Cleaning up old Exchange 2003 Server

Hi EE,

I recently had to force demote one of our old domain controllers.  I could not demote it gracefully or forcefully, I had to just shut it down and delete the server from ADUC.  I've gone through and cleaned up DNS and metadata and the other AD utilities and things seem to be pretty clean.  However, that server had an old Exchange 2003 on it.  All of the mailboxes and folders in this Exchange 2003 were moved to our Exchange 2010 a few years ago and it has been functioning properly since.  Exchange has been functioning properly since I turned off the old server as well, so our new Exchange server doesn't seem to have any reliance on the old one.  However, the Exchange 2003 uninstall didn't go smooth either and ESM and other functions remained on the server, albeit they were dead and turned off.

My question is this.  I can't create address lists because it tells me I have legacy servers in the mix.  I found articles that tell me to use ADSIedit to delete the old server reference in Configuration - Services - Microsoft Exchange - domain - administrative groups - first administrative group - servers.  In here is a reference to my old server.  Can I delete that?  Also, since Exchange 2010 uses "Exchange Administrative Group" and "First Administrative Group" is no longer used can I delete that entire tree?  Further, there is references to both of my old DC's in Configuration - Services - Microsoft Exchange - domain - Connections.  Can I safely delete these?  They mention servers that are both Server 2003 DC's and offline for good.

Finally, is there any other known areas for me to delete old Exchange or Server 2003 references when manually  cleaning up old Exchange installs from AD?  I'd like to get this all cleaned up for preparation to move to Exchange 2013 at  some point.
Mike JonesIT AdministratorAsked:
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The best thing to do would be to build a temporary Windows 2003 server and install the Exchange management tools on it. That will allow you to delete what is required, move other bits and pieces and generally do things in a graceful manner. The hack out of adsiedit method can work, but you have to be completely sure about what you are deleting.

For example, the first thing you should do is check if you have any RGCs - get-routinggroupconnector
If you do, then remove them using get-routinggroupconnector | remove-routinggroupconnector.

Mike JonesIT AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Well, all references to the 2003 machine are gone from 2010 as far as I can tell.  It's just AD itself has some references.  I would  think hooking up another 2003 box would just bring up more issues since it would be looking for this phantom server.  I know for a fact that the server is offline and I'm looking at deleting references to old servers.  Curious how it would impact the current one. Ran that command and I get nothing.  We used to have  connector in place but they've been deleted.  Exchange 2003 hasn't been running in about 2 years.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
While it would look for the old server, eventually it will come up with the commands to remove the server from the domain.

However if the server is not listed when you run


Then that method is unlikely to work.

Therefore you are looking at manually removing entries from adsiedit - but you have to be very careful with doing so. I usually do it in about 90 minutes, although I have done it a number of times so know what I am looking for.

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Mike JonesIT AdministratorAuthor Commented:
So, I was able to remove  the old server from the Server container under First Administrative Group container.  Am I also able to delete the First Administrative Group?  I noticed that some of my old users have that as their legacyDN.  They still get email with the new system.  exBPA does pick up the old First Administrative Group container and tell me the routing master for it has been deleted.   Exchange, however, doesn't seem to care about these errors.   I was able to create new address lists after deleting the old server and I have since upgraded all the default address lists to be compatible with the new Exchange layout as coming from 2003 to 2010 apparently breaks them.
Mike JonesIT AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Also, running  get-exchangeserver only gets me the new one running on Exchange 2010 with RU8, soon to be 9.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Don't delete the first admin group. That will cause problems with Exchange.

Be aware of the issues in this blog posting from the Exchange product team:


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Mike JonesIT AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Great link, thank you. Don't seem to be getting those errors, which is good. Seems I should keep the first Admin group, but if I see errors with F/B I should remove the empty servers container. Really a bizarre issue. The only thing that really complains about the old server is the best practice analyzer. Exchange doesn't seem to care about it.
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