how can i remove an exchange server from our organization

Posted on 2010-01-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Our current Exchange 2007 Server auto-detected an additional exchange server that we created for a disaster recovery test.  It is not attached to a domain controller, and it is unlicensed.  We were using a trial version.  As of now, the test server doesn't exist anymore, but it is listed in the Management Console screen.  How can we remove this server from the list?
Question by:Bajtra
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Did you uninstall the test exch. server properly while the machine was running ? or you just switched that off ?
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution


    There are various 'forceful' methods people will recommend to remove old, retired Exchange Servers from the directory.

    If Exchange was not uninstalled correctly and the server was simply switched off, the recommendation is to treat the box like an Exchange disaster recovery situation.

    Reset the computer account in Active Directory (reset, NOT delete). Rebuild the box with the same name, join it to the domain, then install Exchange 2007 using setup /RecoverServer.

    Finally, you can then properly uninstall Exchange from Add/Remove Programs (Programs and Features in Server 2008), which will properly remove reference to the server in Active Directory.

    I would always use this method - the 'graceful' method - before dropping in to ADSIEdit and poking around.

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    As Matt did mention Graceful removal is ideal.
    If you think it is still too much of a pain, use ADSIEDIT to remove the reference

    Author Comment

    Thank you for your suggestions.  I am not sure how to use ADSIEDIT, is it complicated?
    LVL 58

    Expert Comment


    If you use ADSIEdit properly, it's not complicated. However, it gives you a low-level view of Active Directory - you can access areas of AD you wouldn't normally see. As such, ADSIEdit is a VERY powerful tool - make one wrong change and you could screw up Exchange, Active Directory or something else.

    The Microsoft recommendation is to follow the graceful method I mentioned above. There are no official instructions for forcefully removing the server using ADSIEdit, so you follow that route at your own risk.

    I agree reinstalling the server to uninstall it may be a pain, but that is the Microsoft recommendation. I would not start fiddling in ADSIEdit without first following the recommended advice.

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    Agreed with Matt, ADSIEDIT is for people who are sure of what they are doing.
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