DCPROMO on SBS server by mistake, now need to fix

Posted on 2006-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a client with a SBS 2003 server, but it seems the domain was setup using DCPROMO instead of the normal SBS way and Exchange was manually installed.  The server has been up for 4 months and is running ok for the most part, but I recently went to add a new user and they could not connect and was getting licensing message in the Event viewer, so after some research I realized what was done.  I was able to remove a couple users not there anymore and reboot and get that user to connect, but she only worked for a day and then was getting blocked from connecting to Exchange and was getting the licenses errors again.  It is a rather small site (12 users), so I am not so concerned about the basic user setup, but I am concerned about Exchange and the users mailboxes.  Anyone know if SBS install is smart enough to fix this screw up or the best way to go about getting this issue resolved?  
Question by:mikehale1
    LVL 74

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    Flatten it and reinstall.

    In all likelihood, the users weren't added correctly, the workstations weren't added correctly, etc. etc. etc.

    Use ExMerge to migrate out the user's mailboxes to .pst files and then you can import them back in with ExMerge again.

    Unfortunately, about half of my consulting practice is cleaning up after bad installs like this -- usually done by someone with YEARS of experience with Enterprise Servers... but had no clue what SBS was about.  (See and pass it along to whoever did this)

    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    Yeap! No other way if you want to avoid months of problems.
    See also ( )

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Just out of interest, how many user licences do they have?
    LVL 74

    Expert Comment

    by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
    I had been thinking about this and wondered why there was a problem... in that you CAN install SBS using DCPROMO if you want to install it into an existing domain... but you would have to follow the steps in this KB article:

    And then, ChadHooper's question made me think about another issue that could be causing your problem:

    If only the Windows Server for Small Business Server 2003 component was installed... it has a cap of 15 maximum users instead of 75.  Because you can add users to an SBS even if you don't have CALs for them... although you would be out of compliance, the server would still allow the connections for a few weeks.  Not so with the separately installed "Windows Server for Small Business Server 2003".

    Q. What is Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server?
    A. Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server is designed for partners who want to deliver a server solution based on Windows Server 2003 as part of their product offering. It provides the same version of Windows Server 2003 that is used by Windows Small Business Server 2003, but it has none of the added features included in the standard edition or premium edition of Windows Small Business Server 2003.

    Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server has the following restrictions:

    • Only one computer in a domain can be running Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server.
    • Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server must be the root of the Active Directory forest.
    • Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server cannot trust any other domains.
    • A Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server domain cannot have any child domains.
    • Each additional server must have a Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server client access license (CAL). You can use CALs for each user or for each device.
    More info on that here:


    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Not that it Cannot be done from DCPROMO and then install SBS.
    But you must be cautious about it and therefore I would not continue with a system that I did not start  unless it  was done properly to begin with.

    Many reasons why you should not follow the previous Admin foot steps:
    There are Changes and  settings in AD that will interfere with SBS.
    If the system was running fine, when Problems start occuring  you will look incompetent even that you explain that the problem started with the previous setting.
    If you plan to continue with the previous admin foot steps you should make sure to let the owner know all the problems that can arise from that procedure this way you don't look incompetent.
    Hey!  you might not have any problems but  even on a properly installed system you do get problems. Only difference is you know everything that was done and that could cause problems.

    Yes its a thrill to fix an existing problem but only when the owner understands and want to go that way, and you can spare the time to tune-up all little gliches.

    Good luck!


    Author Comment

    Thank You So far ro everyone who has replied.  I am working with the client to schedule an off hour time to just rebuild the server the correct way.  I got ExMerge working last night, so will just export the mailboxes and rebuild.  In the mean time I had removed some users that where no longer their and purged their mailboxes, so the existing users are ok to work and they are not adding any users in the near future, so the comment from TechSoEasy about the 15 user max makes sense, because that is exactly where they are at.  I also saw the KB article, I am actually doing that project tonight for another client.

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