Advice on removing Exchange 2000 server from org.

Hi all,

I am retiring a SBS2000 server.  I've moved all the mailboxes over to the new SBS2003 server (new hardware), completed the transfer of roles and synced/re-homed all the necessary folders.  When I turn off the old server the new server runs fine with no complaints from users.

After a couple of days it's now time to remove Exchange from the old sbs2000 server and then demote it from being a DC.  However, when I try to remove Exchange 2000 using the CD, it will not let me and says I still have mailboxes on the server.  The only 3 that are there are the "standard" 3 (system attendant etc.) that I can't remove.

My question is fairly simple:  If I stop the Exchange services on the old box, can I simply go ahead and remove the old 2000 instance from Exchange System Manager by right-clicking on the server and chosing the "remove" option??  

The old server is going to be formatted so there is no issue with needing to keep it in production or anything like that.  I can do the dcpromo and demote it quickly as well, but I wanted to know if I really, really need to do the uninstall or if I can simply (and cleanly) get away with removing it from ESM.

Thanks in advance...
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Removing exchange from exchange system manager you can use adsiedit.msc after installing windows 2000 support tools.

1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows 2000 Support Tools, point to Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.  
2. Expand each of the following items:
Configuration Container
CN=Configuration, DC=Domain_Name,DC=com
CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN=Administrative Groups

Note In this procedure, Domain_Name is a placeholder for the name of your domain, Your_Organization_Name is a placeholder for the name of your organization, and Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name is a placeholder for the name of your administrative group or Exchange 5.5 site.
3. Right-click the Exchange 2000 server object, and then click Delete.  
4. Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.  

check the attribute called "HomeMDBBL" on the mailbox store properties of the old exchange server via adsieidt.msc
this would tell you if there are any mailboxes homed on the mailbox store.
You have both the options. If you are not able to uninstall Exchange gracefully then it can be removed manually as well. Since you have already tested that the new server works fine when the old one is down, then you can simply go ahead and remove the old exchange server.

You might also want to check the following article

How to manually remove an Exchange 2000 installation
Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

camackayAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have read this article and it goes through the process in detail however I don't see any point doing that for a computer I am going to format/wipe.  

So can you say that I am able to simply delete it from ESM and that should update AD ok??  I'll then demote the server and retire it forever.

yes. once the server is removed from ESM it would also go away from the AD's configuration container. you can also verify that by digging into AD via adsiedit.msc
-configuration container
-ms exchange
-exchange org
-administrative groups
-your administrative group

After that format the old box as you mentioned that it is not required
camackayAuthor Commented:
OK, I tried to right-click/remove the server from ESM however it, too, told me their were mailboxes on the server.  So, I went to AD users and computers and found the hidden Exchange OU and located the object on the server.  I deleted it.

My big problem is that before doing this I had to demote the retiring Exchange server from DC to member server in order to avoid the 14 day SBS2003 time-limit shutting down the new server.  As a result, I no longer have any ability to manage the old 2000 server.

SO...I will have to try the manual ADSIEdit process above but need to confirm some things please:

1)  The old server has been retired.  It is no longer a DC and has been turned off now for about 1 week with no problems.
2)  Can I use the above ADSIEdit process on the remaining SBS2003 box without a problem to remove the old server from AD?

Everything else is running fine and the migration has been a success, I just need to tidy up this last remnant in AD.

If your migration process has gone fine and you want to remove retired server from ESM then you can use Adsiedit with no harm.

camackayAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  I'll let you know how it goes and accept the answer once I know it's good.

camackayAuthor Commented:
Still haven't been game to try it but have verified this as the best answer.

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