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Uninstalling Exchange clustered mailbox servers

Posted on 2009-07-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi all - I need to completely uninstall Exchange mailbox cluster and reinstall to correct issues with the first installation. We are moving from Exch 03 to 07; there will be a mixed environment until we bring the Exch 07 org fully online. So I have 3 Exch 03 servers, two CAS/Hub and 2 mailbox servers to be set up in a CCR.

When I did the mailbox server installs the first time, I wasn't thinking and rebooted the active member before installing Exch on the passive member. The cluster failed over to the passive member, but since that didn't have Exch on it yet, I could not install the passive role on that server and had to start all over. I finally got Exchange uninstalled on both servers, but the cluster mb server is still showing in Exch 03, even though it no longer exists. I went back to the information store folders located on both the new servers and deleted those files, which now appears to have been a mistake.

When I try to reinstall on the active member, the installation errors out and says it could not find required info on that server.
How do I get back to a point where I can uninstall and then reinstall?
Question by:SJ53
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

Saakar earned 500 total points
ID: 24842914
What is the error in Exchange Setup logs??, you can find those under the root drive

Author Comment

ID: 24843255
[7/13/2009 12:48:31 PM] [0] This machine is part of a Windows failover cluster.
[7/13/2009 12:48:31 PM] [0] [ERROR] The Windows Cluster service encountered an error during function ClusterOpenEnum.
[7/13/2009 12:48:31 PM] [0] [ERROR] The remote server has been paused or is in the process of being started
[7/13/2009 12:48:31 PM] [0] An error occurred when setup was getting the configuration information of the current server. Setup can not continue. Please restart Exchange Server 2007 Setup to retry.
[7/13/2009 12:48:33 PM] [0] End of Setup

OK, so it sounds like it wants the other server, which is to be the passive node, up when it tries to reinstall Exchange. Problem is, I was told the cleanest way to do the reinstall is to shut down the passive node, install on the active, reboot it, then bring up the passive node, install on it and reboot. Sounds like I have to have the passive node up as well?
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 24843372
+ Try adding Administrator account to Local Admins on the Server.
+ Assuming Windows 2003 more info can be found at
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Author Comment

ID: 24843479
Unfortunately, it is 2008 Enterprise and not 2003. I have read through the article on CCR that you mentioned, but it doesn't have info on what to do if you have to reinstall the cluster members.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 24843921
For Windows 2008, you can refer to the following link

Author Comment

ID: 24843943
I read that, too, prior to going through this process. It doesn't help me now, though.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 24844006
Did we tried adding the account to the local admin on the server and reran the setup again??
Check with the thread below as well...

Author Comment

ID: 24844079
The account I was logged in as is part of the local admin group. I am currently waiting on another tech to get the passive member back online and then I will try doing the install again and see what happens.

Accepted Solution

SJ53 earned 0 total points
ID: 24897569
I was finally able to completely uninstall Exch and then breakdown the cluster; once all the changes replicated through the AD sites, I am now back to redoing the failover cluster and then installing Exchange again on the mailbox servers.

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