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remove exchange from sbs 2008

Posted on 2011-02-13
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I am having big issues with every aspect of Exchange on the SBS 2008 server.  I want to know if I can remove the exchange role from the server?

Ultimately I would build an independent server, join to the domain and install Exchange 2007 on the box.  This would ideally be the best solution for me.

Is this doable?
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Question by:gk2inc
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Rob Williams earned 125 total points
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DON'T
It is very important with SBS that all roles are installed and maintained. Not doing so will result in problems with wizards , service pack installs and updates.
Perhaps we can help you repair it.
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by:Alan Hardisty
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I would recommend disabling all the Exchange services rather than uninstalling because if you change your mind later on, then the path is much easier to follow.
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by:Rob Williams
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The following is a list of the Microsoft TechNet repair guides for SBS 2008 including Exchange which may be of some help.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/sbs-2008-repair-guide(WS.10).aspx
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by:Rob Williams
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I strongly recommend reinstalling Exchange. You will likely find when service pack xyz is released, during the install it will fail, and if like SBS 2003 it has been known to result in a server rebuild from scratch since at that time the back up is of no use since it too does not have Exchange. Microsoft has also been known to not accept support incidents when you 'customize' the server. Just food for thought.
Disabling Exchange as Alan suggested is fine, but uninstalling puts you in an unsupported state.
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Even though the answer has been accepted, I cannot stress how accurate RobWill's answer is. Severe problems arise when Exchange is removed from SBS. The technet article referenced was written primarily at a time when Microsoft *REALLY* wanted to push BPOS and the concept was ill-conceived. MS has since announced their new "Small Business Server Essentials" product which fills the void for small businesses that don't want Exchange on the SBS box. If removing Exchange were really that easy, there would be no need for this new product. There is a push from some industry insiders to get that technet article completely removed due to the trouble it causes with later SBS update roll-ups and such.

With that said, I should also mention that SBS does not allow the splitting of components. You will need a separate Exchange 2007 license if you plan on re-installing on a second server. There is no legal way to install Exchange on a second server using the SBS license or media.
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by:LLMorrisson
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Since it is my answer that was accepted I will chime in here too; I've provided you a link to a public resource which accurately answers your question of "how". However I did not consider the repercussions pointed out here.

RobWill and cgaliher are clearly great experts in SBS and as such I strongly urge you to consider their advice.
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by:gk2inc
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Well, I unfortunately cannot follow their advice at this point. I deployed a new 2008 R2 server and loaded Exchange 2010 on it.  Cannot put 2007 back on it at this point.  If 2010 fails on me, then that is my next step.  

I understand the advice, I appreciate it.  I would really like to have it back on there, but I am limited in time in getting this customers exchange up and running and I was at a dead end and had to make a decision.

:(

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by:Rob Williams
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I am afraid you have just delayed the problem. It will almost certainly come back to haunt you in the future.
This also means you now need server 2008 CAL's and Exchange CAL's in additional to SBS CAL's in order for a user to access all three servers/services.
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by:gk2inc
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Well, I am taking your advice and in the middle of uninstalling the Exchange 2010 and actually shut down the virtual server I installed Exchange 2010 on and will install 2007 Back onto the SBS server.  What is the best method to install 2007 back onto the server?
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by:Rob Williams
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Do a backup of the existing SBS before doing anything else.

Note the warnings, but we are beyond that point now: "Please note that removing and reinstalling Exchange roles on SBS 2008 should not be a common troubleshooting step.  These documents should only be used when other troubleshooting resources have been exhausted.  Make sure to take a full backup of the server before performing any of the steps."

Then follow the steps outlined here.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd728006(WS.10).aspx

cgaliher  is likely much more familiar with the process than I.



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by:gk2inc
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Those instructions assume that Exchange is still on the server.  But I actually removed it completely.

Oh the Joys of SBS.
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by:Rob Williams
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The first step should allow you to re-install from add remove programs /change
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by:Rob Williams
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Or do you mean it is gone completely from programs and features?

Can you restore to the point before you removed Exchange from backup?
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by:gk2inc
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Its completely gone. What I am going to do is "currently getting a good backup of all files and the server" then will format the break the array, create a new array, format and install Small Business Server 2011 as we have licenses for it.  Hopefully its less fussy than SBS 2008.

