Removing legacy exchange from network where AD was changed behind Exchange's back

JamesNT
JamesNT used Ask the Experts™
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Network with two Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers and Exchange 2007.  Here is the problem:

There are three servers that handle exchange: one for the information store, one for edge, one for owa.  All three servers have been shut down for a week.  
NOTE:  THESE SERVERS ARE NOT BEING USED.  THE COMPANY MOVED TO OFFICE 365 MONTHS AGO AND JUST NEVER GOT AROUND TO REMOVING THEM.

In the past three days, while the servers were shut down, one of the 2008 R2 DC's crashed and needs to be manually removed.  After that, a 2012 R2 DC was added to the domain.  

Question:  Is it acceptable to turn the three Exchange servers back on and gracefully uninstall exchange with all the AD changes made after the install of a 2012 R2 DC (the forest functional level was moved from 2000 to 2008, also) or do we have to crank up ADSI Edit and manually remove Exchange from the domain?  

Before anyone says anything, I'm not the guy who did all this.  I'm the consultant hired to clean it up.  :)

James
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Exchange Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
You should be fine to just power on the exchange servers and perform a graceful uninstall via add/remove programs. of course you will still have to do things like remove mailbox DBs and so forth but you should be able to uninstall gracefully. For some reason if there are issues as a result then ADSIEdit will be needed, but as long as your AD is fine you should be ok.
The only other "gotcha" I can think of would be public folders.  If you had public folders in use in Exchange 2007, IIRC, it will complain and not allow you to remove/dismount the public folder database (and thus not uninstall Exchange) unless you've moved the public folders somewhere else.  I think there are probably tools you should be able to use to remove the public folders if that's the case.  There used to be a tool called PFDAV Admin that you could use to manage this process, but I don't know if it's available any more.  I do have a copy of it in my archives if you need it and can't find it elsewhere.
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Commented:
As commented by Tim you can uninstall from Add/Remove Programs.
Please check the comments in this thread as well. It is a similar thread.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29136638/Remove-server-from-Exchange-2010-Organization.html?headerLink=workspace_monitored_questions
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Commented:
Follow up question:  What order should I uninstall the three machines?  I'm thinking OWA, Edge, then Information store.

James
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017

Commented:
1. Uninstall the Exchange 2007 Client Access server role (OWA).
2. Uninstall the Exchange 2007 Edge Transport server role. Remove Edge Subsription
Remove-EdgeSubscription

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3. Uninstall the Exchange 2007 Hub Transport server role.
Remove this server from any send connector before.
4. Uninstall the Exchange 2007 Mailbox server role (Information Store).
Remove databases before.

Author

Commented:
Thank you all.

James

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