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Demote Exchange 2007/Windows 2003 server with certificate services

Posted on 2009-04-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I've inherited a Windows 2003 / Exchange 2007 server that is a domain controller with the global catalog on it. It is also multi-homed because the Exchange databases reside on an iSCSI SAN. I would like to demote it, but it says I can't until I remove the Certificate services. The articles I've read on this only talk about setting up another server with the same name and backing up/restoring the certificates which I don't really want to do.
We are having all sorts of problems with startup times (currently takes about 30 minutes to restart), sometimes the main network card doesn't work until it is disabled and re-enabled after startup, and when this server is restarting I have some problems logging into other servers even-though I have two other domain controllers on the network. So I think I have multiple issues going on here, but am hoping that getting this server properly demoted will solve a lot of them. Any insight, order in which I should attempt this or general advice would be much appreciated.
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Question by:GBP
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tigermatt earned 250 total points
ID: 24109532

You don't want to demote that server. The fact you received an error during the demotion is a good thing, because had you proceeded with the procedure, you would have broken Exchange, requiring a complete reinstall and recovery from backup.

To demote the server, you will NEED to remove Exchange (or temporarily rehome it to another server), uninstall Exchange from this server, dcpromo down, then reinstall Exchange. You cannot run dcpromo for promotion/demotion on any server with Exchange installed; it simply isn't possible.

-Matt
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