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Disabling Microsoft Exchange services on SBS 2008

Posted on 2016-09-20
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Last Modified: 2016-10-05
I have a server 2008/SBS that used to run Microsoft Exchange 2007. For the past 3 years we've been using an external hosted Exchange service instead.

At the time of switch-over, I had turned off (to my recollection) all services with "Microsoft Exchange" in the name, in services.msc.  I noticed today that the eventvwr Application log is full of errors relating to:

MSExchangeTransport
MSExchange System Attendant Mailbox
MSExchangeFBPublish
MSExchangeADAccess

and so on...

I looked in Services.msc and see that many of the Microsoft Exchange services are turned on, such as Microsoft Exchange...
-File Distribution
-Mail Submission
-Mailbox Assistants
-Replication Service
-Search Indexer
-Service Host
-System Attendant
-Transport

and so on...

Since email for this company is handled by a hosted exchange service, can I just go ahead and disable any service in Services.msc that starts with "Microsoft Exchange..."?

Or is there a better way to shut off Exchange completely?
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Question by:DaveWWW
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14 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:awed1
awed1 earned 250 total points
ID: 41807529
If you set the services to startup type, manual, they should not start.
That would leave everything intact and should prevent the error problems from recurring.
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Expert Comment

by:awed1
ID: 41807534
This looks like a good link: https://www.puryear-it.com/disable-microsoft-sbs-exchange-server It gives the PS that you will need if you are using PS.
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41807535
And as long as the service starts with "Microsoft Exchange", I can set it to manual?
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Expert Comment

by:awed1
ID: 41807543
This EE post contains a dire warning against uninstalling, and also says that the errors will also have to be disabled. https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/26248235/Disabling-Exchange-Server-on-SBS-2008-install.html
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41807557
Exchange is very heavily integrated in SBS 2008, so don't uninstall it. Disabling the services might be okay, but note that when you set the startup type to disabled, that we be reversed any time you run the "Fix my network" wizard in the SBS console. It is generally okay to keep exchange running while not using it on SBS server. It's also possible to disable logging in Exchange so you don't have to worry about the masses of log entries that may appear. You will have some serious issues if you uninstall Exchange, though. Specifically, it's not a supported configuration by MS, and the server will completely stop working after a while because SBS has stuff programmed in to break the server OS if any of the required components are removed (Specifically, AD and Exchange).
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41807563
Thanks Awed1. I wasn't planning to uninstall, but that post suggests I can set any Microsoft Exchange service listed in services.msc to manual without any dire effect.  Agree?
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Nelson
ID: 41807565
Do you need Exchange 2007?  Why do you still have it if you've disabled the services so long ago?

It can't be a hybrid config because it's not Exchange 2010.  And therefore suppose you do not have directory synchronization to O365 or Azure, correct?

Are you managing distribution groups or email addresses with the on premises Exchange?

I recommend starting those services that were disabled and to be able to uninstall Exchange if you can.  My SBS experience is limited but I've removed Exchange from several SBS servers without issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 41807569
Could also remove it if not used as per Microsofts Article here
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Author Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41807577
Thanks all.  I'm really just looking for an answer to this question:

Since I use hosted Exchange, and do not use Exchange 2007 at all, can I set any service in services.msc that starts with "Microsoft Exchange..." to manual?
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Todd Nelson earned 250 total points
ID: 41807583
Yes.  You can.
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Expert Comment

by:awed1
ID: 41807584
It is SBS, don't remove it.
I agree, it is okay to disable those services.

It indicates that I was wrong about the errors though. SOme will continue until you disable them as well.
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Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 41807712
Just disable all of the Exchange Services rather then setting them to manual. I always remove the full Exchange on SBS, as its more tidy, and its not a problem if done right. Have done it on nearly our entire SBS Client base with 0 problems. But again, you can simply disable the services instead. You just end up getting BPA warnings & more warnings in the event logs.

So the answer is yes. You can as per above comments from experts.
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Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 41812027
I would suggest just disabling all Microsoft Exchange related services opposed to removing it.  

Stopping all the services should stop most of your event viewer errors.

As per some of the other comments you will get some errors in BPA as well as having some errors pop up when you run some of the SBS Wizards, for example when adding a user account it will be unable to create the mailbox so it will flag up an error.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaveWWW
ID: 41830870
Thanks all.
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