re-install the 1st E2K server that presents this situation.

Will running forest and domain prep not effect the smooth running of our AD and other E2K servers?

Regards,

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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As long as no one has changed the settings away from the default Microsoft settings then running forest and domain prep will do no harm. I have had to do it in the past on live networks to resolve various problems and it is an accepted fix from Microsoft. Just make sure you allow enough time between the two stages for replication to take place.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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After a reboot, and setting all the exchange services to manual, I can now successfully start the IS and SA exchange services.

I am also able to connect to the Public Folders, but when working through MS article 307917 - I get the following error when trying to view the properties on various objects:

The format of the specified domain name is invalid
Facility: Win32
Id No: c00704bc
Exchange System Manager

In particular it happens when I perform the floowing actions mentioned in 307917

# Expand the Offline Address Book folder.
# Right-click the /o=Organization Name/cn=addrlists/cn=oabs/cn=Default Offline Address List folder, and then click Properties.

# Expand the Schedule+ Free Busy  folder.
# Right-click the EX:/o=Organization Name/ou=Administrative Group Name folder, and then click Properties.

I have not yet run forest or domain prep, since I can't be 100% sure that the previous admin did not change the MS default settings (presumably you mean schemas?), but if you still think that this is the only way out of the situation then I will try it.

Thanks again,

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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Have a look at this article... The problem is almost the same and I think the resolution should work for you. At least check and confirm if the fix applies or not.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=317180

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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Perhaps we've located the problem - I can't find the Microsoft Exchange System Objects organizational unit in the AD!
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by:Sembee
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Are you sure?
Have you got "Advanced Features" turned on in ADUC?

Start ADUC, View, and choose Advanced Features.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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100% sure - I've unticked then ticked advanced features and refreshed, but there is no Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU.

I just logged on to another DC to check, and the Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU was there, but as soon as I clicked on it, an error appeared saying that the AD object could not be found, when I refreshed the view the OU disappeared.

Have checked on all DCs there is no Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU.

Gaz.
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by:Sembee
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Yuck.
I don't think you have much choice - forestprep and domainprep is the only way that you will get that OU back. You cannot create it by hand.

This might make more of a mess, but the loss of those OU is probably causing other problems that you aren't seeing.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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OK, I've run both forestprep and domainprep.

The Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU has now reappeared within AD, although there are no objects inside, and no properties to look at.

Going back to MS article 317180 - this mentions moving objects back to the Exchange System Objects OU, however when I use ADSIedit to search for an object which has the error, it's path already includes the Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU.

Perhaps I will need to wait for further AD replication to take place?

Gaz.
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by:Gazzap
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I've also noticed that on both of our other exchange servers there is a mapped M: drive, this is not on the 1st E2k server, and there are other errors within event log from the SMTP service complaining that the root of the virtual smtp service is invalid - namely the M: drive.

Will a re-install of E2K on this server fix this and other things?

Gaz.
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by:Sembee
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The M: drive isn't created until the Exchange services are started (IIRC). It is just a mapping to the Exchange install point.
There is a registry hack to turn it off, which might have been made.

A reinstall (on top of the existing installation, selecting the "reinstall" option) should resolve most of the problems.

Simon.
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Too many email signature changes to deal with?

Are you constantly being asked to update your organization's email signatures? Do they take up too much of your time? Wouldn't you love to be able to manage all signatures from one central location, easily design them and deploy them quickly to users. Well, you can!

 

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by:Gazzap
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Having re-installed E2K and SP3 over the top I still get the same errors:

Still no M: drive mapped (even though registry keys exist)
Still event log errors 418 & 8197 appear
Still no sub folders in the Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU
Still get "The format of the specified domain name is invalid" errors

Thanks

Gaz
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by:Gazzap
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More bad news, I have just been informed that the server I've been trying to remove from our set-up was not the 1st E2K server in the domain!

This probably goes along way to explain the errors I've been getting, AFAIK the procedures in MS article 307917 were not performed on the real 1st E2K server, and hence the system roles would never have been transferred to the 2nd Server - which would probably explain why they are not transferable now.

The question now then, is what can I do to make our 3rd E2K server gain those system roles?

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by:Sembee
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Which roles have you identified that it is missing?
Some of them can just be adjusted - for example the rehoming of the system folders. The Exchange environment has been running so you should be able to remove the replicas.
RUS should also move to another server - you may got odd error messages, but after clearing those it should move.

I cannot think of any others right now...

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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Sorry probably meant folders not roles.

