MS Exchange 2010 Replacement of failed Server

Our Exchange Server has died a horrible, miserable death. We have arranged a decent burial for it, including the services of a lovely soprano to sing the requiem, but we obviously need to replace it first.

Only problem is, we've built the new Server (on 2012, the last one was 2008 but we don't have the RAID drivers for 2008 for the new one) but when we install Exchange it keeps trying to connect to the dead Server for some reason and we can't get it not to.

If we attempt to add a new exchange forest we get stuck because the Server wants to know where to get its "remote Powershell" from? Apparently, this is a Microsoft Account if you do it from the web (the only available drop-down option), but we've not got one that I can use (all the accounts I've tried have not had permission).

Moreover, we don't want to do Powershell remotely - why can't we just do it locally?

We've been working on this for too long, now and we really need to get things moving. Any assistance would be greatly received!

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Simon Butler (Sembee)Connect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
You don't understand.
I wasn't referring to recovering the physical server, but doing a recovery installation of Exchange. This process is well documented and means you can recover Exchange in less than 90 minutes.

If you haven't damaged the domain configuration, install Windows on a new machine using the same name as the original. RESET (not DELETE) the Computer Account and join to the domain. Install Exchange pre-requisites, then install Exchange 2010 from the command line with the recovery switch.

You can then restore the database.

However what I tell all of my clients is the same thing I will tell you - if a server fails, there should be only one thing you do - call Microsoft support. For their fixed fee they will help you recover the server and get everything that can be found back. The longer you leave it before calling them, the more difficult it is to have a successful recovery.

winstallaAuthor Commented:
I have tried this now, but sadly I've had to re-re-flatten the 2012 server, so exactly how it will work when it comes back up, I have no idea.

I assume, now that the mail Databases have been removed from the AD, I have to create new mailboxes for every user? Is there a quick way to do this?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If the server died you should have recovered it, rather than trying to do a new installation. That will bring everything back and then you just need to restore the databases. Removing the server from the domain isn't really a good idea and is always the last thing you should try, rather than the first.

winstallaAuthor Commented:
Agreed, but the server is not loading at all. It doesn't even load the BIOS! Everything is dead on it, so we've had to replace it.

Is there a quick way to recreate the mailboxes from AD?
winstallaAuthor Commented:
And here's where it all falls apart. The Exchange Server was sticking in the AD and other forums suggested using ADSIedit to remove it. Thus damaging the AD records, I assume because even a fresh attempt at an Exchange 2010 install fails at the Hub Transport install because it says
"Database is mandatory on UserMailbox. Property Name: Database"

Open in new window

Checking the ADSIedit again, there is no homeMDB entry because, under the new Server name (which is the same as the old Server name) there is only a CN=Protocols, no entries exist for CN=Information Store or CN=Microsoft System Attendant or anything else that should be there.

Notwithstanding, we are waiting for Microsoft to call us. We're beyond anything we can think of now!
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I think Microsoft support is now the best option.
It is a pity you did anything in adsiedit (people seem very quick to go for that "solution") as a dead Exchange server is very easy to recover from, if everything is in place.

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