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decommissioning exchange server

Posted on 2014-10-24
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Last Modified: 2014-11-18
Wanted to be clear in the steps of decommissioning my Exchange Server...

Currently, I have...........
Back up Server
Remove MX Records
Uninstall Exchange from BE Servers
Uninstall Exchange from AD
Delete SDEE forward contact objects
Decommission Server
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Question by:cgooden01
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by:Adam Brown
ID: 40402567
Which version of Exchange are you running? Are you replacing the server with a new version, moving to cloud, or what?

Uninstalling Exchange requires that all mailboxes are removed from all databases, and that all databases be removed as well, so don't forget about that one.

Also, removing the Active Directory Schema changes made by Exchange at installation isn't supported. It won't really impact your environment to leave them there, and you may find you need them in the future. This is just informational since you mention "Uninstall Exchange from AD". Running an Uninstall of Exchange through the control panel on each Exchange server will effectively remove all presence of those servers in Active Directory, but it will not remove the AD Schema changes made. Having the Exchange Schema entries in your AD with no Exchange servers involved will not negatively impact your environment, though.
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by:cgooden01
ID: 40402695
Version:  2003   Just decommissioned and turning it off, not to be repurposed for anything.  Been off now for several months.  Accounts have been migrated to a cloud based exchange want to ensure there are no forwarders.  So will scrub the smtp logs and continue with steps.  


Yes, will definitely ensure mailboxes are removed and databases as well.  Im sorry, referencing the removal process I was referring from the actual server via control panel applet.  Thanks for the heads up
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40402799
i would stop all exchange services before breaking things down that way if something was missed, you will see it break then and can bring exchange online immediatly if needed instead of waiting until later, finding out something broke then potentially prolonging the problem
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Author Comment

by:cgooden01
ID: 40402839
yes I fully agree, thanks for the reminder:  Will test this theorie out and respond within the next few days and reward/accept answer respectively.  Thank you
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40403145
No need to stop Exchange Services. You can just check the SMTP Logs and see if anything is still talking to it.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40403206
"Been off now for several months. "
I assume you mean the exchange server not you?
In that case, if something still NEEDED it, would you not have noticed? If emails where IMPORTANT and still going to it (Or trying to at least) Wouldn't you have noticed?

If the machine has been OFF for several months then switching it on is NOT going to work as the server will have been tombstoned almost certainly.

IF all of the above is the case then I would leave it off and do an AD Clean up to get rid of all trace of it. Will be easier than trying to bring it back online and confusing the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40403318
Ah missed the follow-up comment. Yep. Just turning off Exchange servers for months is not good. You can try and do it gracefully and hope for the best. But as Neil pointed out. Its most likely tombstoned in AD.
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Accepted Solution

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cgooden01 earned 0 total points
ID: 40440413
Sorted out all, thanks for the added brainstorming.  There was much more that was not suggested/offered but led me down the right paths.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cgooden01
ID: 40449369
Suggestion for this questions was instrumental, but there was much more involved
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