Installing and Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

Posted on 2014-04-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-05-13

     I am replacing our current pop mail server to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.  I installed it on a trial/test windows 2012 R2 Server.  I have encountered some errors like the machine wasn't part of the domain, IIS and etc. like 20 errors in total but I got past that from the guide I've found online and I can access the EAC and manage the Exchange server.  When i did a test on a new user I created, it didn't work like no send and receive at all so I went to Mail Flow and configured the Send Connector which internally it works but I can't receive any email which when I checked the Receive Connector there was a presetup stuff on it already which I'm assuming that it would work/correct.  So the problem as far as I'm concern was, I can't send out any emails (internal/external) and for some whatever reason sometimes even the internal is not receiving it but all the time no outgoing from exchange mail.

     Things I did and tried:

1.  Added the new server to our DNS server
2.  Added the new server to our gateway and configured the prechains, Forward and PreRouting
3.  Added our dns server and gateway under Mail Flow and Send Connector.

    Thanks in advance for whoever can help me sort out the problem.

Question by:EDP_NIAdmin
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Expert Comment

by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 40031833

Exchange 2013 is not supported on Server 2012 R2. You need to use the non-R2 version of server 2012.

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Expert Comment

ID: 40031866
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 40032471
Is there any other exchange server in the environment?
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Author Comment

ID: 40033238
My apologies guys I am using Exchange 2013 SP1 and no this will be our first exchange server and its being setup outside of the domain but in the same network.  My thoughts are re-doing this from scratch and making sure that I cover every step of the manuals I've got online but if you guys has some better manual on how to install exchange 2013 SP1 that would be awesome.  

In saying that I will redo it because we've actually got it to work over the internet yesterday before we finish work but for some what ever reason the sending part decided to stopped working and this time I don't get an error back from the domain saying it can't be found or doesn't recognize the domain instead the exchange is the one sending notifications back that it has been delayed and will try again in the 1 day and such as such... One more thing, the OWA was kind of working but it didn't (confusing?) what I meant was when I go online outside our network it will try connect for a very long time and eventually it will fail but if you refresh it will instantly open up the OWA page and when I log on it will again try to connect and fail and sometime it does connect you thru and sometimes it doesn't.  

     Thanks again in advance for all your thoughts on this...

Author Comment

ID: 40036032
Hi Again! I just finished setting it up again.  I am currently having problem sending mails outside but it does received them.  Exchange - Yahoo (doesnt work) Yahoo - Exchange (works) but internally it worked in both ways.  I have done the test from testconnectivity and it came back both inbound and outbound good result and no errors on it and I even received the testmail from testconnectivity website.  

Secondly, when I access the OWA outside our network using https, I will get that message saying its an untrusted network so I accepted and clicked ok on it and it let me through but it will fail first then it will drop the port number so I have to put it back and the login page will appear but as soon as I hit sign in it will fail again and I have to put the port back and it will log me in and will let me do anything but eveytime I logged in that's the scenario.  

Any help guys please? Thank in advance again!
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Expert Comment

ID: 40037357
Your server should be attached to the domain to make things easier.

You should have DNS records (A and MX) pointing to your Exchange server.  

You should have a connector to send the email out, might be a relay server from your ISP.

You should have a DNS record (MX) on your ISP pointing to any of your Public IPs and create a rule on your firewall to pass requests to this IP to your Server's IP for you to be able to receive emails.

You should have a SSL Certificate that match your Server's name(s) (mail.yourdomain.com, owa.yourdomain.com, exch01.domain.local) installed on your Exchange server.

Author Comment

ID: 40041001
Hi hecgomrec! Thanks for your reply... I can't join the exchange server to the current domain as this is just a test server but in saying that, I actually joined it on our current domain but because it was windows server 2003 (current) windows 2012 is asking me to promote the forest before I get past the AD setup for the exchange requirement, so I didn't do it instead I installed and created a new domain as this is just a test server.

It is already setup on our DNS records even tested it with mxtoolbox and came back good result.  

I did setup a send connector following the instructions I've got from the internet.

I did add it on our firewall gateway as we already have our existing pop server and I did the same thing on the pop server settings.  Inbound works from the internet but not the outbound.  Also funny, it used to work before and it just stops working suddenly and I don't really know why.

I did tried setting up a SSL on exchange server but it only gave me a request for SSL and I honestly don't know where to have it authorized/signed as it asked me to have it certified.  Care to explain how to do this please?

