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Remove Exchange From 2003 SBS Server

markterry asked

I have a SBS 2003 domain controller that is on the fritz. I would like to demote it and reformat it. However, I used to run exchange from this server before I started hosting with another company (we have bad power) and I dont want to leave any exchange info in AD.

I tried to uninstall exchange, but there is no remove option in add\remove programs. And I do not have the installation disk anymore...

What will happen if I do not remove exchange? Will it effect the AD?
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

With SBS 2003 - the SBS box is the master box on the network, so demoting it is a waste of time if you don't have other DC's on the network.

Also, being SBS, it will hold all the FSMO roles, so if you have other DC's on the network, you will need to transfer all those roles across before DCPROMOing the SBS box.

To remove Exchange, you have to go into the Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs> Small Business Server> Change.  From there, you can uninstall Exchange.

Removing Exchange will not affect AD.
Distinguished Expert 2018
At this point, AD already has the exchange schema info in it, so removing exchange won't change that (schema changes are pretty much permanent) and the schema would still be left with Exchange info even after the removal.

With that said, it is *only* schema stuff. If you aren't creating user mailboxes or filling in exchange-specific fields when you create a user, then no cruft is going to be lingering in AD. I'd honestly leave well enough alone and not worry about it.


Thanks Guys, I think cgaliher gets more what I am doing in terms of just making sure it will not affect me when I demote.

Alanhardisty has kind of scared me though. I do have a SBS2003 domain controller, but I also have a brand new 2008 R2 domain controller which is a GC. Will it still be a problem to demote? can you point me any references to steps I must take to demote if this is the case?

I need to demote/format this server as it is just gone totally on the fritz.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Looks like you've already opened a new question for that issue, so I'd recommend following that thread and closing this one if you feel your initial question was answered adequately.


Thanks guys, I hope you are correct about exchange only being schema as I am going to be demoting as soon as I figure out how to use the new version of ISA (ForeFront TMG).

I will try to remember to post the results afterwards.