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Removing an Domain Controler Role from Exchange 2010 server

Posted on 2016-08-04
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Last Modified: 2016-09-09
Hello Experts,

I have recently taken over a network and I am looking to raise the functional domain level from 2008 -> 2012.

In a previous admin's wisdom he/she has installed the domain controller role on an exchange 2010 server that has the MAILBOX, CLIENT_ACCESS, HUB_TRANSPORT role installed.

The FSMO rule is on 'DC-01' and other DC's are available EG 'DC-02', DC-03 etc..

About this server 'EX-01'

Exchange 2010 sp3
Windows server 2008

My question 'Can I remove the Domain Controller Role from this server (and get away with it) and have no lasting impact on exchange 2010?' - Will I break my setup?
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Question by:Member_2_7961041
9 Comments
 
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by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 41742506
You will break your setup.  Once a machine is an Exchange Server you CANNOT add or remove DC functionality without breaking exchange or first removing exchange from the server.
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Expert Comment

by:cmil
ID: 41742510
it can be a bit of a nightmare, did it myself, but as long as you take your time you'll be ok.  it is time consuming but works with very limited user interruption.  I used these to help me out.

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/428319-removing-dc-roles-from-exchange-2013-server

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/2c28b057-9130-48f8-8705-3051873002f9/remove-domain-controller-role-from-exchange-2010-server?forum=exchangesvrdeploylegacy

Hope it goes well.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41742567
It's foolish in my opinion to put your server in an unsupported state:
Quoting from the second link cmil posted:
Adding/Removing the DC-Role while Exchange is installed, is not supported so forget about your Option 2.
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Expert Comment

by:cmil
ID: 41742617
Hi Lee,

totally agree that's why I moved all my mailboxes off on to a new Exchange server, took the DC role off it then decommissioned the old server.

Just because you can do it does not mean you should!

Many Thanks

Christopher
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41742993
Running DC promo to demote a DC with Exchange on it makes a lot of changes to DNS that break that server's ability to advertise itself as an Exchange server. It won't irreparably break Exchange, but it will break it pretty good. And you'll never be able to get help from Microsoft with that server again (This is more of a secondary issue considering how most of my interactions with MS support have gone).
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Author Comment

by:Member_2_7961041
ID: 41744384
Thanks guys. Just wanted clarification on this issue.

It's a big risk to the business since this is a physical server.
If this was in a virtual environment, I might have risked it. (but even then I would imagine there could still be issues.)

I have decided just to build an exchange 2013 server and migrate to 'hybrid exchange'.
Less risk to the business and more functionality gained.

Just ruins a deadline for me. :)
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41744925
I understand your reasoning for doing this but you may end up breaking more things in the long run..

You could stand up a second Exchange 2010 server and migration all MDX's to it then decommission the old one
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 41790995
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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