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Conducting Preinstallation Checks on Exchange 2003

When it comes to the actual installation of Exchange 2003, you can run setup manually or you can create an unattend file so that the install can be automated for a branch office with no technical staff at the site. There are also different configurations of Exchange, such as Mailbox Server, Public Folder Server, Front-end Server, Back-end Server, and Bridgehead Server. This section covers the preinstallation tasks prior to installing the first Exchange server in the environment.

There are some changes in the Exchange 2003 setup program when compared to Exchange 2000. These changes include identical schema files in the Active Directory connector and Exchange 2003 setup, meaning that the schema gets updated only once when using the ADC. Exchange 2003 also does not require full permissions at the organizational level when installing your second Exchange server. After the first Exchange server is installed, all subsequent servers can be installed with administrative group–level permissions instead of organizationwide permissions. The setup program will no longer contact the Schema FSMO Role holder, as it did with Exchange 2000 setup.

Verifying Core Services Installation

When installing Exchange 2003 on a Windows 2000 SP3 server, you must make sure that IIS, NNTP, and SMTP are installed and running. This can be done by checking the services applet within administrative tools from the Start menu. The setup program looks for IIS, NNTP, and SMTP services before it begins the install and fails if they are not present. If you are installing on a Windows 2000 SP3 server, the Exchange 2003 setup program will automatically install and enable ASP.NET and .NET framework for you.

If you are installing Exchange Server 2003 on a Windows Server 2003 server, none of these services are enabled by default. You have to enable these services manually prior to running the Exchange 2003 setup program.

Preparing the Forest

The forest prep process extends the Active Directory schema to include the Exchange 2003 classes and attributes required for the application to run. In order to run the forest prep process, you must have the following permissions by belonging to these groups: enterprise admins, schema admins, domain admins, and local administrator on the Exchange server. During the forest prep process, you assign an account that has full Exchange administrator rights to the organization object in Exchange 2003.

Preparing the Domain

The domain prep process creates groups and permission within the Active Directory forest so that Exchange 2003 can modify user attributes. To run the domainprep setup parameter you must be a member of the domain admins and local administrator groups.

The groups that are created during this process are Exchange domain servers and Exchange enterprise servers. The Exchange domain servers group is a domain global security group and the Exchange enterprise servers group is a domain local security group.

Reviewing All Log Files

Each of the utilities that you execute has some output in its respective log files. Review the log file after running each utility to ensure no errors are encountered.

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