Thanks for your input and hoping to hear from you again...
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 40041920
Please Stop!!!!

This is not the right way to test or right environment for you to test.

If you are doing this to test before upgrading from 2003 to 2013 this is not possible and this is why it's not working.

Exchange 2013 doesn't need POP protocols it will use only SMTP to send and receive, it will use depending on the actual environment ports like 25, 587 or 465 or all of them.

If you don't want to have more problems I will suggest you to migrate/upgrade from 2003 to 2010 and then move to 2013.  I can assure you this will prevent you from headaches and email/mailbox nightmares .

I can give you good step by step guides that worked for me.

From Exchange 2003 to 2010:

From Exchange 2010 to 2013:

     Your current Domain Level should be: Windows Server 2003
     Your Exchange 2003 should be at least SP2
     Your Exchange should be in Native mode
     Installing Windows Server 2012 as a member will do all preparations necessary.
     Upgrade your Exchange first then your then your Main 2003 server to 2012.
     You will need at least 1 new machine (box) (1 physical, 2 virtual) to complete the migration.

Author Comment

ID: 40049351
Hi Hecgomrec, sorry if it freaks you out the idea and the stuff I was doing lately but yes you are correct the plan is to migrate the windows 2003 to windows 2013 later on but for now we just want to run a test for the exchange 2013 to see the functionality, features etc.  of what it can and it cannot do or how it will impact to our current setup.  This is just merely an independent test server for the purpose of exchange 2013 and I admit that the very first time I tried was the wrong way/idea joining it to our current domain.  

However I have no luck making it work it on our current network that goes past our gateway, dns, etc. and for some reason it always works one way only but I have tried putting it out on a public ip address without going thru gateways and it worked perfectly and being setup more easily at least i know now that it's something and somewhere on our network setup is stopping/causing troubles for the exchange to work.  

Thanks for the links you sent to me as it could help me later on when we decide to migrate to windows server 2013 and install the exchange 2013...

one last thing too... I'm still stuck with that SSL certificate, I dont know how to get them authenticated and make it work in exchange... don't know how to acquire the .cer file to have my own certificates....
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Accepted Solution

hecgomrec earned 1500 total points
ID: 40050790
Ok, back to the firewall issues, keep this in mind when you are setting your ports rules:

TCP port 25 – SMTP
 TCP port 26 – SSL secured SMTP
 TCP port 110 – Post Office Protocol (POP3)
 TCP port 995 – SSL secured POP3
 TCP port 143 – Internet Message Access Protocol v. 4 (IMAP4)
 TCP port 993 – SSL secured IMAP4
 TCP port 80 – HTTP for Outlook Web Access
 TCP port 443 – SSL secured HTTP for Outlook Web Access (HTTPS)
 TCP/UDP port 389 – Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
 TCP port 3268 – LDAP communications with an Active Directory Global Catalog Server
 TCP port 119 – Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
 TCP port 563 – SSL secured NNTP
 TCP port 135 – Remote Procedure Protocol (RPC) however it will also use ports 1024 and up as needed.
 TCP/UDP port 53 – Domain Name System (DNS)
 TCP port 102 – Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) *Only used in X.400 connections.
 TCP/UDP port 88 – Kerberos

Also, keep in mind that you can't install Exchange 2013 in an organization that doesn't meet the requirements please the this link before going into production.


Now for the certificate, when generating a certificate a text file will be created with some info on it.  You must request to a certification authority to generate a certificate for you.  You may choose any trusted company for this at your convenience, like GoDaddy, VeriSign, Comodo, etc..

Once on the desire company, follow their step for the certificate generation and when requested copy paste the information on the file or upload the file (process varies with the company).  When the certificate is generated (you'll be notified - may take up to 2 hrs.) follow the instructions from that company to install it on your server.   Some will give the option to have more than one name for the certificate, this is good in case you plan to have more than one name for the server or if you plan to have more than one service using the same certificate.  Lets say, mail.yourdomain.net for your OWA and remote.yourdomain.net for Remote Desktop Connections.

Author Comment

ID: 40060240
@ hecgomrec Sorry this has been marked as abandoned as I was off during weekend and been sick yesterday but Thanks again for your effort and yes it really helped me a lot on all of your suggestions.  I hope to get some answers from you again when I get stuck on something.
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Expert Comment

ID: 40061648
I'll be here buddy!!

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