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Exchange 2007 can not install or uninstall

I'm trying to install a new Exchange Server 2007 on a Server 2008 R2 in an existing 2003 domain. The source Exchange and 2008R2 are the newest releases from the Microsoft eHome download site.
The primary domain controller is a 2003R2 fully updated and running perfectly. The Forest has been succesfully Adprep'd. The Mail server will not be a domain controller.
I have worked with 2003 and SBS Exchange no probs, but this is the first Exchange 2007 and Server 2008 integration I've done.

On first try, I got a good preliminary install. Domain and Schema went in without problems. Subsequent Exchange install complained about IIS not being installed so I installed that. It then complained again about IIS so I started scratching my head and decided, after many stops and restarts, that the system could use a good fresh start. So... I blew away the 2008 Server with the aborted Exchange on it and reinstalled it from scratch.
Now things got really ugly. At this point it became evident that you can't just blow away the server because it would leave its footprint on the active directory. Tech support from Microsoft suggested ADSIEDIT and removing the Exchange objects and reinstalling.
Having done that, the server still craps out on Setup /p

I then tried to run the setup /m:recoverserver and got partial success. However, it too did not complete.

Now I hang somewhere in the middle of the installation process unable to move ahead or back.

If I run setup /p now, the response is; The Exchange Server is in an inconsistent state. Only server recovery mode is available.

If I run setup /m:recoverserver now, the Hub Transport Role succeeds, the Client Access Role succeeds, but the "Copying Exchange Files" fails.

HELP!
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MarcusPfeiffer
Asked:
MarcusPfeiffer
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1 Solution
 
CompanionCubeCommented:
Do you have a system state backup of the DC/domain before starting this?
Please can you attach your Exchange ExchangeSetup.log? from c:\ExchangeSerupLogs
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leakim971PluritechnicianCommented:
Hello MarcusPfeiffer,

Did you try to install/uninstall it in compatibility mode Vista/2008 ?

Regards.
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CompanionCubeCommented:
Be aware... "In the coming calendar year we will issue an update for Exchange 2007 enabling full support of Windows Server 2008 R2... we have changed course and will add R2 support.  We are still working through the specifics and will let you know once we have more to share on the timing of this update."
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2009/11/04/453026.aspx
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Sorry... No system state backup immediately prior to the installation. We happen to be in the middle of replacing the backup solution because it doesn't do automatic system state backups.

Haven't tried a compatibility mode uninstall. Would it matter now? I think the installation is being held up because it's finding things in the active directory that suggest a prior instance of an Exchange that no longer exists. The uninstallation is really what I would love to accomplish.
When I try a setup /m:uninstall it comes back with the error that Exchange isn't installed on this machine so it can't uninstall it.

I'm pulling out my hair. I only have a few more days of hair left at this rate!
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leakim971PluritechnicianCommented:
Try to finish the install before trying remove it.
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Oh yeah... and attached is the ExchangeSetup.log
ExchangeSetup.log
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CompanionCubeCommented:
So can you actually run Exchange System Manager? Or does the physicall server have nothing really installed?

Did MS support guide you through a cleanup of your AD? I thought that's were we left off?

Setup is finding the following:
Exchange Server object found : 'CN=MAIL,CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=JG---,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=JG---,DC=local'.


Yet, setup found nothing on the local server:
"The local server does not have any Exchange files installed."

I wish we had a good AD backup here ;-)

Do you still have the MS case open?
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
I never had a case open. I piggy-backed on another that had the exact same problem.

The server has been completely reinstalled so there's not even a program files/microsoft/exchange directory yet. There aren't even any registry entries that I know of. The problem has to be in the AD because it happens on a completely new installation. I've been all over the AD and can't find a single reference to the exchange. There must be an object I don't know about that has no "exchange" keyword in the name.

Thanks for the ongoing effort.
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CompanionCubeCommented:
Yes, the Exchange 2007 objects are still in AD within the Configuration partition.
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CompanionCubeCommented:
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
I don't see the CN=Configuration object in the ADSI screen. What gives?

Feels like we're getting close to something here though!
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CompanionCubeCommented:
In Server 2008, using adsiedit, you have to connect to the Configuration partition manually.
Please be advised, before you nuke anything, you need a good AD backup before proceeding. At least use ntbackup for a system state backup!

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772519(WS.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816932(WS.10).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2008.05.adbackup.aspx
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CompanionCubeCommented:
I'm not sure what MS Support you were looking at, but removing objects using ADSIedit, especially in a Production environment, makes me real uncomfortable.

How many users rely on this AD domain? You mentioned there's an Exchange 2003 server in your environment? How many mailboxes are hosted?
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CompanionCubeCommented:
Please follow this MS procedure to try to recover the E2K7 server before doing anything else with ADSIedit!

How to Recover a Lost Exchange Server
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123496(EXCHG.80).aspx
Please read through the entire procedure before starting.
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
First of all... System state is backed up.

No other Exchange servers on the network. I was mentioning that I do Exchange 2003 / SBS work at other sites and this 2007 is a pain.

The ADSIEDIT is relatively low-risk with no Exchange requirement. I won't touch any other objects.

As we speak, we are making progress! I'm already further now that I've removed the Exchange objects in the configuration partition!

Setup /ps completed the schema preparation successfully!

