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How to remove Exchange Server 2003 from your computer

Summary
This article describes the steps to automatically or manually remove Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 from your computer.

Before you can remove Exchange Server 2003, you must disconnect all mailbox-enabled users from the mailboxes on the Exchange server. After all mailbox-enabled users are disconnected, you can use the Exchange 2003 Setup program to remove Exchange Server 2003.

However, you might be unable to remove Exchange 2003 by using the Exchange 2003 Setup program. To do this, you must first stop and disable all Exchange services. You can then use Registry Editor to remove registry keys that are part of the Exchange installation. After you have removed the registry keys, you must remove and then reinstall Internet Information Services (IIS). Then, you must reinstall any service packs or security updates that are installed on the server.

If you have a clustered server, do not remove the Common Files because this also removes the Cluster service. If the Cluster service is removed, you must reinstall it.

Use the Active DirectoryUser and Computers snap-in to disconnect all mailbox-enabled users

You cannot remove the Exchange Server 2003 components if the Exchange server still has mailboxes for mailbox-enabled users. To use the Active Directory User and Computers snap-in to disconnect all mailbox-enabled users, follow these steps:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. Expand Your_Domain, and then click Users.

    Note In this step, Your_Domain is a placeholder for the name of your domain.
  3. Press and hold CTRL, click the user name of each user who has a mailbox on the server, right-click any of the selected user names, click Exchange Tasks, and then release CTRL.
  4. On the Select a task to perform list, click Delete Mailbox, and then click Next.
  5. On the Delete Mailbox page, click Next.
  6. Wait for the mailboxes to be deleted, and then click Finish.

Run the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program to remove the installed components

You can remove the Exchange components by running the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program from Programs and Features in Control Panel on the computer that is running Exchange Server 2003. To do this, follow these steps.click here to expand or collapse the steps

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. On the Currently installed programs list, right-click Microsoft Exchange, and then click Change/Remove.
  3. In Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard, click Next.
  4. On the Action list on the Component Selection page, click the down arrow next to each component that is installed, and then click Remove.

    Note Installed components have a check mark on the Action list. When you click Remove, the check mark is replaced by the word Remove.
  5. Click Next two times.
  6. Click Finish.

Manually remove Exchange Server 2003

If you cannot remove Exchange Server 2003 by using Add or Remove Programs, you can use Registry Editor to remove the Exchange entries from the registry. Before you edit the registry, you must stop and disable all Exchange 2003 services on the computer.

Stop and disable the Exchange Server 2003 services

The following table lists the core Exchange Server 2003 services.
NameDescription
Distributed Transaction Coordinator Coordinates transactions that are distributed across multiple databases, message queues, and file systems.
Internet Information Services (IIS) Admin ServiceEnables you to administer the Exchange HTTP virtual server in the IIS snap-in.
Microsoft Exchange EventMonitors folders and generates events for Exchange Server 5.5 applications.
Microsoft Exchange Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4)Provides Exchange IMAP4 services.
Microsoft Exchange Information StoreManages Exchange information storage.
Microsoft Exchange Management ServiceHosts Exchange WMI providers.
Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent (MTA) Stacks Provides Exchange X.400 services.
Microsoft Exchange Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3)Provides Exchange POP3 services.
Microsoft Exchange Routing EngineProcesses Exchange message routing and link state information.
Microsoft Exchange Site Replication ServiceReplicates Exchange information in the organization.
Microsoft Exchange System AttendantMonitors Exchange and provides necessary services.
Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)Transports newsgroup messages over the network.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)Transports email over the network.
World Wide Web Publishing ServiceProvides HTTP services for Exchange and IIS.
To stop and disable the Exchange Server 2003 services, follow these steps:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
  2. On the Name list, right-click an Exchange service, and then click Stop.
  3. After the service stops, right-click the Exchange service again, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Startup Type list, click Disabled, and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 for every Exchange service.

Use Registry Editor to remove the Exchange registry keys

To remove the Exchange registry keys, follow these steps. click here to expand or collapse the steps

