Installing Exchange 2007 into a Small Business Server 2003 domain Part 1 – Preparing and Installing

If you would like to read the next part in this article series please go to Installing Exchange 2007 into a Small Business Server 2003 Domain Part 2 – Organising Exchange and your Network.


When I told the Microsoft SBS technical support team that I was writing this article, they thought I was crazy. Karan Rustagi said, “We’re never gonna get a support call for SBS 2003 with Exchange 2007.” Well, that’s fighting talk where I come from!

Having said that, I tend to agree with them. Exchange 2007, by definition, is not really an SBS product, it is designed to have different roles off-loaded to different server boxes, although it can be installed on just one server. Conversely, SBS is designed to run on one server box.

The final release of Exchange 2007 is only available in 64bit. Is there a 64bit SBS? If so, I’ve never seen any of my customers with a 64bit SBS server. So it’s not really possible to install Exchange 2007 directly on Small Business Server at present, but always good to keep the SBS technical support team on their toes. 

Code-name Cougar, the next release of SBS will be 64bit and is due for release 3rd quarter 2008. So if you want to incorporate Exchange 2007 into your SBS oranisation right now, you will need to have a standalone 64bit Windows Server 2003 as a member server in your SBS domain. 

For the purposes of this article, I am using a final release of the BETA version of Exchange 2007 which is 32bit. This version of Exchange 2007 is not recommended for installation into a production environment. However, I am using this version because I have installed the lab environment on the Virtual Server on my laptop which limits me to 32bit.

Getting Started

I have installed one Small Business Server 2003 Standard (SBS) with Exchange 2003 configured and with all the latest security updates. I have also installed a second server with Windows Server 2003 Standard, with Service Pack 1 and all the latest updates. This server will have Exchange 2007 installed and will be referred to as E2007. See Figure 1 which shows the two servers in the domain, with SBS the domain controller for the domain and E2007 as a member server.

Figure 1: Test Lab Scenario setup, yellowpark.local domain

Initially I tried to install Exchange 2007 onto E2007 as a member server in the domain. However, when I tried to start the Exchange 2007 installation, I received an error stating that the Schema FSMO role and a Global Catalog Server (GC) were not currently residing on a Windows Server 2003 with SP1.

Figure 2: Installation Error

This, as far as I can make out, means that it would have been impossible in this scenario to install Exchange 2007 on the new box without making it a Domain Controller (DC) first. 

Steps needed to install Exchange 2007 into the SBS 2003 domain:

  1. Install Windows 2003 Server on E2007 that will be a member server
  2. DCPROMO E2007
  3. Make E2007 a GC
  4. Transfer the Schema FSMO role to E2007
  5. Raise the Exchange Operation mode to Native Mode.
  6. Run Exchange 2007 Setup Wizard on E2007
  7. Install IIS, MMC 3.0, .NET Framework v2.0 on E2007

Walkthrough – Promoting E2007 to a Domain Controller

Click Start, Run. Then enter dcpromo and click OK.

Click through the Wizard then select Additional domain controller for an existing domain. Click Next.

Figure 3: Active Directory Installation

Enter a username and password with the permissions capable of doing this, e.g. Administrator. Click Next.

Enter the name of the domain (e.g. yellowpark.local) and click Next

Select the location where you would like to store the database folder and the log folder, for the purpose of this article accept the defaults, Click Next.

Select the location you would like the Sysvol folder to be stored. Again, accept the default and click next.

Enter a password to be used for the Directory Services Restore Mode. Make sure you don’t forget this! Click Next twice. DCPromo starts running and will take a few minutes to complete.

You will be prompted to reboot upon completion. Reboot and log onto the domain on E2007.

Walkthrough – Make E2007 a Global Catalog Server (GC). 

Open Active Directory Sites and Services. Click Start, Administrative Tools, Active Directory Sites and Services.

Expand Sites, Expand Servers, then expand NTDS Settings. Right click NTDS Settings for E2007 and Click Properties.

Tick Global Catalog.

Figure 4: Global Catalog Server

Walkthrough – Transferring the Schema Master to E2007

You will need to register Schmmgmt.dll if you haven’t used it before. 

Click Start, click Run, type regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll, and then click OK.

Then create a new snap in. Click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK.

Right-click Active Directory Schema, and then click Change Domain Controller.

Specify E2007. Right-click Active Directory Schema, and then click Operations Master.

In the Change Schema Master dialog box, click Change.

Walkthrough – Raise the Exchange Operation mode to Native Mode.

On E2007, click Start, All Programs, Microsoft Exchange, System Manager.

Right-click the organization, and select the Properties option from the shortcut menu.

Under the Change Operations Mode heading, click Change Mode.

Click yes to the question.

After you have completed the above steps, you are ready to install Exchange 2007. I am not going to go into great detail regarding the installation, as there are plenty of articles on regarding this. However, the installation process should run relatively hassle free. 

Firstly, make sure IIS is installed on E2007 using Add Remove Programs in Control Panel. Run the Exchange 2007 Setup Wizard on E2007. Follow the installation wizard to install MMC 3.0, .NET Framework v2.0 and Exchange on E2007.

After installing Exchange 2007, the Exchange organization is considered to be in co-existence as both Exchange versions are present in the Exchange organization.

Installing Exchange 2007 into your organization will also change your view in Exchange System Manager on the Exchange 2003 server. Figure 5 shows the Exchange Administrative Group that contains the new Exchange 2007 server as shown in Exchange System Manager. The new Exchange Administrative Group looks like a long winded name, but apparently the Exchange team used the Caesar Cipher to secretly name it EXCHANGE12ROCKS.

Figure 5: Exchange System Manager after installing Exchange 2007

There are a few guidelines worth following when it comes to co-existence. As a rule of thumb, do not edit any object using the Exchange 2007 Management interface if you created the object in Exchange 2003 and vice versa. Take a look at the complete list of guidelines here:


It is a relatively straightforward process to get Exchange 2007 into your Small Business Server 2003 domain. I haven’t tried running Exchange 2007 directly from a Small Business Server 2003 box. However, trying to run a 64bit production version of Exchange 2007 on SBS would be impossible. 

In Part 2, we will move the Mailboxes and Public folders to E2007, and make some final changes to the network configuration.

If you would like to read the next part in this article series please go to Installing Exchange 2007 into a Small Business Server 2003 Domain Part 2 – Organising Exchange and your Network.


Transferring FSMO roles

Transferring settings from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007

Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003 Coexistence

Implementing Exchange Server 2007 for coexistence with Exchange Server 2003

Moving Mailboxes

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