Unfortunately, the setup /pAD fails on the organizational checks. It says I should run setup /pAD
Bizarre???

I'm hopeful!
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Here's the setup log from the Setup /pAD
ExchangeSetup.log
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Here's the next roadblock with a mystery AD object
error.jpg
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CompanionCubeCommented:
If new Exchange Organization... use this sequence:
setup /preparead /organizationname:LAB2BPU

setup /PrepareLegacyExchangePermissions

setup /prepareschema

setup /preparedomain

setup /preparealldomains
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CompanionCubeCommented:
please fill in your organizationname that you want; don't use "LAB2BPU"
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CompanionCubeCommented:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288907(EXCHG.80,printer).aspx
see section: Repair the Exchange 2007 Security Groups
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
The setup /preparelegacyexchangepermissions and setup /prepareschema both run without problems

The setup /preparead craps out with that same error involving the invalid DN or deleted object. It gets as far as a completed organization check but dies during the organization prep.

Thanks for getting me this far! I'm still encouraged.
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leakim971PluritechnicianCommented:
Setup /pAD ask you to remove the entry, just do it (ADSIEdit for example). And run it again.
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Yeah... that's what it said too... Question is; where do I find the entry? If I could find it I would kill it.

How do you find an AD entry by its hex name?
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leakim971PluritechnicianCommented:
Run ADSIEdit
Connect to local machine and Configuration well know Naming context
You will be able to browse and found the entry
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CompanionCubeCommented:
To rectify the situation, you must delete the references to the deleted groups from the otherWellKnownObjects attribute in the following container:

CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=<yourdomain>,DC=com

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288907(EXCHG.80,printer).aspx
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CompanionCubeCommented:
See section called "Repair Exchange 2007 Security Groups"
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288907(EXCHG.80).aspx
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Hey there! Your url suggests using ldp.exe... I haven't ever used this creature. How do you "select the Microsoft Exchange container"... or for that matter, what is the "results pane"?

Not ready to hack away in an unfamiliar utility. ADSIEDIT doesn't have an editor to modify the object.

Do I get rid of the entire "otherwellknownobjects" container? Or just certain objects therein?
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
ok... so I'm into the tree and have no CN=Configuration
How do I open that container?

Sorry to be a bug, but this 2008 is uncharted territory and I don't want to screw up the AD.

Thanks again!
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Progress... I figured out how to open the configuration key and how to edit the otherwellknownobjects container. Do I delete the whole container? There are 5 entries in it and each time I run setup /p it craps and tells me that one of them has to be deleted. I delete it, run the setup /p again and another has to be deleted. No problems BUT it seems to make new entries every time I delete one.

Marcus
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
I know... I'm talking to myself.

I deleted all of the otherWellKnownObjects and the setup /p worked!

Now off to see if the setup works...

Crapped out at the installing files process! Here's the error screen...

error.jpg
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CompanionCubeCommented:
Sorry, I'm on the road and cannot open the attachment at the moment. Did you notice previous post re W2K8 R2 and currently, no MS support for E2K7 + W2K8R2? Recommend running non R2 at present.
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CompanionCubeCommented:
Are you trying to run setup in recover mode? if so, don't!
Please attach the new ExchangeSetup.log; thanks!
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Hey there! Attached is the setup log you were looking for.

Pleeeaase don't tell me that Exchange 2007 SP1 isn't compatible with Server 2008 R2 64 bit!

ExchangeSetup.log
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CompanionCubeCommented:
At present, E2K7 is not compatible with R2 of Server 2008... this may change beginning of next year.

As per your setup log: it doesn't look like you are using the switch for repairing Exchange, but the setup may be detecting debries on the server from a past failed-install. Did you completely rebuild the Server 2008 box after the initial failed-install? If not, rebuild it from scratch; don't use R2 version of W2K8.

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leakim971PluritechnicianCommented:
The only way you can reach install Exchange 2007 on W2K8 R2, for testing purpose, is to use compatibily mode.
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
I'm at the point again where the Exchange isn't completely installed so I can't uninstall it. If I just blow it away again and start from scratch I will find myself in the same position where I can't find every detail left behind by the earlier installation and therefore not be able to install it on the new installation.

What is the compatibility mode?

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CompanionCubeCommented:
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CompanionCubeCommented:
"if you right-click on the setup.exe file and cloose the run it in compatibility mode (I chose Vista SP1) then the mailbox role successfully installs"
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/archive/index.php/t-8566.html

But again, is this going to be a production box? Please review Microsoft's support standing on this issue.
Thanks!
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CompanionCubeCommented:
I worked up a lab (again) at home and got Exchange 2007 w/ SP1 installed on a Server 2008 R2 x64 machine. Please see attached for the process I used... "Installing Exchange 2007 SP1 x64 on a Server 2008 R2 x64 machine.doc"
Lab setup:
1 x Server 2003 DC
1 x Server 2008 R2 machine for E2K7 - all latest windows-updates as of 12/24/09

Hope this helps!
Installing-Exchange-2007-SP1-x64.doc
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Hey there.... Thanks for all your help, CC. Your documentation is very thorough and I believe I have things stable on R1. Too many warnings against the R2/E2007.

Holidays over... back to work.

Marcus
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MarcusPfeifferAuthor Commented:
Above and beyond the call of duty!
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