Complete remove Exchange 2013 using ADSIEdit

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Exchange 2013
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The need to remove an Exchange 2013 server using ADSIEdit could have several reasons. The method using ADSIEdit to remove an Exchange server should only be used carefully.

The most common reasons are listed below:

  • The deinstallation didn’t finish properly and left attributes or entries in Active Directory
  • The Exchange server is permanent offline and Exchange should be removed
  • An Exchange installation didn’t finish properly and the attributes and entries should be removed

To remove the server open ADSI-Edit and go to configuration

Navigate to this path:

CN=Configuration,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL
CN=Services
->; DELETE
CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN=Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover

CN=Default naming context,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL
->; DELETE
CN=Microsoft Exchange Security Groups
CN=Microsoft Exchange Security Objects

Additional steps:

Hard Disk:
On the server’s hard disk you’ve to DELETE the Exchange Server installation folder.
Usually it’s C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server

IIS:
DELETE the Exchange Back End and Front End websites with the IIS-Manager

AD Users and Computers:
DELETE the following users in the “Users” container:

DiscoverySearch Mailbox{GUID}
Exchange Online-ApplicationAccount
FederatedEmail.GUID
Migration.GUID
*SystemMailbox{GUID}
*HealthMailboxGUID

Registry:
DELETE the key “ExchangeServer” under:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft

DELETE the keys “MSExchange*” under:
HKLM\CurrentControlSet\Services

Cheers,

Chris

Comments
  1. MAddy says:

    worked for me. although I have to disable all exchange and couple of other services to make it work. Done this to get rid of exchange 2013 preview. Cheers

  2. Exchanger says:

    Thanks you very much!!!

    This helped me so much!

  3. Chardigny says:

    Hy,
    Thanks for this help.
    “IIS:
    DELETE the Exchange Back End and Front End websites with the IIS-Manager”
    In IIS i found Back end and delete it.
    I don’t find Front end. Is it Default Web site ? In this case, which virtual server can i delete that concern only exchange ?
    Thks
    Eric

    • Chris says:

      Hi,

      it means you’ve to delete ALL virtual directories and websites created by exchange – or you can complete remove IIS.

      Cheers,

      Chris

      • Chardigny says:

        thks for your response.
        IIS is used for others applications …
        So can you tell me which virtual directories is used by Exchange.
        I have :
        Server name
        sites
        Default web sites
        aspnet_client
        autodiscover
        ecp
        EWS
        Microsoft server Activsync
        OAB
        owa
        Powershell
        Rpc
        I’m not sure about :
        aspnet / autodiscover / Powershell / Rpc …
        Thks
        Eric

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Eric,

    you surely have to delete:

    autodiscover
    ecp (-> Exchange Control Panel)
    EWS (-> Exchange Web Services)
    Microsoft server Activsync (-> Exchange Active Sync)
    OAB (-> Offline Addressbook)
    owa (-> Outlook Web App)
    Rpc (-> Remote Procedure Calls)

    and, if you don’t use Web-PS this, too:
    Powershell

    Cheers,

    Chris

  5. Dharma says:

    Thanks so much. It really helped me in uninstalling & reinstalling Exchange 2012.

    Best Rgds,
    Dharma.

  6. Az says:

    This was a great read!! Had half of a 2003 Exchange server still sitting in my domain, did what you suggested above, all remnants of the old server and the bad 2013 installation on 2008r2.

    All installing much better now all thanks to you!!

    Cheers!

    Az

  7. Mitchell Schaff says:

    The only comment I would add is that the “SearchExchangeTracing” service/key must also be removed, in the “Registry” section above. I was unable to remove the” Exchange Server” folder until I had stopped this service (named “Tracing Service for Search in Exchange” in the services list).

    In that same section, I would add that the “MSExchange*” keys exist under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services container. The word “SYSTEM” is missing from the directions.

    I couldn’t find the “CN=Default naming context,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL” container on my system. Does it normally exist under the CN=Configuration container?

    Thanks for a very useful article!

