Installing the First Exchange Server

Posted: March 27, 2010 in Active Directory, Exchange Server, Server, System Information
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You want to install the first Exchange Server of an Exchange organization.


Using a graphical user interface

  1. Install and configure prerequisite services. See the “Discussion” section for more on these services.
  2. Log on to a server that is a member of an Exchange-enabled domain with an account that is a member of the delegated group. This account should also be a local administrator of the server.
  3. Go to the Windows Update site and install any critical security patches, or use your organization’s existing patch management solution such as WSUS. Click on Start All Programs Windows Update.
  4. Insert the Exchange Server CD into CD-ROM.
  5. On the Start menu, click Run, type <driveletter>:\setup\i386\setup.exe, and click OK. <driveletter> is the drive letter of your CD-ROM drive. The path to setup.exe may vary for certain versions of Exchange Server such as MSDN or Select versions.
  6. On the Welcome screen, click Next.
  7. On the License Agreement screen, read through the agreement and if you agree, click “I agree” and click Next.
  8. If presented, on the Product Identification screen, enter your Exchange Server product key and click Next.
This screen may not appear for certain versions of Exchange Server, such as the MSDN or Select versions.
  1. On the Component Selection screen in the Action column, verify that the action selected is Typical. Verify the install path is correct for your installation and click Next. It is a common practice to load Exchange onto a drive other than the system drive.
  2. On the Installation Type screen, verify Create a new Exchange Organization is selected, and click Next.
  3. On the Organization Name screen, enter the name you want for your Exchange organization, and click Next. You can leave the default name of ” First Organization” or name it something specific to your installation (e.g., “RALLENCORP-MAIL”).
  4. On the License Agreement screen, select “I agree” and then click Next.
  5. Review the Installation Summary screen and click Next.
  6. On the Completing the Microsoft Exchange Wizard screen, click Finish.
  7. Stop and disable the NNTP service unless you specifically wish to use newsfeeds within your Messaging environment.
  8. Download and install the latest Exchange 2003 service pack. (As of the time of this writing it is Service Pack 2.)
  9. Download and run the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer to determine its compliance with security and performance best practices.

Using a command-line interface

You cannot install the first Exchange Server of the Organization via the command line. However, you can install subsequent Exchange servers using an unattended installation.


The first Exchange server you install is special. This is because in addition to installing the Exchange Server software on the server, the process is also creating Active Directory objects in the Configuration container for the Exchange organization. As such, the install is slightly different from any other Exchange Server installation you will do in the forest . The difference is in Steps 10 and 11, which will not be present for any other Exchange Server Installations within the Exchange organization. In these steps you will choose whether you want to create a new Exchange organization or join an existing Exchange 5.5 organization. The additional considerable amount of work involved in joining an existing Exchange 5.5 organization is outside the scope of this chapter.


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