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange
  3. Right-click Exchange, and then click Delete. Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete dialog box.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the following registry keys.
Registry KeyDefinition
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DAVEX
WebDAV
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\EXIFS
Microsoft Exchange Installable File System
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ExIPC
Epoxy
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\EXOLEDB
Exchange OLE DB
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\IMAP4Svc
Microsoft Exchange IMAP4
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeActiveSynchNotify
Microsoft Exchange ActiveSynch Notifications
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeADDXA
Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Connection Agreements
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeAL
Microsoft Exchange Address Lists
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeDSAccess
Microsoft Exchange access to Active Directory
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeES
Microsoft Exchange Event
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeFBPublish
Microsoft Exchange Publish Free/Busy
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS
Microsoft Exchange Information Store
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeMGMT
Microsoft Exchange Management
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeMTA
Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent Stacks
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeMU
Microsoft Exchange Directory Service to Metabase
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeOMA
Microsoft Exchange Outlook Mobile Access
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeSA
Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeSRS
Microsoft Exchange Site Replication Service
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeTransport
Microsoft Exchange Message Routing
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeWEB
Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\POP3Svc
Microsoft Exchange POP3
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RESvc
Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine
If there is a Notes connector or a GroupWise connector that is installed on the server that is running Exchange Server 2003, do the following:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services
  3. Delete any registry entries in this subkey that begin with the following characters:
    • LME-
    • SERVERNAME-LME
If Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, or Microsoft Windows SharePoint Service is not installed, do the following:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate the following subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services
  3. Delete any registry entries in this subkey that begin with the following characters:
    • MSSEARCH
Additionally, you must rename the Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Integration\Microsoft Exchange 2003 folder. For example, rename Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Integration\Microsoft Exchange to Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Integration\Microsoft Exchange Old.

Remove and reinstall the IIS component

To remove and reinstall IIS, use one of the following methods, depending on your environment.
For a Windows 2000-based cluster node or for a stand-alone server that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003

Important If your computer is a clustered server, you must remove only the IIS component. Do not remove the Common Files. If you remove the Common Files, you also remove the Cluster service. If you remove the Cluster service, you must reinstall it.

Note Make a list of any service packs and security updates that were previously installed on the server. You must reinstall them.

To remove the IIS component, follow these steps:
  1. To remove the IIS component from a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
    2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
    3. On the Components list, clear the Internet Information Services (IIS) check box.

      Note If your computer is a clustered server, click Details, clear all the subcomponent check boxes except the Common Files check box, and then click OK.
    4. Click Next, and then click Finish.
    To remove the IIS component from a computer that is running Windows Server 2003, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, type components in the Start Search box, and then click OK.
    2. Click Application Server, and then click Details.
    3. Clear the ASP.NET check box, and then clear the Internet Information Services check box.
    4. In the Application Server dialog box, click OK.
    5. In the Windows Components Wizard, click Next.
  2. Restart the server.
  3. Start Windows Explorer, and then locate the Exchsrvr folder.
  4. Rename the Exchsrvr folder to Exchsrvrold.
  5. Delete the following file from the %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv folder. For Windows Server 2003, delete the Metabase.xml file. For Windows 2000 Server, delete the Metabase.bin file.

    Note The Windows Component Wizard may have already removed the Metabase.xml file or the Metabase.bin file.
  6. Reinstall the IIS component.

    To reinstall the IIS component on a computer that is running Windows 2000 Server, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
    2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
    3. On the Components list, select the Internet Information Services (IIS) check box.
    4. Click Next, and then click Finish.
    To reinstall the IIS component on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, type components in the Start Search box, and then click OK.
    2. Click Application Server, and then click Details.
    3. Select the ASP.NET check box, and then to select the Internet Information Services check box.
    4. Click Next, and then click Finish.
    Note If your computer is running Windows Server 2003, remember to reinstall ASP.NET and to reinstall the SMTP and NNTP services.
  7. Reinstall any service packs and security updates that were previously installed on the server.
For a Windows Server 2003-based cluster node

To remove and reinstall IIS on a Windows Server 2003-based cluster node, follow these steps.

Note These steps describe how to remove and reinstall IIS on the passive node of a server cluster.
  1. Remove IIS from the passive cluster node. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
    2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
    3. Click Application Server, and then click Details.
    4. Clear the ASP.NET check box, clear the Internet Information Services check box, and then click OK.
    5. Click Next.
    6. On the Completing the Windows Components Wizard page of the Windows Components Wizard, click Finish.
  2. Evict the passive cluster node from the server cluster. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the active node of the server cluster, start Cluster Administrator, and connect to the cluster that you want to manage.
    2. In Cluster Administrator, expand the cluster, right-click the passive node, and then click Stop Cluster Service.
    3. Right-click the passive node, click Evict Node, and then click Yes in the following message window when you are prompted:
      Evicting a node will prevent it from participating in the cluster. Are you sure node 'NodeName' should be evicted from the cluster?
  3. Force the Cluster Service to be returned to an unconfigured state on the now-evicted passive cluster node. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the active cluster node, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    2. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter:
      cluster node NetBIOSname /force
      In this command, replace NetBIOSname with the NetBIOS name of the now-evicted passive cluster node.
  4. Restart the evicted cluster node computer.
  5. Rejoin the evicted cluster node to the server cluster. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the active cluster node, start Cluster Administrator, and then connect to the cluster that you want to manage.
    2. Right-click the cluster name, point to New, and then click Node.
    3. Follow the steps in the Add Node Wizard to restore the evicted cluster node to the server cluster.
  6. Reinstall IIS on the newly added passive cluster node. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
    2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
    3. Click Application Server, and then click Details.
    4. Select the Internet Information Services check box, select the ASP.NET check box, and then click OK.
    5. Click Next, and then click Finish.

