Dead Exchange 2010 Server

I came in this morning to a dead exchange 2010 server with no backup.  We're a relatively small shop with not a lot of users.  Here's my plan and I'd like some input from the experts.  We were in the planning stages of upgrading to Exchange 2013.  I would like to export everyone's outlook to a pst.  Already tested this with one user and we were able to export to a pst everything since Friday.  Next I'd like to install a new server with Exchange 2013.  After that is up and going then import each user's pst file.  What are some thoughts about this?
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
So is the Exchange server still dead, or were you able to reboot it and get it up and running?

If you can get most of the data off of the old server, I'd say your plan is good and should be implemented ASAP.

If you aren't talking about a large number of users, this is probably the fastest and easiest way to get email working again.
tparrettAuthor Commented:
The exchange server is totally dead.  Does not appear I can get any data from it.

Should I remove this server from AD before the 2013 install or should I proceed with the 2013 install and do a clean up after?

No we are not talking about a large number of users.

I really appreciate your help and any other thoughts people have.
I think your plan is as simple as it can get and that's a very good thing.  Your method is straightforward and I don't see any problems with it.

I would have done exactly the same if I didn't have other backups.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
You should get Exchange 2010 out of your AD now.  It's much easier to do it before you install 2013.  You don't want to be mucking around in AD and have something go wrong after you do all of the work to get 2013 installed and working.
tparrettAuthor Commented:
I have found a post on technet about removing the Exchange server with Adsi Edit (since the server is dead). 

Would everyone concur with this process?
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Totally dead is highly unusual.
Is the storage gone as well?

This is the WORST time to introduce Exchange 2013, I wouldn't even consider it.

The ADSIEDIT method is not supported for manual removal of Exchange.
Personally what I would do is build a replacement machine with the same name, RESET the computer account before adding the new replacement server to the domain, then restore Exchange using the recovery switches on the command line.

Removing Exchange using adsiedit isn't really going to work for you, because you would have to remove everything from the user accounts, losing permissions and everything else.

By doing a recovery of the server you have a good chance of getting most content from cached mode back in to the database as it will repopulate it.

Follow the best practise for disaster recovery, it is there for a reason. If you try to shortcut the process then you will find that anything further you do with Exchange will cause you problems, particularly if you want to move to Exchange 2013 later on.


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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Installing 2013 is not the right step.
Here is my suggestion, If you want to do a clean install and bring all user back to production without much issues. Install old Exchange server with Recover switch. Steps are below:

1) Install same OS and patches you had on old server. Try to have same drive paths.
2) Then goto AD and reset Exchange server account.
3) Join new server to domain
4) Install exchange with same service pack you had earlier.
Setup /m:RecoverServer
5) Now you create dial-tone database.
6) Once you create dial-tone DB your users are back to production
7) Now  you can merge the data from PST and your Exchange 2010 is back now.

If you want to move to 2013, follow 2013 migration steps, however, I don't see any reason to move from 2010 to 2013, I might move to 2016 directly.

Let me know, if you have any further query.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Based on what you have stated above for your initial solution you are going to have remnats left over in your AD/Exchange environment from the 2010 server. The most appropriate way to accomplish this is using the Setup /m:RecoverServer /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms switch. This means you would prep a new server using the same computer name as the old Exchange server and install Exchange using the switch i have mentioned above.

This way you can recover the 2010 server and migrate all of the mailboxes seamlesly or atleast remove the Exchange server grancefully.

Recover Exchange Server

If you have already removed the Exchange 2010 computer account you will then need to resort to using ADSIEdit to remove Exchange 2010 objects from Active Directory.

Remove Exchange using ADSIEdit

tparrettAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much to all comments and feedback.  Ended up opening an incident with Microsoft.  Did the exchange recovery and at least got mail flowing.  Were able to recover some emails from exporting to pst for individuals before bringing on the replacement server.  Needless to say many hours long work and will have a better backup solution than what we had before.
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