how to remove a Non Existing Exchnage server

Hi all,

Like 2 years ago I installed a Exchange 2003 server without any training and I messed it up and had to format the server, now it is still showing in the System manager even if it is not existing anymore. I tried to remove it out of there but I cant and I get all kind of error like "other user may be connected to it". Now I am trying to install an exchange 2007 in my organisation so I can migrate my 2003 to it and I get errors saying that one or more server 2003 is not service pack or later even if I updated them all ..... not sure if the missing one could be the cause.

Thanks
nmmcfkAsked:
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XCHExpertCommented:
I guess you have stale entries in AD and it is not physicall exist if yes then ....download Support Tools of Winodws 2003 and then

Use ADSIEDIT.MSC----got Configuration....Services.....Microsoft Exchange....ORG Name....First Administrative Group.... Admin Group....Servers....Remove that old server.....:-)

Then Do Force Replication between DCs


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MesthaCommented:
If you are getting errors about users, then you have a user account pointing to that server for their mailbox. It will almost certainly be a user that isn't in active use - so a test account, something like that.

Personally I am not a fan of the adsiedit method of removing a server. My preferred method is to build a VM with the same name and then do a disaster recovery installation of Exchange 2003. It can then be removed gracefully.

Your error was formatting the server with Exchange installed - that shouldn't have been done because Exchange remains in the AD.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
I realised I have made an error after formatting ........ what do you mean by a VM ??
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MesthaCommented:
VM? Are you serious?
Have you been living under a stone for the last three years?

Virtual Machine.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
I dont know much about VM to tell you truth ...... I am not an MCSE or anything and always learn on the job while installing and setting up servers ..... I heard about VM before but never really play with it .....
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
What if I install the Server 2003 and the Exchange 2003 on a dummy server using the same naming and all and remove it the right way .... would it work ?
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XCHExpertCommented:
Why do you waste your time in it....rather you should take system state backup from DC and straight way delete it from ADSIEdit...the path I have given earlier....The server is not present physically any more...so better delete that object....
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MesthaCommented:
Deleting the object from ADSIEDIT doesn't remove all references to the server in the domain and Exchange org. While it is possible to remove the objects by hand, it takes some time - the last time I did it took me about three hours as I had to check every key for a reference.

If you build a temporary server then remove it correctly then all references from the domain and Exchange org are removed correctly, without the risk of errors.

You can use a physical machine if you like, I just find that using a VM is faster as you can install Windows off an ISO. CD drives are very slow. On a VM Windows 2003 can be installed in less than 30 minutes.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
I am almost done installing the temp server .... i dont mind taking a bit more time .... As long as it works fine.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
The exchange services won't start on the temps server and when i tried to install exchange I got errors saying that the sever already exist in the ORG ..... I guess I will have to try the VM .... but I don't have a clue how to install this and where to install it.
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MesthaCommented:
Did you install Exchange using the disasterrecovery switch as I stated in my earlier post?

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
Yupe ...... it installed now but it is asking for a restore ? plus the services wont start .......
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
Ok now I am trying to uninstall the Exchange from the temp server and I get the message that cannot remove becuase one or more user use mailbox on this server .......
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MesthaCommented:
In that case you need to find the users who are still on that server.
Due to the way Exchange works, a user can be mail enabled, with their "mailbox" homed on the server, but no mailbox in existence as they are only created when required. You have to search the domain for that account and either move the mailbox to the live server or remove the Exchange attributes.

I have one such technique at the end of my migration article: http://www.amset.info/exchange/migration.asp

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
The server is non existing physcally ...... there was never any user on this server .... it was the fist exchange I install back in the day and the install went wrong so I formatted the server without removing fisrt the exchange out of it. The mailbox store cannot be mounted ... Iw as just trying to install a temp server with the same name so I can go ahead and remove it out of my Organisation after but the install did not work because it said that the server already exists and now I cant remove it ......
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MesthaCommented:
There has to be a user in the domain somewhere.
If you didn't login as the Administrator then it could be the account that was used to install Exchange, as that was mail enabled. If you did use Administrator, then check that was moved across.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
How can i check when I can't even mount the store and open the mailbox store for this server from System Manager.
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MesthaCommented:
Did you read the instructions on my web page?
It isn't in Exchange that you are looking - it is in the domain. You do not need to have Exchange store mounted - all you are looking for is an account (or more) that has this server listed as its home server so that you can remove the accounts.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for the good information, really appreciate .......

Ok I found 2 ...... one called mail test that I must have created back then to test it out and the System Mailbox ..... I tried to move the mail test user to my existing email server and it is not working ... can I just delete the exchange attribute ???
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
OMG ..... finally .... you are a genius ....  I was able to remove to start the remove from my temp server and I was able to remove that non existing sertver from my ORG in the System manager. I will try the install of my exchange 2007 again ......
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
I did the setup.com /preparelegacyexchangepermissions step from the exchange 2007 setup it went through this time ..... so it looks like it will work ...... Thank You sooooo much
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
Do you have a walktrough on installing exchange 2007 ...... I think I would trust more yours then any other one on the Net .......
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MesthaCommented:
Exchange 2007 installation is a breeze. Run the GUI and leave it to get on with it.
Download rollup 9 and install that immediately afterwards - although SP2 is due very soon now.

Simon.
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
Do i need to run the custom one and install the Edge and Unified messasing ... I was reading that we need at least 5 server roles install for it to work .....
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nmmcfkAuthor Commented:
OK I installed all the server roles required and the setup is going without errors so far ......
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