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What to do about exchange 2k being on a domain controller?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I learned later that an exchange server should not be installed on domain controller.  In the simplest possible terms, can someone explain why?  Also, there is another DC that's a file and print server, and that's also global catalog server.  What exactly should I do about Exchange being on a DC?  What are my options.  Thanks so much!
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Hi QuiteSupersonic,

Why? -> http://hellomate.typepad.com/exchange/2004/02/exchange_on_a_d.html

What to do about it, you have 2 options, deal with it, or uninstall exchange, dcpromo the server down to a member server, then reinstall exchange.

Reinstalling exchange is not the nightmare that it sounds - your data will still be in the databases, so will not need to be restored (you will have a backup anyway though, right? :))

Hope that helps,


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I'll slip my 2 cents in as well :)  One thing to never to is change the role of the server once exchange is installed( DC or not a DC).  If you go the route of removing exchange (I am a scardy pants) look into Exmerge.  It's a great way to dump users mailboxes out to PST file.  It has saved me on occasions and will give you more confidence if you are uninstalling exchange. If it did all turn to crap(not saying it will but always like to have a backup plan) you will atleast be able to merge the data back into exchange and avoid a potential headache.

Google Exmerge and you'll find plenty of resources

Hope that help too


I should have written that a bit clearer :)

Whatever you do don't DCPROMO the server up or down with exchange installed.

I second Exmerge (but you probably are not going to need it, and I definitely wouldnt ONLY use Exmerge, NTBACKUP of the information store would be better)

Rob, bookmark this -> http://www.petri.co.il/brick_level_backup_of_mailboxes_by_using_exmerge.htm



I have brick level backups with Backup Exec 10d.  Just to make sure i have it straight... a member server is a server on which DC promo was not run.  I join it to the domain but it doesn't have active directory or do authentication, right?
Correct mate. That is a member server.


Brick level backups are useless for a rebuild (my hatred for them is well documented here).

Do an information store backup before uninstalling exchange

And Exmerge if you are a scardy pants like me. I love a PST

red - Nice article.
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