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Changing SBS2008 to Win Server 2012 Running Exchange 2013

Posted on 2013-06-22
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Last Modified: 2013-06-25
Hi All

I am currently in the process of removing my SBS 2008 server from the existing domain.

I have moved all the mailboxes to the 2013 as well as the FSMO roles.

If I switch off the SBS to see if the new server will operate independently it starts shutting down the 2013 Exchange services.

I need to remove the old SBS for hardware repairs, and I also want the client to move away from SBS.

Regards

Dekker
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Question by:dekkererasmus
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39267851
can you post error event logs which got logged on Exchange 2013 server?
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Author Comment

by:dekkererasmus
ID: 39268121
I will have to simulate the problem again. When onsite not before Monday though
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Expert Comment

by:Haresh Nikumbh
ID: 39268146
no problem
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39269157
There are two actions required before you can shut down the SBS server.
Exchange must be uninstalled.  I'm on my phone so getting the link for the proper way this must be done is tough.  I'll try to get it later when I get to a PC.

When that's complete you must DCPROMO the SBS server out as a domain controller.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39269696
The specific behavior you describe *sounds* like you installed Exchange 2013 *on* your 2012 domain controller. Is this accurate?
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Author Comment

by:dekkererasmus
ID: 39270398
Yes that's right I installed exh2013 on the new 2012 dc
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39270442
Yeah. Exchange will behave very strangely when it is installed on a DC.

For your testing, if you reboot the 2012 server *after* you shut down the SBS 2011 server, it "should" work fine.

When you install Exchange on a member server, it creates various local machine accounts to run its services. But domain controllers don't have local machine accounts due to the way DCs work. So when Exchange is on a DC, it must use domain accounts, and that causes strange things to happen when a domain controller is shut down while Exchange is running.

If you boot (or reboot) the 2012 machine while the 2011 machine is offline then the Exchange services will only be aware of the 2012 DC and everything will be fine. This only happens if the 2012 machine is already up and running when the 2011 machine is shut down.

So now that the behavior is explained, let me also say that I would *strongly* encourage you to rethink your topology. Microsoft states in several places that running Exchange on a DC is not recommended, and there are legitimate reasons for that. By forcing Exchange to run on domain accounts, it introduces a ton of security, design, and disaster recovery issues, and some of them can bite you weeks, months, or sometimes years later. The behavior you are seeing is just one example.

With 2012's virtualization rights, there really is no reason to run Exchange on a DC. The trade-offs just aren't worth it.

-Cliff
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 39270530
Just really to echo what the others have said above.
Exchange shouldn't be installed on a DC in an ideal world.  It can be, and is a supported installation scenario, it's just not recommended.

The new server must also be a Global Catalog server.

You will also need to change the firewall rules for port 25 to point to the new server instead of the old one.

The issue you are experiencing is likely to be a DNS issue.  Does the new server have DNS installed? Is it using it's self as the preferred DNS Server?  If not it should be.

Has AD replicated, did you check this after you added the DC role to the new server?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 39270535
Also, forgot to mention.  When Exchange is installed on a DC it will only use itself as a DC, it will not use any other Domain Controllers.  This is one of the reasons it isn't recommended to install Exchange on a DC.
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Author Comment

by:dekkererasmus
ID: 39270602
Thanks for all the replies guys, I will try the reboot thing, So I don't necessarily have to remove Exchange from the SBS first to test if the other will run independently.
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 39270620
No, if the new server is a domain controller it won't be using the other server other than potentially for a receive connector.

As long as you have configured the firewall to go to the new Exchange server and it's using itself for local DNS then it should be fine.
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Author Comment

by:dekkererasmus
ID: 39274083
Thanks Guys

The restart of the new Exc with the SBS off worked thx :) Would you recommend that I still bring it back online and uninstall Exchange from the SBS( is that even possible) I know there is no option for installing exchange in sbs2008 separately.
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 39274112
You need to uninstall exchange correctly otherwise it get's very messy.

See the technet guide here on how to remove it correctly: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd728003(v=ws.10).aspx
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Author Comment

by:dekkererasmus
ID: 39274409
Thx I will def. use that document. I am having countless errors when trying to migrate public folder to new public folder mailbox using shell commands. Any other ideas about the best way to go about it? Can I export it into .pst on user desktop and import back into 2013 public folder mailbox?
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