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WillLin-4660 avatar image
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WillLin-4660 asked LydiaZhou-MSFT commented

Unable to uninstall Exchange 2007 - Cannot find at least one GC

Hi,
We are trying to uninstall Exchange 2007 SP3 since we have migrated to Exchange 2013 already. Our forest/domain level functionality are on 2008 R2. DCs are running Windows 2016. When trying to uninstall Exchange 2007 SP3, we are getting the well known "[ERROR] Cannot find at least one global catalog server running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later in the local Active Directory site." error message. From our Exchange 2007 server, we can use dsquery and nslookup to query the GC without any issues.

We also tried to set the StaticGlobalCatalogs and StaticDomainControllers on the Exchange 2007 server but it didn't help. From the Exchange 2007 EMC, I can see that we have the preferred DC and DC for exchange to use. Any ideas of what's causing the problems? The Exchange setup log didn't provide much useful information.

8/14/2020 3:49:05 PM] [0]
[8/14/2020 3:49:05 PM] [0] Setup will run the task 'test-setuphealth'
[8/14/2020 3:49:05 PM] [1] Setup launched task 'test-setuphealth -DomainController 'hostname.domain.org' -DownloadConfigurationUpdates $true -ExchangeVersion '8.3.485.1' -Roles 'Mailbox' -ScanType 'PrecheckUninstall' -SetupRoles 'Mailbox','ClientAccess' -TargetDir 'M:\Exchange Server' -IISInstalled $true'
[8/14/2020 3:49:05 PM] [1] Beginning processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Beginning processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Ending processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Beginning processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Administrator Active Directory session settings are: View Entire Forest: 'True', Configuration Domain Controller: 'hostname.domain.org', Preferred Global Catalog: 'hostname.domain.org', Preferred Domain Controllers: '{ hostname.domain.org }'
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Searching objects "ServerNameX" of type "Server" under the root "$null".
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Previous operation run on domain controller 'hostname.domain.org'.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Previous operation run on domain controller 'hostname.domain.org'.
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Preparing to output objects. Maximum result set size "unlimited".
[8/14/2020 3:50:36 PM] [1] Ending processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:37 PM] [1] [ERROR] Cannot find at least one global catalog server running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later in the local Active Directory site.
[8/14/2020 3:50:37 PM] [1] Ending processing.
[8/14/2020 3:50:37 PM] [0]

Thank you!

office-exchange-server-administrationoffice-exchange-server-connectivityoffice-exchange-server-itprooffice-exchange-server-deployment
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JonAlfredSmith-5004 avatar image
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JonAlfredSmith-5004 answered WillLin-4660 commented

The problem is obviously that Exchange 2007 does not support your Active Directory Environment. So it does not see your GC. Forest/domain level functionality is okay, but not DCs with W2016.

Since Exchange 2007 is end-of-life long ago, you won't find any official info from Microsoft anymore.

Take a look at this link which still has the information from TechNet.

Supported AD environments for Exchange 2007 SP3 RU13 or later: Windows 2012R2 domain controllers, but not Windows 2016.

Forest functional level: Windows Server 2012

https://blog.rmilne.ca/2016/05/16/exchange-support-for-windows-server-2016/

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If these findings are correct, which I believe they are, you would need to use a low level tool, such as ADSI Edit to remove the server from AD. About 80 or 90 % of the Exchange configuration is there. Perhaps you should involve Microsoft. You can very easily make mistakes with ADSI Edit, and there is no point of return, except an authoritative restore of AD.

An even better alternative is to move Exchange to the cloud.

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Thanks for the info. This maybe the case but I have fairly certain I have ran into this very same issue when we have Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 DCs. I look at the Exchange Setup Log and I was able to find the exact same error from years ago. Unfortunately, I don't have any documentations of what we did to address this issue. I am hoping to find a more verbose error message pointing that Windows 2016 DCs are not supported in the log files.

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AndyDavid avatar image
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AndyDavid answered JonAlfredSmith-5004 commented

One Possibility:

This was the same issue and solved by promoting to DC/GC running on Windows 2012 and then hard-coding the Exch Server to it:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b862b3a3-023c-4fdb-9a3f-20b67956d0cc/unable-to-uninstall-exchange-2007-sp3-cu-23-after-coexistence-with-exchange-2013-cannot-find-at?forum=exchangesvrgenerallegacy




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Was not aware of that you could add a down-level DC/GC (W2012) to a DC/GC environment running only W2016. Was thinking too much in terms of Exchange, where it is not possible to add say Ex2013 to a pure Ex2016 organization. Then this of course would be the best option.

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LydiaZhou-MSFT avatar image
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LydiaZhou-MSFT answered LydiaZhou-MSFT commented

For "I have ran into this very same issue when we have Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 DCs", did all GCs and DCs run Windows server 2012 at that time?

You can try to add another DC/GC in your organization as AD-7937 mentioned, and you have to configure it to be a GC. After setting StaticDomainControllers and StaticGlobalCatalogs for Exchange 2007, try to restart Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology service.
Then use Setup wizard or Setup.com command to remove Exchange 2007 again. If the issue persists, you can post the screenshot of the error alert here, and don't forget to cover your personal information. For your reference: How to Completely Remove Exchange 2007 from a Server.


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Is there any update on this thread?
Does adding another GC running on windows 2012 work for you?

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I am still working on finding a server that's compatible with windows 2012. How difficult is to use ADSI Edit to remove the Exchange 2007 information from AD? Thanks again!

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Its not its difficult, its that its not supported and you risk breaking something.
There are plenty of articles you can follow on the internet on how to do that, but if do, you are on your own :)


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Agree with AD-7937. The supported way is to use control panel or commands to uninstall Exchange server. Since lots of important information are included in ADSI Edit, and it may cause more serious issues if something is done in a wrong way, we generally discourage to use ADSI Edit to remove an Exchange server.

You can check this blog to know what need to be removed form ADSI Edit: Remove (legacy) Exchange server using ADSIEdit.
Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.


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Do you uninstall Exchange 2007 successfully? Look forward to your good news.


If the response is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.

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OlegKovalenko avatar image
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OlegKovalenko answered OlegKovalenko edited

You can Rolling back functional levels AD Windows 2012, after remove Exchange 2007 Server and up to windows 2016.

Exchange 2007 Server Supportability Matrix


Rolling back functional levels windows 2016



Please remember about backup masters role AD, before and after change AD.

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