Sunday, April 03, 2011

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 on Windows 2008 Server R2 post-installation gotchas

Installation of Microsoft Exchange 2010 SP1 on a Windows 2008 R2 Server should be a straightforward process due to the descriptive Wizard and auto resume of the Setup process. As per the Wizard, following will be the pre-requisites of the Exchange 2010 installation:

  1. Installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
    1. This can be installed from Windows Manager – Add Feature – .NET Framework 3.5
    2. .NET would also require basic Web Service (IIS) role as its dependency.
  2. Running ‘setup /PrepareAD’
    1. This would be run automatically by the Setup process
    2. Make sure the account used to run Setup have the proper Domain and Schema Admins permission
  3. Select the language options
    1. Pretty straightforward, just choose use all language available in the DVD or download from the Internet if your language preference is extensive.

After enabling the basic pre-requisites above and resuming the Setup, further verifications by Role will commence. Depending on your existing configuration of the server, this will include:

  1. Enabling IIS Basic, Integrated Windows and Digest Authentication methods
    1. This can be updated from Windows Manager – Roles – Web Service – Add Role Features
  2. Enabling IIS Static and Dynamic Compression
    1. This can be updated from Windows Manager – Roles – Web Service – Add Role Features

After appeasing the requirements above, you should be able to continue the Setup process. Depending whether you are creating a new Exchange organization or adding a new Exchange server in an existing Organization, additional parameters would be required; this would be very straightforward and Setup should complete successfully. Reboot afterwards !!!

That would be the end of the Exchange installation and you should be happily configuring and using your Exchange installation; NOT !!! Depending on the symptoms that may or may not appear, further tweaking would need to be carried out.

NOTE: This may differ between OS versions (2008 SP2 or 2008 R2 SP1) or Exchange versions (RTM, SP1) etc.

  1. You find the Mailbox Database name to be too robotic (Mailbox_Database_1234567XXX…yuck) and decide to create a NEW Mailbox Database only to have error code 0x00000005 “INSUFF_ACCESS_RIGHTS” thrown at you !!! Read here
  2. You try to remove the default/first Mailbox Database and Exchange complains that you need to move out all mailboxes first before the Database can be deleted; problem is, as far as you can see there are no more mailboxes in the database to be moved out !!! Read here
  3. You open Microsoft Exchange PowerShell and in the initial Module loading stage it complains that Active Directory Web Service cannot find any available Domain Controller !!! Read here
  4. You try opening Outlook Web App (OWA) from your Web Browser (e.g: https://exch2010.tld/owa) and nothing comes out; just a blank page !!! Read here
  5. After rebooting the Exchange Server, after logging in to OWA in the login page, you are then presented with an empty page, or worse HTTP error 5XX !!! Read here

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