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Install Exchange 2007 in a domain with an underscore

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Our domain name is city_domain.org.  I tried to install Exchange 2007 in the existing Exchange 2003 and got an error indicating that The DNS domin name is invalid.  It contains chracters other that A-Z, a-z, 0-9 and - (dash).  My options are to change the name (no way) or install Exchange in a new domain tree.  Has anyone experienced this what was the chosen alternative?  Does anyone have recommendatios?
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Question by:cwojcicki1099
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by:icky2000
ID: 22674247
Not fun. That little underscore will cost you a lot of effort. You have accurately identified your options and it sounds like rebuilding the domain isn't a reasonable solution. You're left then with building a resource domain to store Exchange in. This is certainly possible and for a number of reasons is used in a variety of larger Exchange shops or places with complex Exchange requirements (like mail hosting companies). It's been done enough for a while so that the configuration for an Exchange resource forest is fairly well documented (less so for Exchange 2007 than for Exchange 2003 at this point but the primary configuration is the same).

Check out this page: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998031(EXCHG.80).aspx. Once Exchange is running in the other domain, you'll create mailboxes for all your users there and link them to an external account which is the account in the existing domain. See the 'How to Create a Linked Mailbox' link on the URL above. This configuration isn't too bad but does add a fair amount of overhead to the initial build and ongoing administration of Exchange.
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by:cwojcicki1099
ID: 22690740
What I'm thinking of doing is migrating to a new forest by using the ADMT tool.  Would this be a better process or would this turn into a nightmare?
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icky2000 earned 2000 total points
ID: 22701205
The advantage to a new forest is that your migration might have some technical glitches along the way but the pain will be contained into a brief period of time and after that, you're good. The long term impact of two forests will last forever. I think your plan is a good one and ADMT is a good approach. Take your time and plan out the migration in detail and step carefully with ADMT - it works well if you read all the docs and have your process all worked out in advance.
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by:REIHELPDESK
ID: 24131715
What was the final direction for a solution?  We too have the same issue and would like to upgrade to Exchange 2007 but can't because of the underscore in our domain name.  Any help would be appreciated.
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by:cwojcicki1099
ID: 24131895
I havent' done this yet but migrating to a new domain will be my approach.  If I run into too many obsticles, I will look into Quest software for the migration.
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