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Decommissioning 2003 Exchange server that's been offline for almost 3 years

Posted on 2009-07-16
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
We have three Exchange 2003 SP2 servers. Two are back end one is a front end. Almost three years ago, we had only a front end and back end server. Our office was moving so we brought a third server online to deliver mail to the new location as we moved. Once that was completed, we turned the server off.

During the time it's been off we've upgraded our domain from W2K to W2K8.

Now we are ready to move to Exchange 2007. My question is this, can we turn on the dormant Exchange 2003 server, have it touch the network and after a couple of hours attempt to un-install Exchange from it? Seems it would be better to attempt a graceful un-install rather than rip it out of AD.

However I wanted to see if others have had to make this choice and if there are any potential "gotchas" to having the old server back online.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:lucado01
11 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 24869129
if there is nothing in the old server, and you plan to format it, why do you want to waste time in unstalling exchange from it.
just remove it from adsiedit.msc
path is
open adsiedit.msc
expand configuration
expand services
expand microsoft exchange
expand the exchange org
expand administrative groups
expand your administrative group
expand servers

over here you would see the servers listed
delete the one that is not required.
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Expert Comment

by:XCHExpert
ID: 24869445
You can choose alternate way of gracefull uninstallation by removing exchange manually.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833396
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Author Comment

by:lucado01
ID: 24870104
rakeshmiglani,

Fair enough. I failed to mention that there is a legacy routing group that this server is a part of and that one existing Public calendar on the production server was synced with the old server before it went offline.

OK to use adsiedit anyway?

Thanks for the prompt reply.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 24870129
from the properties of the public folder calendar, remove the old server as the replication partner.
is the new server also a part of the routing group?
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Author Comment

by:lucado01
ID: 24870158
The current 2003 server is part of the routing group connector that the old server is in.

Sorry, I said routing group when I meant routing group connector.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:rakeshmiglani
ID: 24870173
remove the old server from connector. should not cause any problems as the new server is also a member and everything is working fine when the old server is down.
any messages in the queues for the old server?
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Author Comment

by:lucado01
ID: 24870200
Probably not but will verify that first.
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Author Comment

by:lucado01
ID: 24870378
rakeshmiglani,

It will take a little time for me to get that server back online. Assuming there are no messages, do you still recommend removing the old server from ADSI Edit?

Even if that's the best solution, would it be "safe" to perform an un-install from the old server, just more time consuming and unnecessary?

If the answer is yes to both I will award you the points and close the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 24870513
I have a linux based mail server, now, so correct me if I am wrong.

Doesn't Exchange use AD for its LDAP? So, wont it have to be demoted out of the domain as well?

Looking at it from an AD point of view, it's been over the 30 day replication period and this server is a tombstoned DC, right? So, I think you will have to perform a metadata cleanup.
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Author Comment

by:lucado01
ID: 24870625
Sorry, didn't provide that detail.

Old server in question is a member server, not a DC.
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Accepted Solution

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rakeshmiglani earned 500 total points
ID: 24870887
well, If everything is working fine and I need to remove an old server that has been down for quite some time,  don't uninstall, i just remove it from adsiedit.
uninstall is also an option and you can use that.

i recommended adsiedit.msc path just to save time.
recommended is to uninstall gracefully.

and to remove the server from adsiedit.msc, you don't need to turn on the old box as you can open adsiedit.msc from any server that has the windows support tools installed.
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