  8. Keith says:

    ADSI-Edit on Server 2008 R2 will not let me delete any of my Exchange 2003 objects. The delete option is not available. I’m logged into the server as Administrator.
    I have been able to do all your other instructions.

    Any Ideas??

  9. John says:

    Chris,

    Does this anyway affect running Exchange 2007?

    John

  10. […] OK, it seems that the above clean-up wasn’t sufficient and I was forced to start from scratch. It appears that someone has already blogged about it and I came to notice that this is not a supported method for Exchange clean-up: Complete Remove Exchange 2013 using ADSIedit […]

  11. Frank Kannstädter says:

    Very good and helpful article!!! Thx Frank Kannstädter

  12. Bob Hofmeister says:

    Chris,
    I have an active Exchange 2007 server in the domain and was attempting to upgrade to Exchange 2013 and the upgrade was corrupted. If I follow your above steps, i.e. deleting the configuration services objects, default naming context objects,user container objects and registry keys, won’t this affect the 2007 exchange server operation. My desire is to be able to do a clean upgrade install from 2007 to 2013. Your help is much appreciated.

  13. Fred Dickinson says:

    I think John was asking essentially the same question above, so I apologize for being redundant. We are currently running all of our Exchange resources(mailboxes, public folders, etc) on a 2010 server. I set up a 2013 server and made some mistakes in the configuration. Then I uninstalled it and IIS (I think the errors were mainly IIS issues). In order to get everything back to default I uninstalled everything on the 2013 server(Exchange and IIS) and re-installed, but the IIS settings were still there because I had not removed the config file where the settings are stored, and didn’t notice until I had re-installed Exchange again as well (*sigh*). So then I uninstalled IIS and removed the config file and reinstalled it while Exchange 2013 was still set up. Obviously this was not correct, but you live and you learn. Since the original IIS info is not there now, the uninstallation fails on Exchange 2013. So what I need to do is get the faulty Exchange 2013 objects out of the way WITHOUT messing up anything in the Exchange 2010 infrastructure. Will the process described on this page remove only Exchange 2013 related settings, or will it totally wipe out the Exchange organization along with the 2010 server as well? Does that make sense?

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Vincent Aguilar says:

    I had a new install that the RAID configuration failed, and I had to rebuild the new exchange server. This helped me tremendously! Thank you!

  15. Joel I says:

    Unfortunately all of the above items still doesn’t remove the remnants of a blown old server that was running Windows server and Exchange server. The domain I have inherited has since been migrated to a Server 2008 R2 domain and the company no longer uses in-house Exchange (migrated to O365).

    When Outlook tries to auto-configure itself it detects the old exchange server. By switching the user’s local PC’s DNS to Google’s 8.8.8.8 they are able to auto-configure with the Office 365 settings and I can then change them back to the internal DNS server and all is good, but it would be nice to remove it from the domain.

    I can see the old data in ADSI Edit in each user’s account in the “msExchHomeServerName” attributes etc., but removing the data from there still doesn’t direct Outlook to the Office365 account. I don’t know if it is because the internal domain was set up with the FQDN and not “company.local”…

    I could manually create the autodiscover DNS records, but that seems like a band aid solution more than anything. I’d rather try to remove all the garbage from AD/DNS/Registry, but as indicated all the above items are already gone.

    Anybody got any other ideas?

  16. Charles says:

    Hi,

    I get Couldn’t find the enterprise organization container when running setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms I have tried everything including deleting the above objects from AD and the reg keys. It has never successfully installed yet I cant prepare the domain. I’m running Server 2012 R2 on an 2012 R2 domain, trying to install exchange 2013 SP1. Any help would stop me pulling my hair out:)

  17. es5ape says:

    DELETE the keys “MSExchange*” under:
    HKLM\CurrentControlSet\Services

    There must be a container “Services” between HKLM and CurrentControlSet
    HKLM\SERVICES\CurrentControlSet\Services

  18. Francesco says:

    Hey nice tut, but its´s not realy working for me…
    when i try to reinstall exchange in throws this error:
    German:
    Der Typeninitialisierer für “Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ThrottlingModule`1” hat eine Ausnahme verursacht.
    English:
    The type initializer for “Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ThrottlingModule` 1 ‘threw an exception.

    anybody has a suggestion what to do?