      Note You may also want to reinstall the SMTP and NNTP services.
  7. Reinstall any service packs and security updates that were previously installed on the server.

Remove the Exchange Server 2003 server object from the Exchange 5.5 Admin program

If the Exchange Server 2003 server is installed in an existing Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 site, and if you use the Exchange 5.5 Admin program, you must delete the Exchange Server 2003 server object from the Exchange 5.5 Admin program.

Note You may have to remove Active Directory objects that are associated with the server that you removed.

Remove the Exchange Server 2003 server from Active Directory

To remove the Exchange Server 2003 server from Active Directory, follow these steps. click here to expand or collapse the steps

Note This procedure removes all references to the server in Active Directory. It also removes the mailbox-enabling attributes from all Active Directory users who have mailboxes on the server that you removed.
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Expand Administrative Groups/Your_Administrative _Group_Name/Servers.

    Note In this step, replace Your_Administrative _Group_Name with the name of your administrative group.
  3. Right-click the name of the Exchange Server 2003 server that you want to remove, click All Tasks, and then click Remove Server.

If you cannot install or run Exchange System Manager, you can use the Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) Edit snap-in to manually remove enough of the server attributes so that you can try a successful reinstallation. This method does not perform cleanups of references to the server object outside the server's own container. We do not recommend that you use this method unless you intend to immediately reinstall the server in the same administrative group. This is because you may have to manually remove or edit many attributes on objects throughout Active Directory.

The ADSI Edit snap-in is available in Windows Support Tools. For more information about how to install Windows 2000 Support Tools, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
301423 How to install the Windows 2000 Support Tools to a Windows 2000 Server-based computer
Warning If you use the ADSI Edit snap-in, the LDP utility, or any other LDAP version 3 client, and you incorrectly modify the attributes of Active Directory objects, you can cause serious problems. These problems may require that you reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, or both Windows and Exchange. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that occur if you incorrectly modify Active Directory object attributes can be solved. Modify these attributes at your own risk.
To use the ADSI Edit snap-in to remove an Exchange Server 2003 server from an Exchange Server 2003 administrative group, follow these steps:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows 2000 Support Tools, point to Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.
  2. Expand the following items:
    Configuration Container
    CN=Configuration, DC=Domain_Name,DC=com
    CN=Services
    CN=Microsoft Exchange
    CN=Your_Organization_Name
    CN=Administrative Groups
    CN=Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name
    CN=Servers
    Note In this procedure, Domain_Name represents the name of your domain, Your_Organization_Name represents the name of your organization, and Your_Administrative_Group_Name_Or_Exchange5.5_Site_Name represents for the name of your administrative group or Exchange Server 5.5 site.
  3. Right-click the Exchange Server 2003 server object, and then click Delete.
  4. Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.

Recommended action if you receive an error when you try to reinstall Exchange Server 2003

Warning If you use the ADSI Edit snap-in, the LDP utility, or any other LDAP version 3 client, and you incorrectly modify the attributes of Active Directory objects, you can cause serious problems. These problems may require that you reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, or both Windows and Exchange. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that occur if you incorrectly modify Active Directory object attributes can be solved. Modify these attributes at your own risk.

When you try to reinstall Exchange Server 2003, you may receive the following error message:
To install the first Exchange server in a domain, or to run setup in "/ForestPrep" mode, you must be an Exchange Full Administrator at the organization level. You must use an account that has been granted the Full Exchange Administrator role on the Exchange organization using the Exchange Administrative Delegation Wizard. -- ID:64283.
If you receive this error message, you must use the ADSI Edit snap-in to change some attributes in Active Directory. To do this, follow these steps:click here to expand or collapse the steps

  1. Start ADSI Edit.
  2. If it is required, click Default (Domain or Server that you logged in to) in the Computer area to connect to the domain controller, and then click OK.
  3. In the navigation pane, expand the following items:

    CN=Configuration
    DC=Domain_Name
    DC=com
    CN=Services
    CN=Microsoft Exchange
  4. Right-click the CN=Organization_Name object, and then click Delete.
  5. Click Yes in every adsiedit dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion.
  6. Right-click CN=Microsoft Exchange, and then click Properties.
  7. On the Attributes tab, under Select which properties to view, click Both.
  8. From the Select what property to view menu, select Heuristics.
  9. To reset the Heuristics property, click Clear, and then click Apply. The Value(s) field will have a value of not set.
  10. Exit ADSI Edit.
Additional Resources
Properties

Article ID: 833396 - Last Review: 09/04/2013 08:24:00 - Revision: 16.0

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • kbhowtomaster KB833396
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