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Exchange 2000 Mail server thinks its a DC

Posted on 2008-10-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
I have just installed two new Windows 2003 Servers acting as DC's and am ready to install Exchange 2007 onto 2 new mail servers, but the active directory thinks that one of my existing separate Exchange 2000 Servers  (running on a win2k server) is a DC. I can see it listed in the metadata and in Active Directory Site and Services with NTDS settings. The 2 new DC's automatically replicate with the server.  This is all one domain, the server has never been a DC, dcpromo doesn't recognise it as a DC. Can I safely remove this from the metadata, I need to be careful as this is a working mail server with 200 clients ?
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Question by:Digbert91
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 1000 total points
ID: 22689350
Certainly you are going to have to do something about this before you remove that server from the domain.  However, I would wait until you have successfully set up your Exchange 2007 servers and moved all of your mailboxes to them - assuming that you're going to do that.  Even if for some reason you wanted to keep this server as an email server, I would recommend moving all of the mailboxes off it at least temporarily before you try to fix the problem.

My reasoning on this is that, once an Exchange server thinks it's a DC, you can break lots of things if you try to demote it.  It's even possible that someone did this in the past and that's why it still thinks it's a DC.  So, my recommended steps would be:

1.  Set up your new servers and move all mailboxes, public folders, etc. etc.
2. Uninstall Exchange 2000 from the old server.
3. Try at this point running dcpromo.  If it will run, then demote or, if you have to, promote and then re-demote, this server.  If dcpromo won't run, try simply unjoining the computer from the domain.

Once the computer is unjoined from the domain, you should be able to remove any remaining evidence of it in Active Directory.
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LVL 33

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by:Exchange_Geek
Exchange_Geek earned 1000 total points
ID: 22690062
IF Exchange is running smooth - why mess it up - let the dog have its food.

"I can see it listed in the metadata and in Active Directory Site and Services with NTDS settings. The 2 new DC's automatically replicate with the server.  This is all one domain, the server has never been a DC, dcpromo doesn't recognise it as a DC. Can I safely remove this from the metadata, I need to be careful as this is a working mail server with 200 clients ?"

To get rid of this issue - you would have to perform a metadata cleanup
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc736378.aspx

Once done Exchange should not have problems (as any ways Exchange still works fine).

This step is important since Exchange 2007 works a bit odd while finding best suitable DC/GC (though work arounds are always available)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Digbert91
ID: 31505120
Thank you for you help. I have left it running as is and the Exchange 2007 Server rollout has not encountered any issues. The server will be removed from the domain once we have moved all the mailboxes.
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