Exchange disappeared and have issues with email now

Posted on 2009-04-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Let me list the problems I have, then a small elaboration of what's going on.

Ran Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer on my SBS 2003 server.  When I try to connect to AD - I get "No exchange organization container found in domain." (I am logged on as administrator too - domain admin).

I open my ADSIEDIT.MSC - Expand the configuration container, - Expand the services container, - Expand the Exchange container, I see "CN=Active Directory Connections" container, but it's empty.

I opened a command prompt, went to my c:\program files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA folder and typed:
find /i "ou=" priv1.edb

Did a Ctrl+c to break the connection.
I see my O= Organization or Org name (in my case:  O=APN) (APN is our domain name)
I see my ou= site name (in my case: OU=First Administrative Group)

When I open my Exchange System Manager, I get the error:
There is no Microsoft Exchange Organization in that domain
ID no: c1030a8c
Exchange System Manager

If I open an empty MMC snap-in to add exchange manager, I get this:
A "Change Domain Manager" dialog box opens.
It lists my domain (apn.local)
Current domain controller:  server.apn.local (SERVER is the name of our SB S2003 server)
Change to:  any writable Domain Control
Availble controllers in:  apn.local
(and it lists:  any writable domain controller and tempdc2.apn.local (site: default-first-site-name) (and why that is there is beyond me - that server doesn't exist anymore on the domain).

If I go into Active Directory Sites and Services - expand Site, expand Default-first-site-name, expand server, I see Server (my SBS 2003) and TempDC2 (a server already removed from the domain).

If I expand Server - I see NTDS settings.  On the right, I see:  Name: <automatically generated>, From Server: TempDC2, From: Default-First-Site-Name, Type: Connection.
If I got into the properties of the NTDS settings under SERVER, Global Catalog IS checked.  connection tab says:  replicate from: TempDC2.  Replicate to: TempDC2.

Needless to say (and sorry the excessively long msg here) - my users are not getting email - probably because my exchange is missing or hiding or something.  I wanted to come here before using one of my MSDN support calls.  Can anyone help here?  I'm willing to do a remote access session too if you can fix this (so you can get on the server).

Question by:ansa45
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    This is basically an AD issue which has resulted in the Exchange issue as well.
    I can suggest to demote the DC and then run DC promo to promote it back to a DC.
    let me know if it works.

    Author Comment

    Numero Uno - is that safe to do on a production server, and it's the only server in the organization right now too?  I wonder what errors I could anticipate?  I'd hate to demote the server only to find I can't promote it because AD is messed up in some strange way.
    LVL 65

    Expert Comment

    The poster above has failed to notice that this is SBS. Therefore running DCPROMO is not a good idea as it will destroy your domain and make Exchange unusable.

    Are the Exchange services running?

    I would suggest to start, re-run forest prep and domain prep from the Exchange 2003 CD (disk 2 I think it is on the SBS CD set). That is non-destructive.

    However you may well be looking at a reinstall of Exchange, plus service packs.


    Author Comment

    Microsoft  Exchange Management - started
    Microsoft Exhchange Routing Engine - started
    Microsoft Exchange Information Store - Not started.  When attepting to start:
    Could not start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service on local computer
    Error 1068: the dependency service or group failed to start

    Checked the dependencies - System Attendent.  That could not start - results in:
    The Microsoft Exchange System Attendent service on Local computer started and then stopped.  Some service stop automically if they have no work to do.

    So, that's an ugly circle.  Can't start the dependencies so I can't get the information store to start.

    So you are suggestion I run:
    adprep /forestprep
    adprep /domainprep

    LVL 65

    Expert Comment

    Not adprep. That is the Windows prep. I am referring to Exchange prep.

    When System Attendant failed to start it should have logged something, what was that?
    System Attendant is what ties Exchange to the domain.

    You could be looking at a knackered domain.


    Author Comment

    What is exchange prep?  I'm only familar with the adprep tool.

    Nothing in my event viewer from when my system attendent fails to start.  is there logging elsewhere I can look?
    LVL 65

    Expert Comment

    Something should be logged.

    setup.exe /forestprep
    setup.exe /domainprep

    They are part of the Exchange setup, which SBS would do for you.
    However if the domain is knackered I would suggest a call to Microsoft - that will give you the best chance of success with recovery.


    Accepted Solution

    I just wanted to post a follow up here.

    Tonight I ran a system state restore from a backup I had on Saturday.  Once I completed that and rebooted the server, my exchange came back and emails now flow in/out of the organization.  What a mess.  I'm glad it's over and cleaned up.

    Thank you everyone who posted answers and more questions and stuff for me to look at.  Appreciate it all.

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

    Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

    Set up iPhone and iPad email signatures to always send in high-quality HTML with this step-by step guide.
    Get an idea of what you should include in an email disclaimer with these Top 5 email disclaimer tips.
    In this video we show how to create a Distribution Group in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.: First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Recipients >>…
    To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…

    737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    19 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now