Setup Server Configuration for Exchange 2016 Install


I am a programmer that has been tasked with installing Exchange on a VM running Windows Server 2016.

When I run /PrepareSchema the main error I get is  'Active Directory Server is not available.'

After searching the web for information, I have come to the conclusion that my VM environment isn't setup correctly for this Exchange install and I don't have nor can I find the server knowledge to prepare my VM servers.

How do I setup / configure my Exchange and AD VM servers to allow for a successful install of Exchange 2016?

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

viktor grantExchange ServersCommented:
HI Aj,

You need to install prerequisites:

Check the following link in order to deploy exchange server:


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
First, I hope you're TESTING and practicing this first before you go into a production environment.

Second, Do you have a DC VM setup?  

Is your DNS setup properly on the DC and the member server that will host Exchange?  (You should post screen shots of the DNS config of both).
ajthomas12Author Commented:

Thanks for your response.  I have run the prerequisite powershell commands and they all seemed to complete successfully.


I informed my boss that all the exchange install info. says to start with a Test environment but he doesn't want to spend the time or money on yes this is essentially a straight to production install.

I have an active directory server and the server on which Exchange will be installed.  I am not sure how to determine if my DNS is setup properly.  I am not sure if I have a DC VM.  I assume that stands for Domain Controller.  Currently our AD server has an internal domain setup.  From what I can tell the Exchange VM is assigned to that internal domain.

Sorry I am so clueless about this all.  I will try and research how to setup a DNS to see if I can determine if it is setup properly.

Is it possible for a Domain Controller to run on the AD Server? (perhaps it is already setup)

What is the usual cause for the Exchange VM error, 'Active Directory Server is not available'?  One person suggested that it had to do with IpV6 not being enabled.  It looks like it is enabled on my EX VM but not my AD VM.

What does my ipconfig need to look like to ensure it is setup correctly for an Exchange install?

Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

ajthomas12Author Commented:
It looks like the DNS server is installed on the AD VM server.  

Also, it looks like the DHCP server is not installed on the AD VM server.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Sorry, but asking a NON-ADMIN to do this straight to production is a sign of incompetent management.  The problems you could create simply by not having the experience and proper training of what to do could costs THOUSANDS in lost productivity or in a consultant's time later fixing the mess you create.  Let me be clear - I'm not trying to question your ability to learn - but learning takes time.  You're not installing notepad, you're installing a complex messaging solution.

Not only are you unfamiliar with Exchange, you're unfamiliar with Active Directory which is a key requirement of Exchange.

There are BOOKS on both topics - I don't feel comfortable trying to condense thousands of well written pages into a few comments in a forum... it's foolish for me to try.

When they are ready for you to take the time to learn this properly, ask questions, step by step where you're not sure and move forward... To do this right, I'd say your at least a month away and that assumes at least half your work time over the next month is focused on learning this.
ajthomas12Author Commented:

I understand.

Thanks for your help.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2016

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.