Invalid character error occurs when you upgrade or join an Exchange Server 5.5 site

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Article ID: 289671 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you try to run Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server or Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Setup with the setup /forestprep command to join an existing Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 site, you may receive the following error message:
Setup has determined the display name of the Organization or one of the Exchange Sites in your Organization is greater than 64 characters or contains at least one of the following invalid characters: ~´!@#$%^*()_+= etc... To correct this, you must use the Exchange 5.X Administration tool to change the display name of either the organization and/or the affected Sites and then re-run setup.

You may also see the following error in the Exchange Server Setup Progress.log:
[10:15:13] Site contains invalid characters - this will need to be renamed to continue [10:15:42] CComBOIFacesFactory::QueryInterface (f:\titanium\admin\src\udog\bo\bofactory.cxx:54) Error code 0X80004002 (16386): No interface.


This issue may occur if either the organization display name or any of the site display names in your exchange organization contain invalid characters.

NOTE See the "More Information" section in this article for a list of valid characters.

Multiple values or any change to the values in the "Description" attribute of Exchange 5.5 Schema-Attribute objects such as "Extension-Attribute-1" (common name) or "Custom Attribute 1" (Admin-Display-Name) may also lead to this error, but it has nothing to do with invalid characters in the Site or Organization name.

If you change the description to match the "Directory Name" or remove the extra values, forestprep can complete. It is possible that a customer has a third-party program that uses the additional information in these attributes, so before you remove or change the "Description" data, verify that you do not need these attributes.

You can use Raw Admin.exe to remove extra values from the Description attribute. See the Schema.csv file on the Exchange 5.5 setup CD for the correct values. For example, "Custom Attribute 1" should have "Extenstion-Attribute-1" in the Description.


To resolve this issue, in the Exchange Server 5.5 Exchange Server Administrator program, remove the characters that are not valid from the display name, and then run the setup /forestprep command again.


Valid characters for organization and site names in Exchange include:
  • A through Z
  • a through z
  • 0 through 9
  • Space
  • Hyphen/dash


Article ID: 289671 - Last Review: October 25, 2007 - Revision: 4.5
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
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