  19. Mike Orlando says:

    I had a bad install of Exchange 2013 that would not uninstall. I followed these instructions, but couldn’t get the folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server to delete because of files still being in use.

    When I try to reinstall I now get:

    Error:
    The type initializer for ‘Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ThrottlingModule`1′ threw an exception.

    I don’t know where to go from here, except to wipe the server. Log file does not seem to help me. Maybe someone can get something out of it.

    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] **********************************************
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] Starting Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 Setup
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] **********************************************
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] Local time zone: (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] Operating system version: Microsoft Windows NT 6.2.9200.0.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] Setup version: 15.0.847.32.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0693] [0] Logged on user: corp\administrator.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0709] [0] The registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\V15\Setup, wasn’t found.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0724] [0] The registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\V15\Setup, wasn’t found.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0771] [0] Command Line Parameter Name=’sourcedir’, Value=’D:\’.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0771] [0] Command Line Parameter Name=’mode’, Value=’Install’.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0771] [0] RuntimeAssembly was started with the following command: ‘/sourcedir:D: /mode:Install’.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:23.0771] [0] The registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\V15\Setup, wasn’t found.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:24.0537] [0] Finished loading screen CheckForUpdatesPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:36:29.0785] [0] Finished loading screen UpdatesDownloadsPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:38:29.0436] [0] Starting file’s copying…
    [07/15/2014 01:38:29.0451] [0] Setup copy files from ‘D:\Setup\ServerRoles\Common’ to ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’
    [07/15/2014 01:38:29.0640] [0] Finished loading screen CopyFilesPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:38:30.0068] [0] Disk space required: 1826493368 bytes.
    [07/15/2014 01:38:30.0068] [0] Disk space available: 1967513595904 bytes.
    [07/15/2014 01:38:56.0267] [0] File’s copying finished.
    [07/15/2014 01:38:56.0470] [0] Finished loading screen InitializingSetupPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:02.0099] [0] Setup is choosing the domain controller to use
    [07/15/2014 01:39:08.0608] [0] Setup is choosing a local domain controller…
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0670] [0] Setup has chosen the local domain controller corp.domain.com for initial queries
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0795] [0] PrepareAD has either not been run or has not replicated to the domain controller used by Setup. Setup will attempt to use the Schema Master domain controller corp.domain.com
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0811] [0] The schema master domain controller is available
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0811] [0] The schema master domain controller is in the local domain; setup will use corp.domain.com
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0811] [0] Setup is choosing a global catalog…
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0826] [0] Setup has chosen the global catalog server corp.domain.com.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0842] [0] Setup will use the domain controller ‘corp.domain.com’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0842] [0] Setup will use the global catalog ‘corp.domain.com’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:10.0842] [0] No Exchange configuration container was found for the organization. Message: ‘Could not find the Exchange Configuration Container.’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0186] [0] The following roles have been unpacked:
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0186] [0] The following datacenter roles are unpacked:
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0201] [0] The following roles are installed:
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0201] [0] The local server does not have any Exchange files installed.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0233] [0] Server Name=corp
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0295] [0] Setup will use the path ‘D:\’ for installing Exchange.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:11.0311] [0] The installation mode is set to: ‘Install’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0521] [0] Exchange organization name is required for this mode.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0521] [0] Active Directory Initialization status : ‘True’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0521] [0] Schema Update Required Status : ‘False’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0521] [0] Organization Configuration Update Required Status : ‘True’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0521] [0] Domain Configuration Update Required Status : ‘True’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0568] [0] Applying default role selection state
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0630] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0630] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0630] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0630] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0646] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 1 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0646] [0] RootDataHandler has 1 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:16.0896] [0] Running the on-premises test.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:17.0162] [0] CurrentResult launcherbase.maincore:90: 0
    [07/15/2014 01:39:17.0380] [0] Finished loading screen WelcomePage.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:34.0163] [0] Finished loading screen EULAPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:36.0898] [0] Finished loading screen RecommendedSettingsPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0116] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0116] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0116] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0116] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value First Organization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0116] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0148] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 9 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:38.0351] [0] Finished loading screen RoleSelectionPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value First Organization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 10 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value First Organization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 11 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value First Organization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0804] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 12 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value First Organization.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] Setup will run from path ‘C:\Windows\Temp\ExchangeSetup’.
    [07/15/2014 01:39:39.0819] [0] InstallModeDataHandler has 13 DataHandlers
    [07/15/2014 01:39:41.0460] [0] Finished loading screen InstallationSpaceAndLocationPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:30.0902] [0] Finished loading screen ExchangeOrganizationPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:35.0435] [0] Finished loading screen ProtectionSettingsPage.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0638] [0] Setup is determining what organization-level operations to perform.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0638] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareOrganization.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0638] [0] Setup has detected a missing value. Setup is adding the value PrepareDomain.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0638] [0] Because the value was specified, setup is setting the argument OrganizationName to the value XYZ Corp.
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0763] [0] **************
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0779] [0] Setup will run the task ‘Start-PreConfiguration’
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0779] [1] Setup launched task ‘Start-PreConfiguration -Mode ‘Install’ -Roles ‘corpguagePacks’,’AdminToolsRole’,’BridgeheadRole’,’ClientAccessRole’,’UnifiedMessagingRole’,’MailboxRole’ -InstallWindowsComponents $true -ADToolsNeeded $true’
    [07/15/2014 01:40:36.0888] [1] Finished loading screen PreCheckPage.

