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ReInstalling SBS 2003

Posted on 2011-03-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Have a client with an SBS 2003 - Lots of problems - Mother board can't take any more memory - Hard Drives almost full.

We decided to basically build a new server , rather than mess around with trying to get 2 SBS 2003's on the same domain and migrate the AD - as the number of users is only 4 -

Got the intial OS loded - all the updates done then go to instal the actual SBS software. First problem I ran into was it told me that The domain name was already in use - so I just changed the Netbios name to something a bit different.  Obviously a mistake

I don't have anyting really loaded on the New machine yet (users etc)

I would like to have the net bios name the same as the domain name - I know that I can't rename it - not supported by Microsoft.

What's the fastest way to get back to the point just before I hit the Continue icon on the desktop. Tried to uninstall but of course Exchange is saying - can't do that

Any ideas would be appreciated

Question by:Don Thomson
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Expert Comment

ID: 35122498
Hi DTHConsulting,

I'm not 100% sure on this, I'm booting my SBS VM as I type, but when I have done migrations to new hardware in the past and I have done it the way you avoided, same domain etc, at the end, I'm positive you have to uninstall Exchange to finish off the migration.

I think this was done by uninstalling the SBS item at the bottom of the add/remove programs list. This is distant memory so I'm just going to confirm it. And doing this either uninstalls exchange or gives you the option to uninstall exchange.

Back in a mo.

Expert Comment

ID: 35122527
Ahh this is what I was thinking of.

Unless you have already tried this, you have to uninstall the Windows Small Business Server 2003 item, which in turn gives you the screen shot below which should allow you to uninstall all the work the Icon did on the desktop, including Exchange.

To be honest though, I'm not entirely sure that it will be as simple as do this and then start again from the beginning.

I guess it can be.........

But you know what Microsoft is like :-)

LVL 14

Author Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 35123182
Tried that - I stopped all the Exchange services - When I try to remove The Exchange as described above I get the Popup saying

The Component "Microsft Exchange Messaging and Collaboration Services" cannot be assigned the action "Remove"   etc etc

The only user I have is the Administrator

I know the exchange is not open because I even renames the MDBDATA folder to MDBDATA.old
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Expert Comment

ID: 35123541
Ahhh with ya. I got the same message as well. Then I remembered I had the same message on the said migration above as well.

What I ended up doing, and I have just tried this, is to delete any mail boxes from eh exchange server management console first and then try it again. It'll let you do it once they have all gone. My VM is a clean install like yours, so there was only an administrator box there.

You can leave the other system ones. Which includes SMTP, System attendant and Systemmailbox.

LVL 97

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 35124488
Format, reinstall on the new box (of course, I would never have advised you to BUILD your own box because you want reliability and stability and you get that from a system specifically designed to be a server - from Dell, HP, IBM, etc).  But, since you've already done that and I doubt you'll be willing to turn that built box into a workstation and buy an actual server), I would reload the newly built box.  You did ask "What's the fastest way to get back to the point just before I hit the Continue icon on the desktop." and if this is still a problem, had you immediately wiped and reloaded, you'd be well on your way past that point with the correct settings.  When the difference is 1 or 2 hours, in my opinion, waiting more than 30 minutes for an answer is pointless... and frankly, to ensure I have a CLEAN and STABLE system (as much as a home built box will be stable), I would start from scratch.
LVL 14

Author Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 35124590
pbrane: I did delete the exchange box for the administrator as it was the only one in the system - Still wouldn't let me get rid of exchange -

I agree with leew - Think I'll just format and go -
Don't agree with him about building my own box - Am an IBM oem builder - have been putting together VERY reliable boxes for over 25 years - much more reliable than anything out of Dell, HP or IBM  - Which I do use for large installations - but for small offices - They don't need a $2K-3K piece of hardware running at 10% capacity - I buy good quality and well tested components and bench test them about 30X longer than anything coming out of a factory.

LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35125376
I don't spent 2K-3K on client's that don't need it.  I've got two very small clients with $1000 servers from Dell that include 3 year warranties and 1 - that's ONE - phone number to call if the system has a problem... I don't have to fight with Intel (year hear about their chipset issue with i5/i7 CPUs?) or the hard drive manufacturer or the power supply manufacturer when a strange intermittent problem occurs - I just call Dell and deal with ONE person.  The worst thing is to have one vendor say "it's not us, call the other vendor" and the other vendor say the same thing.  It's happened to me - and I don't buy cheap components either.

And if you spending as long as you are TESTING the components, how much are you making on this?  How much is your time worth?  Maybe you can make a few $, but is it really worth the risk?  I used to built systems for clients... but the $50 I could save the client was easily made up with my time and I'd rather have the time...

Assisted Solution

pbrane earned 1000 total points
ID: 35125707

Yeah that's what I kind of meant when I said I'm not sure it will be as easy as that anyway. Even if you could uninstall it. Starting from scratch would be cleaner.

Sorry it still didn't uninstall mate, I remember it being a real pain for me on a decommission once as well.
LVL 14

Author Closing Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 35171303
Thanks guys - comments from both of you were helpful
I guess I was really looking for a quick fix when I really knew that there might not be one. I ended up reformatting the OS and doing a clean install. The major problem was that with the SBS 2003 - If you don't set the clock back to 2008 - there is a trust certificate that has expired (get's fixed in an update) but once it fails - you can't easily go back.

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