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Common Issues when Decommissioning Exchange Server

Published On - November 9, 2022 by Nasir Khan |

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Unfortunately, decommissioning an Exchange Server is an inevitable part of being an Exchange Administrator. Because there are several common issues when Decommissioning Exchange Server due of these factors,

  • Shifted to a new Exchange Server version
  • Migrated Exchange Server to Office 365 or another cloud service;
  • A fault has occurred on the server, necessitating a rebuild.
  • The server experienced a hardware breakdown, necessitating an Active Directory cleanup.

Since these are all relatively interchangeable, let’s begin with the first who. When migrating from one server to another, for instance, from Exchange Server 2013 to Exchange Server 2016 or 2019, you must ultimately shut down the older server. Although the situation is different, our approach to decommissioning and the procedures we use to clean up after that are consistent.

Step1: Uninstalling Properly

Decommissioning an Exchange Server relies heavily on Active Directory to provide a trouble-free process. So, what does this entail? This means you can’t just delete the Exchange Server from your server; you’ll need to go through the decommissioning process to ensure the server and Active Directory are free of any lingering Exchange settings.

The Exchange server cannot be removed from the system in the same way that other software is. Many unnecessary items have been accumulated on the Exchange server and must be deleted. Some of them are as follows:

Remove old connectors:

  • Open your Exchange Admin Center, navigate to Mail Flow > Send Connectors, and then delete any and all connectors you find there.
    • The PowerShell cmdlets Remove-SendConnectoror Remove-ReceiveConnector can also be used to uninstall these.
  • Disable Arbitration mailboxes
    • The following PowerShell command can be used to disable arbitration mailboxes:

Get-Mailbox -arbitration | Disable-mailbox -arbitration -disablelastarbitrationmailboxallowed

  • Delete All mailboxes
    • Use the following PowerShell command to delete all mailboxes:

Get-mailbox | disable-mailbox

If the aforementioned steps aren’t taken, an uninstall error will be generated by the setup programme.

Step2: Set up your DNS and schema

After moving to a new Exchange Server or Office 365, the typical procedure for decommissioning the old server is to simply turn off the power. During the installation of the new Exchange Server, you may encounter complications due to the large number of items in the Active Directory that could potentially disrupt the new email service. You’ll need to go into the ADSIEdit to make the necessary changes. The Active Directory Schema is a powerful tool, but you must use it with caution because of the lack of undo functionality.

The service connection point CN= entry can be located and removed.

To change the naming context to “Configuration,”

CN=Services\ CN=Microsoft Exchange\ CN=\ CN=Administrative Groups\ CN=Exchange Administrative Groups\ CN=Servers\ CN=\ CN=Protcols\ CN=Autodiscover\

Step3: Transfer Information from Your Mailbox

When switching to a new system, it’s easy to forget about, the users whose mailboxes aren’t being transferred. Any mail, Public Folders, etc., in the boxes of departed employees. In the event that some folders were overlooked during the migration process, you may need to re-export a mailbox and re-import its contents.

In order to transfer data from one mailbox to another or from one Public Folder to another, the New-MailboxExportRequest PowerShell cmdlet can be used during the migration process. However, when the Exchange Server is shut down, you will be left with a database that is inaccessible in any way. There is no way to view the contents of an EDB file without the proper software, as they are Microsoft proprietary.

If you forget this and later realize you need to restore a mailbox or public folder from the old server, you won’t be able to use merely the EDB file or the native tools. In these cases, software like Regain EDB to PST Converter can be really helpful. Even if the old Exchange Server needs to be restored months after it has been decommissioned, you won’t have to worry about doing so as long as you have this program.

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $99

A brief about Regain EDB to PST converter tool

The Regain EDB to PST converter is compatible with all versions of the Windows operating system. From Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Server 2019, this program can read and work with EDB files of any size. Using the program’s interface, you may look through your whole mailbox database, including all of your mail, folders, subfolders, calendar, contacts, tasks, and journals. Several search options and fine-grained filtering are available when exporting to PST or another common file format. Moreover, you can move the chosen mailboxes to an active Exchange Server database. This allows you to import into an Exchange Server without causing the database to be dismounted. Also, the user don’t have to experience any downtime. Exported files can be imported into an existing Office 365 account. This will allow you to easily and quickly restore any mailbox or other Exchange Server resource.

Therefore, it is recommended to export Exchange to PST files for backup purposes prior to retiring an Exchange Server. In this way, when the time comes, it won’t be difficult to transfer to the new Exchange Server. And you’ll not face any common issues when Decommissioning Exchange Server.

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Author: Nasir Khan

I am Nasir Khan from India, working as a Content Developer in Regain Software. Here I am writing about our products and their updates. And writing some free solutions from converting emails or Cloud Migration process. We have tools like Email Converter, Emails backup and Cloud migration.

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