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SBS 2011 Exchange Reinstall?

Posted on 2013-12-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-01-13
Have a SBS 2011 box that has been in operation for about 18 months.  Up to this point it has been used for file and print sharing only.  Now we would like to utilize the Exchange Server as well.  There were some issues in regards to the server name that I thought were resolved when the server when in.  Since it has been several months, I'm a bit foggy on what transpired during the original install.  Now however, I see that Exchange thinks the other server name is still in play.  When I go into EMC / Server Config - 2 servers are listed:  Server11 (non-existent) and Server2 (actual server name).  I also see entries for Server11 under mailbox, Client Access etc.  In addition, I see that there are public and private databases for server11 as well as server2.  At this point, it would probably be best to uninstall Exchange and reinstall / configure but based on other posts this looks to be strongly discouraged.

Wondering if anyone has had success with the removal / reinstall of Exchange in SBS2011?  There is nothing in Exchange that has to be preserved at this point data wise.  I really would like to avoid a full server reload like the plague.  Other advice also appreciated.

Question by:entmicsol
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Expert Comment

ID: 39720845
Couldn't you just delete the old mailbox and public folders and make new ones?

But I had a similar situation with SBS 2008, so perhaps this might help you?

and another guy going through a similar thing...

Author Comment

ID: 39720853

I would love to follow your suggestion but it I cannot remove the ghost server database because it errors out saying that there are objects still in the DB.  I think that the are arbitration mailboxes but I have been unable to move them to the other good DB.  The first link that you posted might be worth a try.  I may give it a shot if worse comes to worse.


Assisted Solution

denisio earned 750 total points
ID: 39720968
the  best Suggestion will be a new Installation of the hole SBS 2011 -
bevor - you can install an second Domain Controller - in your sbs Network.
safe your share Informationen an Printer Informationen  
safe your files an make an pst Export of your exchagne data - an public data.

i think you will be faster with an new instalaltion rather than you uninstall Exchange -
becouse - there a a lot of informatione - store in the active direcotry Container.
when you install your Exchange - new - it will still catch the old Informationen out of the active Directory.

good luck
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Author Comment

ID: 39721266
Thanks Denis,

since there is nothing in Exchange that needs to be saved (they are using pop3 accounts currently) I can just put up a new PDC, move any data shares and then redo the sbs 2011 migration to a freshly loaded SBS2011 box?  If I put up another PDC and replicate AD wont the Exchange objects still exist in the AD?

Sounds like I now know how I will be spending part of the Christmas holiday.

thanks for the help.

Expert Comment

ID: 39721278
Yes i  think so....
you can delete the hole Exchange organisation over the active Directory site and Services mmc
when you install the second ad Server - and then you begin delte and install the sbs again -
you must first activate the fsmo roles on your second dc

the Exchange - Konfiguration will be find under the site-Services-mmc - Services - Exchange

good luck

Author Comment

ID: 39721419
Ok sounds like a plan but I won't be able to try this for a week or so this question will linger for a while.  

thanks again for the advice.

Expert Comment

ID: 39721650
Good luck.  Don't forget to make answer file so you can join to existing domain vs make a new one.
LVL 59

Accepted Solution

Cliff Galiher earned 750 total points
ID: 39721918
I'll save you some time. I doubt uninstalling and reinstalling will be successful. Nor would doing a 2011 to 2011 migration. Those server entries exist in Active Directory. So uninstalling Exchange would only remove the *new* entries, not the ghost ones. And a migration would migrate AD as well, and thus migrate the ghost entries.

You can go the ugly unsupported route and start gutting things via ADSIEdit.
You can call Microsoft Support and they will go do the ADSIEdit stuff for you (and support it.)
Or You can do a greenfield install of SBS 2011 and manually copy users, data, reset ACLs, etc.

None will be pleasant. All have trade-offs and costs. And all will be painful.

Based on the nature of your question and situation, I'd probably go route #2. Call MS and get a supported solution without the headaches of a manual data move and without the risk of breaking your setup by editing AD yourself.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39776734
My client decided to hold off on the Exchange implementation for now.  He didn't feel the benefits outweighed the time and expense of correcting the problems with Exchange.  I split the points based on what I feel would have been good options if I were to move forward.

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