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Removal Of Exchange 2013 From Domain

As I am shutting the the Q and A section for now, ill be moving some of the interesting questions across to the main site. This one was from Geoff who had issues with his Exchange 2013 install and wanted to start fresh without destroying his domain by removing any entries left after the Exchange 2013 uninstall. As always this is just advice. Make sure you always have good backups!

How to wipe out a botched Exchange 2013 install (and start from scratch)

I really messed up.  I have a DC, and a member server.  The member server was inadequate hardware-wise (memory, disk, CPU).  So, I corrected all of those by building a new server.  This was AFTER I had successfully installed Exchange 2013 using your guide, but before any configuration of connectors and such.

So, with the new member server, I tried to install Exchange 2013 again.  Now I am getting a message during the “initializing Setup” screen that I have to use “setup /m:RecoverServer”.  So, I try that and it fails saying that I need “IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms”.  So, I do that.  Still, failure.

I suspect there is information stored on my DC, since the member server for exchange has nothing on it after the fresh rebuild and install of WS2012.

So, how do I start from scratch (except wiping out my DC)?

Thanks in advance.


As he wanted the server and all legacy settings from it out of Active Directory he needed to ADSI Edit out the Exchange 2013 entries from active directory.

Hi Geoff, you may have to adsi edit out the Exchange 2013 server from the organization…try the following,

CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN=Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover

CN=Default naming context,DC=DOMAIN,DC=LOCAL
CN=Microsoft Exchange Security Groups
CN=Microsoft Exchange Security Objects

Additional steps:

Hard Disk:
On the server’s hard disk you’ve to DELETE the Exchange Server installation folder.
Usually it’s C:>Program Files>Microsoft>Exchange Server

DELETE the Exchange Back End and Front End websites with the IIS-Manager

AD Users and Computers:
DELETE the following users in the “Users” container:

DiscoverySearch Mailbox{GUID}
Exchange Online-ApplicationAccount

DELETE the key “ExchangeServer” under:


DELETE the keys “MSExchange*” under:


Tags: adsi edit

Allen White

Allen is an IT Consultant and holds the following accreditations. MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, CCA, CCSP, VCP 4,5, 6 and HP ASE, AIS - Network Infrastructure.

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