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How to Run Exchange Server 2003 ForestPrep


ForestPrep is run the first time you install Exchange Server 2003 into your Active Directory forest. It extends the schema to include Exchange specific classes and attributes.

Before You Begin

Before you perform the procedure in this topic, consider the following:

  • The account you use to run ForestPrep must be a member of the following groups:

    • Enterprise Administrator

    • Schema Administrator

    • Domain Administrator

    • Local Machine Administrator

  • When you delegate Exchange roles to a security group, it is recommended that you use Global or Universal security groups and not Domain Local security groups.

  • To decrease replication time, it is recommended that you run Exchange 2003 ForestPrep on a domain controller in your root domain.


To run Exchange 2003 ForestPrep

  1. Insert the Exchange CD into your CD-ROM drive.

  2. On the Start menu, click Run, and then type E:\setup\i386\setup /ForestPrep, where E is your CD-ROM drive.

  3. On the Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard page, click Next.

  4. On the License Agreement page, read the agreement. If you accept the terms, click I agree, and then click Next.

  5. On the Product Identification page, type your 25-digit product key, and then click Next.

  6. On the Component Selection page, ensure that Action is set to ForestPrep. If not, click the drop-down arrow, and then click ForestPrep. Click Next.

    The ForestPrep option on the Component Selection page



    If ForestPrep does not appear under Action, you may have misspelled the "ForestPrep" command in Step 2. If this is the case, go back to Step 2 and retype the command.

  7. On the Microsoft Exchange Server Administrator Account page, in the Account box, type the name of the account or group that is responsible for installing Exchange.


    The account that you specify will also have permission to use Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard to create other Exchange administrator accounts. For more information about Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard, see the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide (

    The Microsoft Exchange Server Administrator Account page


  8. Click Next to start ForestPrep. After ForestPrep starts, you cannot cancel the process.


    Depending on your network topology and the speed of your Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain controller, ForestPrep may take a considerable amount of time to complete.

  9. On the Completing the Microsoft Exchange Wizard page, click Finish.