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How to correctly remove an Exchange 2003 server from Exchange

Posted on 2013-01-15
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Last Modified: 2013-01-16
Hi,
I have an existing 2003 Active directory domain with Exchange 2003 running.
When I started there were 4 exchange 2003 servers, and we are consolidating into one, with a view to upgrading the one server when we are finished.
Currently there is one server that I am shutting down for good, and would like to remove it from Exchange. I have worked through MS KB833396 Article which says ideally you can run exchange setup to remove exchange and it will remove that server's exchange from the domain. It hasn't worked however. I have attached the error in a screenshot.
There is a manual way in the KB article, but I don't actually care about exchange being on the server which seems to be the manual way. I can just turn the server off.
I wanted to remove it cleanly from Exchange on the domain so a dead exchange server doesn't appear in Exchange. Previous administrators have done this, so there are 4 other exchange servers in exchange that don't actually exist any more.

Any ideas on how to remove exchange from an existing server so it removes that server from the network in Exchange?
Also, any ideas on how to remove the old exchange servers that no longer exist from exchange?


Thanks in advance,
Shaun
20130616uninstall-Exchange-error.JPG
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Question by:shaunwoy
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Expert Comment

by:Sushil Sonawane
ID: 38780881
Make sure your all services are started state.

Please refer below article to remove exchange server.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833396

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822931


OR

Just disable the exchange service.

If you SBS server then instead of removed exchange server just disable the exchange services because in SBS exchange integrated with SBS package.
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Author Comment

by:shaunwoy
ID: 38780946
Thanks for the quick answer, but I have already tried KB833396 as per my question details.
KB822931 refers to removing a server that is the first exchange 2003 server. None of the servers I want to remove are the first server.
If I just disable the exchange service, then it leaves the current exchange server with another defunct mail server in Exchange System Manager, so I would rather not.

In the meantime I found I could right click on the server in Exchange System Manager > all tasks > remove server.
I found i was able to remove the server I am decommissioning, and one other server that no longer exists.
There are the remaining 2 servers that error doing this though with
"One or more users currently use a mailbox store on this server".
These might be old users because the remaining servers no longer exist. Any clues how to find users that may be disabled and have their mailbox pointing to non existent mail servers?

Thanks,
Shaun
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Accepted Solution

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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 38783991
Couple of ways to find the mailboxes.
http://exchange.sembee.info/2003/migration/unused-mailboxes.asp

You need to remove Exchange completely using add/remove programs, or remove the server. Don't disable the services and then remove the server (leaving Exchange installed) as that could make a mess in the future.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:shaunwoy
ID: 38784673
Well done Simon!
The 2 servers were taken away from the network long before my time, but some users left as far as exchange was concerned. I couldn't get the dsquery to work, but ADUC search method below worked like a charm!
I then just right click and delete mailboxes after making sure none of the users were current and then was able to right click and remove server from ESM.
Thanks heaps for your help!!

 
To find any outstanding mailboxes you can use "Active Directory Users and Computers".
1.Start ADUC on the Exchange server.
2.Right click on your domain at the top and choose "Find".
 3.Click on the "Advanced" tab.
4.Under "Field", select User, then "Exchange Home Server".
 5.Change the "Condition" from "Starts With" to "Ends With".
 6.In the "Value" field, type in the old Exchange server name and then click add to set the value.
7.Click find to start a search.
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