CANNOT REMOVE EXCHANGE 2003 SERVER FROM ACTIVE DIRECTORY

Hi
I am trying to decommision an Exchange 2003 server in my organisation,  all mailboxes have been moved as well as public folders (systems+data) and I also removed the system attendant mailbox as per MS KB articles. No luck removing the server from add/remove programs as I always get a message saying "one or more users currently use a mailbox on this server ....." so I decided to remove it manually using Microsoft article 833396.  After this,  I wanted to remove the server from active directory but when I try to remove it from System Manager I get the following error message again:

The Server "NALONSRV04" cannot be removed because:
One or more users currently use a mailbox on this server. These users must be moved to a mailbox store on a different server or be mail disabled .....
facility: Exchange System Manager
ID no: c103f492

I searched using "AD Users and Computer", LDP.EXE and LDIFDE for hidden mailboxed but I cannot find anything bound to this server anymore, I don't understand.

I am really becoming obsessed and frustrated now as I would like to clean Active Directory properly from this server, I don't think using ADSIEDIT would make by deleting the server entry, would it?

Any advice is really apreciated
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MatscoAsked:
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rakeshmiglaniConnect With a Mentor Commented:
when you get into the "CN=Servers" container, you would see your old server and new server.
highlight the server that you want to delete and press the delete key. (be sure that you delete the server that you want to delete)
after that close and open exchange system manager and you would see only 1 server listed there. the server that you deleted will not appear there. it is gone.
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rakeshmiglaniCommented:
have you checked the "Remove the Exchange 2003 server from Active Directory" section in the article that you mentioned?
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Hello Matsco,

>> I don't think using ADSIEDIT would make by deleting the server entry, would it?

Thats exactly what I would do - use ADSIedit delete it allow replication and hey presto the exchange server is no more (providing you catrried out the remove3l steps in the KB you posted)

Regards,

PeteLong
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Matsco,
http://www.msexchange.org/img/upl/image0041096373813890.jpg

you need to look under sites > sitename > servers > then delete the offender


PeteLong
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MatscoAuthor Commented:
Hey Boys - thanks for the quick answers:

the MS 833396 says at the bottom:

"This method does not perform cleanups of references to the server object outside the server's own container. Microsoft does not recommend that you use this method unless you intend to immediately reinstall the server in the same administrative group, because you may have to manually remove or edit many attributes on objects throughout Active Directory"

as I want to be very carefull in doing this, is there anything I should be worry about? what about the "references" they are talking about?  will I have to do anything else beyond the below?

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=Services
CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN=Your_Organization_Name
CN=Administrative Groups
CN=Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name
CN=Servers

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 2003 server object, and then click Delete.  
4. Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.  

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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
Spot on - if this is a dead exchange server (either cause its gone BANG or you have manually removed Exchange) then this is exactly what you want to do :) Ive done this many times.

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MatscoAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for the technical and moral support :) it worked
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
ThanQ
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