  20. Mike Orlando says:

    I am having a similar issue to an above post with the error:

    The type initializer for “Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ThrottlingModule` 1 ‘threw an exception.

    I don’t see anything in the log file that leads me to any particular route. Is there anything I can do before having to wipe the server and reinstall the OS and Exchange?

    • Kevin Hayashi says:

      You’re probably already past this and have reinstalled but you can always use process explorer to view running process:

      http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

      Sort by folder path and kill any process that running out of the C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server directory. Check the running program and if it is related to a service, you can stop it from the Services snap-in, or uninstall the service from the command line:

      sc [] delete []

      You should be able to delete the Exchange Server folder at that point and then attempt to install again.

  21. Kevin Hayashi says:

    All, I just wanted to say that this post pretty much saved me and I can validate that this works with removing Exchange 2010 and 2013. Excellent article! Couple of fixes. Please don’t crucify me for the insignificant corrections.. I’m sure I have plenty more below:

    “Microsoft Exchange Security Groups” is a Organizational Unit (OU) and not a Container (CN).
    It should read:

    CN=Default naming context,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL
    DELETE
    OU=Microsoft Exchange Security Groups
    CN=Microsoft Exchange Security Objects

    And in the Registry section of the original post, it should read:

    DELETE the keys “MSExchange*” under:
    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services

    The only comment(s) that I would like to add about IIS is that if you plan on re-installing, you should remove IIS and its components from the server. The other component that is important when removing IIS is to remove the “Windows Process Activation Service” as well so that you have a completely clean configuration when reinstalling Exchange. By default, if you just remove the IIS roles, you are still left with the old applicationhost.conf file.

    When I was looking at the applicationhost.conf file, I saw numerous entries to OWA and the AppPool associated with it. When installing Exchange, I received an error stating that it could not create the Virtual Directory for OWA in the Default Web Site.. Something like:

    “ErrorRecord: An error occurred while creating the IIS virtual directory ‘IIS://ServerName/W3SVC/1/ROOT/owa’ on ‘ExServer'”

    I followed the instructions here:

    http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/davestork/archive/2010/12/23/fixing-a-broken-owa-2010-virtual-directory.aspx

    but that didn’t seem to help be so much. Resetting the virtual directories kept failing.

    Then I found this article:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/d9a71111-6c67-495e-b1dc-1524378d23c2/cannot-get-owa-back

    although Resolution 1 didn’t work for me, so I removed IIS and removed the applicationhosts.conf file from the config directory. Upon reinstalling IIS, It would not start of course because I removed the applicationhosts.conf file! Turns out, I could have restored it from the C:\inetpub\history folder, but I knew it was corrupted with old references, so I looked for a way to recreate the applicationhosts.conf file.

