Hi all,

Sorry for going offline for too long, I was having some bad times (happens to all :-) )

I am going to talk today about a problem that I have passed long ago, but did not expect to encounter again, it is related to the exchange 2010 and active directory…

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Now as you all know that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and previous versions as well, are active directory-integrated, which mean that when ever we install the exchange system into the network, it will be having roots (this how I would like to call it anyway) in the active directory schema, which by itself (the schema) is the blueprints of the whole Windows network…

The above introduction, I had to write it to let you get close to the problem I am going to talk about; it is related to the removing of the exchange server, and more specific way… well, FORMATTING the server without un-installing the exchange!!

YES!, that is right, there are people who are still doing that, and they get stuck when trying to have a fresh installation of their server…

Just today I have finished from solving a similar problem, here is its scenario:

The customer has called me and they said that they are trying to install a new Exchange Server 2010 SP1, but the organization wont get prepared

At the end it turned out that he had 3 problems or 3 issues with active directory because of that quick and un-countable format he did, and all 3 issues I had to go into ADSI Edit and LDP.exe to solve them…

I logged in to the server, and that was right, the organization cannot be prepared, and showing an error message

Well, the error message is obviously clear, and explaining itself…

It tells you that the container “Microsoft Exchange” is having an attribute “otherWellKnownObjects” is set to an invalid or a deleted DN (Distinguished Name), pretty easy :-D , well it is really easy…

OBVIOUSLY THIS IS ALL A SCHEMA WORK HERE, SO IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING PLEASE DON’T DO WHAT IS WRITTEN BELOW, AND JUST READ IT SO YOU GET AN IDEA ABOUT IT ONLY, OTHERWISE YOU ARE COMPLETELY ON YOUR OWN RISK HERE…

To solve this, I had to go to Run, and type: “ldp.exe”

Just a note: I have to be schema admin in order to be able to proceed

  1. I went to File then clicked Connect
  2. After the connection has been made, I clicked File again, then Bind
  3. It asked me for an authorized user account to get into the schema, since I am the global administrator, then I would be having these rights, I just clicked OK
  4. I clicked View then Tree, then from BaseDN I choose CN=Configuration,DC=DOMAINNAME,DC=COM (the second option it should be)
  5. And the left side has displayed the list now, I navigated to the desired container which is: Microsoft Exchange which is located inside Services
  6. Right-clicked the container, and clicked Modify
  7. I set it’s value to <Not Set>, then clicked Enter and after that clicked Run

So, this is it for the first issue.

The second and third issues are very close to each other

If we go and start the exchange installation, the organization preparation will pass, this is something nice, but we will get an error again!, it is about the Offline Address Book nominated server has been removed!

Remember, the exchange and the active directory still think that they have an exchange server installed, and this new installation is not the first, but actually, there is no exchange server and this is the first installation we are doing now, and this is why it stopped again at the offline address book, it is not there on the system, but the system says it is on it because it is still in the active directory schema, so to remove it, we have to remove it from the active directory schema…

  • Open ADSI Edit
  • Right-click “ADSI Edit” and click “Connect to…
  • Select “Configuration” from “Select a well known Naming Context
  • Now in the left pane, navigate to “Services” then “Microsoft Exchange
  • Then go to your organization name, and then “Address Lists Container” then the “Offline Address Lists
  • You will find there the name of the default OAB, just delete that and you are all set

Now start the installation again for the Exchange, and everything should go smoothly…

One last thing you would do to completely finish this, is removing the old server name as well…

  • Again open ADSI Edit
  • Go to the container “Microsoft Exchange
  • Now open “Administrative Groups” then “Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)
  • Go to “Serves” and delete the container that holds the old exchange server name

Well, that is it!, your exchange server now should function well, and without problems

Thank you for reading this, and please ask me if anything is wrong or not clear… :-)

Hope this helps releasing some pain 😀

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