Preparing Active Directory and Schema for Exchange 2013 Release Preview

Preparing Active Directory and Schema for Exchange 2013 Release Preview

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We have discussed previously about installing the prerequisites for Exchange 2013 Release Preview on Server 2008R2SP1 and Server 2012 RC, now we will discuss preparing Active Directory and the Schema within your lab for Exchange 2013 Release Preview. Before we can actually install any version of Exchange into an organization, we need to prep both the Active Directory along with the schema.

When preparing the Active Directory we need to keep the following in mind:

  •         One of the domain controllers in each domain you are installing Exchange 2013 RP into needs to be Server 2008 Standard/Enterprise (x32/x64), Server 2008 R2 Standard / Enterprise or Server 2012
  •         Each domain needs at least one writeable global catalog server
  •         Ensure AD replication is working properly in each site / domain. This can be done by utilizing the repadmin /showrepl cmd
  •         You run the Setup.exe /Prepare* cmd from a machine that meets the requirements in each domain, and that before installing Exchange 2013 RP in the domain prepped that you ensure AD Replication is working properly

There are two locations in each domain that you can run the Setup.exe /Prepare* cmd from:

  •         A member server running Server 2008 / 2008R2 or Server 2012 along with the requirements below
  •         A writable domain controller (there, all you will have to do is extract the Setup.exe package and then run your Setup.exe /Prepare* cmd against the setup.exe you have extracted)

Also to prepare the Active Directory Schema and Domain, the account used to run the /Prepare* cmd will need to have the following permissions:

  •         To prepare the schema (Setup.exe /PrepareSchema), the account used to run this cmd must be a part of the Schema Admin and Enterprise Admin group(s)
  •         To prepare the domain (Setup.exe /PrepareAD), the account used to run this cmd must be a part of the Enterprise Admin group

Preparing a member server running Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 to prepare AD:

Before being we need to install the following two packages:

Once we have both of these packages installed we will need to install the Remote Tools Admin Pack for Active Directory – Directory services. To do this:

1)      Open an admin session of powershell (if you are logged in as an Admin, all you will have to do is right click the powershell icon and select “Run As Administrator”. If you are not logged in as a administrator you will need to do the same but provide credentials)

2)      Run Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS

3)      Allow the server to reboot

Once we have this done, we can move on to preparing the Active Directory Schema and Domain

Preparing a member server running Windows Server 2012 to prepare AD:

When you install Windows Server 2012, you automatically install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 along with Windows Management Framework 3.0. All you will need to do is install the Remote Tools Admin Pack for Active Directory – Directory Services:

1)      Open an admin session of PowerShell (if you are logged in as an Admin, all you will have to do is right click the PowerShell icon and select “Run As Administrator”. If you are not logged in as a administrator you will need to do the same but provide credentials)

2)      Run Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS

3)      Allow the server to reboot

Once we have this done, we can move on to preparing the Active Directory Schema and Domain

Preparing the Schema for Exchange 2013 Release Preview:

NOTE: Within the Exchange 2013 Release Preview, you are not able to perform coexistence with Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010. Exchange 2013 Release Preview is also not recommended or supportable within a production environment. We recommend installing this within a test lab only that will not affect your production systems.

When you prepare the schema within your Active Directory Domain, a few things happen. Here are some of the key items:

  •         The Exchange 2013 Release Preview related attributes are added to the Active Directory Schema
  •         The schema version (ms-Exch-Schema-Version-Pt) is now set to 15132. Once this occurs you will not be able to prepare the domain’s schema with an earlier version of Exchange (such as Exchange 2007 or 2010).

To prepare the schema, it is pretty easy:

1)      Extract the .EXE package you have downloaded from TechNet to a common location. In my example I will use C:\EXCHANGE

2)      Open a cmd prompt as an Administrator, and navigate to the directory in which you extracted the files to. In the case of this example it will be C:\Exchange. You should see a Setup.exe file located there.

3)      Run the following cmd:

  • Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

OR

  • Setup.exe /PS /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

4)      Allow this to run, it should look something similar to this when completed:

 

Now you might be asking “What are these license terms and conditions that I am agreeing to?” It’s a bunch of legal stuff, but they could be found here if you want to read through it.

We should confirm that the schema has replicated across all writable domain controllers and global catalog servers within the domain. You can use the repadmin /showrepl to ensure that replication has completed successfully.

Preparing Active Directory for Exchange 2013 Release Preview:

Now that the Schema prep has been ran and replicated to all writable domain controllers within the domain, we are ready to prepare the Active Directory topology. When we run Setup.exe /PrepareAD or Setup.exe /PAD there are quite a few changes occur within the domain.