Schedule+ Free Busy
Offline Address Book
Various Public Folders

After doing a query for SCHEDULE within ADSIEdit, I've found another Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU located beneath a manually created top level OU.

Within this Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU are all the missing folders - I read in one of the MS articles that the Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU could be moved from within AD, but not moved back (unless ADSIEdit is used). So perhaps this entire folder was at sometime moved into a top level OU's subfolder?

Presumably I'll be able to move (using ADSIEdit) all these folders (including Offline Address Book & Schedule+ Free Busy) without causing any problems, then once moved and domain synced, perhaps I will be able to follow MS article 307917 again with more success, does this sound reasonable?

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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It sounds a reasonable idea. It isn't something I have had to do before, so cannot vouch for its success. Either the Exchange OU was moved on purpose, or a misclick\drag of the mouse. Either way it sounds like a mess.

Reading back through the thread, I presume you have attempted to connect to public folders on one of the other servers? Right click on Folders and choose "Connect To.." then select one of the other machines. Are you able to browse folders correctly that way?

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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I presume you mean from within ESM - on the DCs I am unable to connect to any public folders - in fact no servers appear in the available public folders list - although if I right click on public folders and select properties the 3 public folder stores are shown.

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by:Gazzap
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I have now moved (using ADSIEdit) all the objects beneath the incorrect Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU back to the correct Microsoft Exchange System Objects OU - this has now allowed me to follow the MS article 307917 - which should mean that I can now power off the offending E2K server for good.

I'm still not getting any public folders displayed through the ESM on a DC, but perhaps that will come after replication completes.

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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I would allow the replication process at least 24 hours before considering powering off the other machine.
Then power it off rather than uninstalling Exchange for another 24 hours.
If everything is working correctly, power it back up again and then remove Exchange using add/remove programs.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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It's been almost 24 hours so I switched the old exchange server off, unfortunately I've had to switch the server back on - users complain of outlook hanging for long periods of time, or crashing completely.

On a user's machine who has a problem when I run netstat -a (whilst outlook is hanging) it reveals that a connection attempt is being made via epmap to the exchange server that has been switched off.

This does not happen to all users, and there doesn't seem to be any pattern to which users it effects.

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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That is probably free busy information or something like that.
Have you been able to reconfigure the replication of the system folders so that they are on the live server?

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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The Schedule+ Free Busy info folder is located on one of the newer E2K servers, so it can't be that one.

There are other system folders which still have the old server listed:

EFORMS REGISTRY - Organisation()
EventsRoot - EventConfig_ServerName
OWAScratchPad{ID} (there are 2 of these referencing old server)
Schema
Schema-root (and Sub Dirs)
StoreEvents{ID} (there are 2 of these referencing old server)
SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

The MS article does not mention re-homing these system folders.

Gaz
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by:Sembee
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If you force ESM to connect to one of the other servers do those folders exist there as well?

I would be tempted to go through the entire folder set removing any reference to the older server. Once you have shutdown and removed the old server these folders will be orphaned and can be deleted.

Simon.
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by:Gazzap
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I have tried switching the 1st exchange server off and leaving it off this weekend.

Today 3 new accounts have been added to the system, each account does not have a mailbox - when trying to view any items exchange related within AD Users & Computers this error shows:

Microsoft Active Directory - Exchange Extenstion
    Unable to read security information from the directory.
    ID no: c1033028
    Microsoft Active Directory - Exchange Extenstion

If I switch the exchange server back on, delete the account, then recreate the account the mailbox is created successfully (not on the 1st E2K server).

All the E2K services are NOT running on the 1st server - but the mailbox is still created OK.
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by:Gazzap
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Final Update.

I thought perhaps that it was time to uninstall exchange from the server - in the hope that this would remove the final traces of the first E2K server from AD.

I first noticed that I was unable to use Add/Remove programs, so used the CD to perform the exchange removal - the next problem was that the removeal process said there were still mailboxes which existed on the server, I managed to get a nice LDAP query to use in ADSIEdit:

(&(objectCategory=*)(objectClass=*)(msExchHomeServerName=/o=Domain Name/ou=First Administrative Group/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=1st_E2K-SERVERNAME))

Which returned 3 System Mailboxes - which I removed from the server, then re-ran E2K set-up from the CD, and fully removed exchange, then restarted server.

This removed the 1st E2k server from AD and removed it as a member within ESM.

I switched off the server 24 hours ago, and we've had no problems so far.

Thanks for your help Simon.

Gazzap
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Sembee earned 500 total points
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Excellent - glad to hear you are making progress.
Once you are satisfied that the problem is resolved, don't forget to close the question.

Simon.
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