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by:Rob Williams
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The secret to SBS 2000 to 2011 is:
Install all components whether you plan to use them or not
ALWAYS use the wizards (manually configuring is what usually breaks services)
Use defaults whenever possible
It is also recommended you do 3 complete installs, configure, break and repair, of SBS before deploying in a production environment to become familiar with it.
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by:gk2inc
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Microsoft helped me set this up for a customer, But could never get the Exchange working, after several $200 phone calls for support I was willing to try anything.  

:)

We went through all the wizards.  Guess it gives me an excuse to use the new and improved SBS 2011.

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by:Rob Williams
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Installing Exchange on SBS should be an extremely simple process which I have never seen fail so log as you complete the install, run the "Connect to the Internet" wizard. Run the "Set up my Internet address" wizard. Then run the Best Practices Analyzer, and fix any issues if any. From there just use the add user wizards and all should work beautifully.

Just let it "do it's thing", then I recommend beat it up a bit, get familiar with it, and start over. It's a great product but keep in mind it is more than three products in one, with a lot to learn.

How did you get Microsoft for only $200/indent?  
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by:Rob Williams
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PS- I really don't mean to be rude, but if you have all of these licenses readily available it sounds like you have an Action Pack, and the fact that you said "Microsoft helped me set this up for a customer" sounds like this is not something you are trained to do, or do on a regular basis. If it is a production server perhaps it would be best to get someone more familiar to install and configure, and you could then manage the day to day operations.
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by:gk2inc
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Well, I am just an support engineer for a large partner of Microsoft's, and the incidents run us $200 which I find HIGH!

:)

I am more a wireless networking guy, moving into the server role.

All this started with me not being able to get OWA remotely loading, fixed and resolved then could not get iPhones syncing or Outlook clients connecting through RPC over HTTP.  This was going to be nearly $600 bucks to fix, and we already spent $400 for setting up Mapped Drives, which tool over two days and then Getting WIndows 7 machines to join the domain.
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by:Rob Williams
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You should not have all of those problems with SBS. I suspect someone has been tinkering and making manual changes.
Again, training with SBS as anything is critical.
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by:gk2inc
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I am deff. not familiar with the SBS world.  I would prefer to virtualize and break up the roles on independent servers, AD on one, Exchange on the other.  Makes my life easier.  I have been on three SBS 2008 installs, and they all had their own problems and I find its hard to work with all the moving parts on the same server.

But I don't really want someone to do this for me.  I would rather learn the hard way.  Customer is very forgiving.

:)
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by:gk2inc
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No-one tinkered with it. I have the only admin account, and I didnt tinker until today.

:)

When I first loaded the SBS 2008, I followed the wizards and couldn't join Windows 7 machines to the domain.  Microsoft helped me through this.  Then I struggled with setting up group policy for mapped drives and redirection.  Microsoft helped me through this.  Then wanted to migrate the exchange inhouse and use the Exchange 2007. OWA wouldn't load. Microsoft resolved.  Then RPC over HTTP would not work.  Microsoft removed and re-installed.  Couldn't get it to work and my phone died.  I never called them back.
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by:Rob Williams
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Very I odd. I have never head of so many problems with an SBS.
Things like folder redirection are not done in group policy but rather by the "click of a button" in the SBS console that totally configures it for you. rpc/http should work out of the box, Win7 machines require the windows updates be applied to the server first.

A common problem with SBS is technicians who are very competent and familiar with Server standard try to do things the same way....SBS is not server standard

There is an excellent build document for 2008 you could review before doing your 2011, though it is specifically for 2008. It has a lot of tips and known pitfalls.
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/small-business-server-2008-build-document.aspx
Good luck with the project.

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by:gk2inc
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No, I was trying to map drives through Group Policy.  Which was a struggle.  We still cannot get all mapped drives to map. Some clients I have to assign directory A and others Directory B.  Makes no logical since.  But its what I was up against.

And I can deff. see that its a very different animal than standard.  I can say I fall into that category.

:)

I will check out the link and let you know how the SBS 2011 goes.
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by:Rob Williams
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Though I am not looking for points, and no dis-respect to LLMorrisson who's intentions were honorable, but it would be good to click the "request attention" link and ask to have the accepted answer removed. Those that follow often jump to the accepted solution without reading the other posts.
--Rob
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by:LLMorrisson
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I agree. I have requested attention myself and asked for the answer to be unaccepted and the link removed.
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by:Rob Williams
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Thanks LLMorrisson,
--Rob
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