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Run EMS when Exchange server is offline

Posted on 2016-08-18
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Last Modified: 2016-08-28
I have an Exchange 2013 server that is disconnected from the network, and I cannot reconnect it because of the problems it will cause our users (we've migrated to Office 365). But I need to pull a mailbox out of the old database on it, so I need to find a way to get Exchange Management Shell to work without being able to contact a domain controller.

Has anyone ever found a way to make this work? I've found ways to get around the certificate check and the CN check, and the Kerberos authentication, but it consistently crashes trying to contact a domain controller.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Question by:PBIT
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41761445
The only way to get that to work is to build a secondary domain with Exchange on it, then restore the Database files from the failed exchange server. Exchange won't work if it can't contact a DC. The necessary services won't start and the DB won't mount.

That said, what issues does turning this Exchange server on cause your users?
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Author Comment

by:PBIT
ID: 41761469
That's what I was afraid of.

It causes security certificate popups; not a game-changer, but annoying. I'm trying to limit the help-desk calls, mostly.

Thanks for that, looks like something I'll just need to tackle on the weekend.
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Assisted Solution

by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 2000 total points
ID: 41761505
The security certificate popups are likely due to the Autodiscover SCP pointing Outlook to the Exchange server for autodiscover, rather than Office 365. That's actually pretty easy to resolve. I wrote an article on how to change it with AD Sites and Services (So the server doesn't have to be up to fix the problem) here: http://wp.me/pUCB5-7X 
Just make sure that any servers remaining in your AD Services node for Exchange point to autodiscover.outlook.com (or autodiscover.company.com, if you have a CNAME set up to redirect to O365 for that) instead of the on-prem exchange server name. That should keep the certificate error from popping up when you turn the exchange server on.
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Author Comment

by:PBIT
ID: 41761590
I'll give that a try, thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 41764535
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Accepted Solution

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PBIT earned 0 total points
ID: 41767131
We ended up restoring the original mailbox from the deleted mailboxes list in Office 365, information I didn't have when I started this process. So I no longer need to try to force that old server to cooperate. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Author Closing Comment

by:PBIT
ID: 41773586
The solution came from someone in my organization and we didn't even try to implement any of the suggested solutions, so I don't know if they would have worked or not.
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