Here are some examples of the additions the Setup.exe file will add to the Active Directory configuration to ensure Exchange Server 2013 Release Preview works properly:

  •         It will create a Microsoft Exchange container within the schema, which is located at CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=<root domain> if one does not exist. It will also create a the Organizational Container under CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=<root domain >, and it will use the input from the OrganizationName switch during Setup.exe /PrepareAD
  •         Creates the OU and AD objects required for Exchange Server 2013 Release Preview
  •         Assigns the appropriate permissions to the AD objects created

Here is how you would prepare Active Directory:

1)      Open a cmd prompt as an Administrator, and navigate to the directory in which you extracted the files to. In the case of this example it will be C:\Exchange. You should see a Setup.exe file located there.

2)      Run the following cmd:

  • Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:<NAMEHERE> /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

OR

  • Setup.exe /PAD /OrganizationName:<NAMEHERE> /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

3)      Allow this to run, it should look something similar to this when completed:

 

As for the OrganizationName attribute, this would be the name of the new Exchange 2013 Organization. As we did for the Schema extension we will need to check to ensure that replication worked properly. This can be done by using the repadmin /showrepl cmd to ensure that the AD objects, security permissions and schema attributes added have replicated to the all writeable domain controllers.

How do we know we are successful?

So the key question I always hear is “I ran these steps, and everything showed completed.. but how do I know I am done and it actually worked”?

You can do the following as pointed out on TechNet:

    • In the Schema naming context, verify that the rangeUpper property on ms-Exch-Schema-Verision-Pt is set to 15132.
    • In the Configuration naming context, verify that the objectVersion property in the CN=<your organization>,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=<domain> container is set to 15448.
    • In the Default naming context, verify that the objectVersion property in the Microsoft Exchange System Objects container under DC=<root domain is set to 13236.

You can also check the Exchange Setup Logs, which are located at C:\ExchangeSetupLogs. The log you will want to look for is ExchangeSetup. This log will show you all actions that the Setup.exe executable ran against both the Active Directory Configuration and Schema, and show any errors within these steps.

 

As always, if you have any issues please feel free to shoot me a comment below.

 

Thanks,

Adam F

 

 

Comments
  • Hi I am trying to update schema for 2010 I have 2 domain root.local and childdomain.com I have to update schema on on site which has schema master I have exchange2010-sp2.exe file and when I copy the file to my C:\drive and then use switches /prepareschema and /preparedomain it doest recognize can you tell if I there is any location where I can get iso file so that I can use setup.com instead of setup.exe

  • Are there any special instructions to prepare a locked down AD where inheritance is blocked on certain OUs?

  • When I try and prepare the AD which is running on Server 2008 Standard I get the following error:

    An unsupported operating system was detected. Exchange Server 2013 Client Access

    and Mailbox Server roles support Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later and Window

    s Server 2012.

  • Mike, you'll have to install Service Pack 1. Right click on My Computer and chooser properties. If you don't see SP1 there, you aren't going to be able to install it there. Kevine, I've had trouble with the switches being case sensitive. Also, that .exe file isn't going to do it for you, odds are you'll have to extract that somewhere. You'll basically need to make sure you have a folder structure of the Exchange Files you can browse out to so you can run the command

    C:\ Setup.exe /PrepareAD

    Also, here's a list of more installation switches and how to properly use them:

    danblee.com/exchange-2013-setup-and-install-examples

  • Hi,

    I get Couldn’t find the enterprise organization container when running setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms I have tried everything including deleting object from AD mentioning exchange from other failed install attempts. It has never successfully installed yet I cant prepare the domain. I’m running Server 2012 R2 on an 2012 R2 domain, trying to install exchange 2013 SP1.

    Im at my wits end with this any help very greatly received

  • Hi,

    I have a problem here I'm running a windows server 2008 R2 and when I ren the ff command :
    Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName: /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    it gives me an error saying :The exchange server setup operation didn't complete more details can be found on the echange setup log.

  • In my spanish setup, i have two VMs. One acting as AD and the other for installing EX2013SP1. Both these VMs are running on Windows server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition. When I am trying to install EX2013SP1, i get the error of incompatible windows operating server OS. Before installing EXSP2013 SP1 i have updated the Roles & Features and executed the following commands:
    1) /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    2) /PrepareAD /OrganizationName: es /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    3) /PrepareDomain:es.com /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

    where es.com is my domain name.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  • great article. thank you

  • I have a single forest with a disjointed namespaces (lab.local &; I am trying to extend the AD schema of the non-contiguous domain tree. I ran the commands on the disjoint DC, but the AD schema did not extend. I have allowed the dns suffix on the root domain DC, what am I missing? I error I am getting in the exchange logs is that the DC in the new domain is not available.

  • I resolved my issue above, however, I am a little confused about the OrganizationName when running /PrepareAd. For a disjoint namespace in a single forest, would I use the Organization name I assigned to the exchange server initially, or the disjointed namespace of the new domain tree?

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