    Ultimately, the answer on this page helped clean up IIS nicely:
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8321072/is-there-a-way-to-reset-iis-7-5-to-factory-settings

    Quote: You need to uninstall IIS (Internet Information Services) but the key thing here is to make sure you uninstall the Windows Process Activation Service or otherwise your ApplicationHost.config will be still around. When you uninstall WAS then your configuration will be cleaned up and you will truly start with a fresh new IIS (and all data/configuration will be lost). -CarlosAg

    Note. If you go down the path of removing the Windows Process Activation Service, be sure to remove IIS and all of its components, and then reboot before removing WAS.

    One final note, I promise: Keep in mind that there will still be Exchange Attributes tied to your existing users in Active Directory and references to the old Exchange Database Store. These will need to be cleaned up, otherwise in the Exchange Console you will get error messages like “Database is mandatory on UserMailbox” (At least on Exchange 2013). You can clean these up with a script that I found here:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/214ded66-f987-4023-9158-9a80e6477e2b/database-is-mandatory-on-usermailbox-error-during-install-of-hub-transport?forum=exchange2010

    $userlist = Get-QADUser -IncludeAllProperties
    $userlist | ForEach { Set-QADUser $_ -ObjectAttributes @{msexchmailboxguid=”; msexchhomeservername=”; legacyexchangedn=”; mail=”; mailnickname=”; msexchmailboxsecuritydescriptor=”; msexchpoliciesincluded=”; msexchrecipientdisplaytype=”; msexchrecipienttypedetails=”; msexchumdtmfmap=”; msexchuseraccountcontrol=”; msexchversion=” } }

    Anyway, I hope this helps someone else out.

    -Kevin

  22. Darryl says:

    I am having a similar issue to an above post with the error:

    The type initializer for “Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ThrottlingModule` 1 ‘threw an exception.

    Has anyone found a resolution, aside from formatting, to this issue?

  23. thomasso says:

    i resolve this issue by switch /PrepareAD in setup.exe Unattended Setup.
    setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrgranizationName:””

  24. seanvanloon says:

    Reblogged this on Knowledge is power and commented:
    Worked like a charm!

  25. chi says:

    Hi, thank you so much for your post. I kept getting the error message

    Failed [Rule:AdInitErrorRule] [Message:Setup encountered a problem while validating the state of Active Directory: Couldn’t find the Enterprise Organization container.

    I have attempted around 25 installs, tried changing parameters and deleting things, in the end all I had to do was to delete the empty container below which was causing the install to error out.

    CN=Configuration,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL
    CN=Services
    ->; DELETE
    CN=Microsoft Exchange

    Thank you:)

  26. […] Murat Yildirimoglu’s Windows IT Pro article entitled “How to Uninstall a Stubborn Exchange Server” goes into more detail, including completely removing an Exchange organisation from Active Directory, should that be required (Christopher Dargel covers that too). […]

  27. Konstantinos says:

    That has helped me a lot, many thanks!

  28. bcurran3 says:

    Do you know if this will work for Exchange Server 2016?

  29. Tanner W says:

    I wanted to add a few more thoughts to this. If you’re removing the servers themselves, then don’t forget to delete the computer objects from Active Directory. Then remove them from your internal DNS and external DNS if applicable. Once you’ve deleted them from active directory, you may need to force a synchronization of your AD between multiple domain controllers. If you delete them and attempt to reinstall too soon before AD has synchronized, it is possible you encounter an error where when reinstalling on a new server (using the same hostname as the old previously removed) you may be told it conflicts.

    In summary, when deleting the servers and recreating with the same DNS;
    (1) Remove the server instance computer objects from Active Directory.
    (2) Remove the “A” records from DNS and PTR reverse lookup records from DNS; internal and external if applicable.
    (3) Force synchronization of AD replication so you don’t have to wait for it to do so on its own.

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