We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


How toremove ghost server  from Exchange 2007

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hiya experts
You may want to read this a couple of times..

New mars all ready to go&server 2008 32bit. Server is  main domain controller. All major server roles working ok.

A while back all I had was old Pluto to use as the stepping stone for exchange whilst I take old mars off line and reconfigure into the new exchange server. Problem is Pluto did not handle being a exchange server so it crashed after working for a short time.
For exchange to work in a separate machine you have to run dcpromo and set up a second DC. Then install exchange. This I did for Pluto.

When Pluto died. I had to uninstall Pluto as a second dc on new mars. This was done very easy. As it happens far too easy, but I will get to that later

I have now got a new server for a while that I called Saturn that will run the software for exchange ok. (remember it only has to last a few weeks whilst old mars comes down and is reconfigured)

I installed server 2008. then ran the prerequisites for exchange, no problem. Then installed exchange. Great. When all installed and rebooted I find that the users from active directory are all ready in exchange? I had to instruct  Pluto to go find users? I then see that Pluto is listed in exchange  Mailbox, Clients, hub, its like a ghost and I cant get rid off, I obviously did not remove/demote Pluto correctly and am now paying the price.  sorry for the long ramblings any ideas or pointers much appreciated.

Ps this system still in build stage but i would like to get in use soon, thanks again

Watch Question

Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009

The best option will be to build another machine with the same OS and name, a VM will be fine.
Then reset the computer account in the domain - DO NOT DELETE THE COMPUTER ACCOUNT. Add the new machine to the domain. Do a DR install of Exchange, which will adopt the original ID of the server, including most of its configuration.
You can then go through the procedure to remove the server correctly.



Thanks for the advice , will try and post results



Hi -m

Very sorry for the delay. hope you can still help.

I rebuilt a server with the same name (pluto) and ran dcpromo. tried to install exchange and ran into an error, Exchange server is in an inconsistant state..........Have looked through some questions on EE and found that you helped someone with a same problems. Your help was to clear the "dregs of the old server install from active directory.

Ran ADSI edit but am scared of deleting any objects. Any suggetions.

Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009
As I wrote above, you have to do a recover server installation, not a regular installation of Exchange. That will mean using the command line setup.com instead of the GUI.


Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Thanks for the help. sorry for the delay but things happen.
I have decided to rebuild the dc and the exchange server, my reasoning is a day spent doing it properley will stop days of headaches later
thanks again

Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.