Deploying Exchange 2013 SP1 step by step – Part1

Yes, I did write “Why not Exchange 2013” awhile back, and I’m still doubtfull whether this version of Exchnage is ready for production deployment. Nevertheless, later or sooner administrators would probably face the necessity of deploying Exchnage 2013 either as the new installations or the upgrades of the existing infrastracture. For those who are ready to start deployment of Exchange 2013SP1 I’d like to offer this series of articles on deploying Exchange step by step, starting from installation and ending with a working HA configuration.

OBJECTIVE: two CAS/Mailbox servers, mailbox high availability provided by DAG, CAS high availability provided by DNS round-robin.

My test network:

Domain: – Domain Controller, OS – Windows Server 2012R2 Standard, Enterprise CA, IP – – Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Enterprise,
OS – Windows Server 2012R2 Standard, IP – – Exchange Server 2013 SP1 Enterprise,
OS – Windows Server 2012R2 Standard, IP –


In part 1 we will prepare AD infrastructure and install the first multirole Exchange server.

For the purpose of this guide I’ll be using a wildcard certificate issued by my internal CA, so before proceeding to Exchange installation I must make sure any certificates to be issued by my CA have the correct CRL urls published on them,  otherwise our clients may face with certificate errors. I will publish CLRs to the default site/folder that’s created by the CA installation wizard, but of course in production networks it should be some other web site.


Domain controller’s default web site is using the computer certificate (it’s got be available in the Add Site Binding dialog after CA server reboot):


Certificates are one of the most important thing in deploying Exchange so I’d like to prepare the corresponding certificate template beforehand. Now I’ll create a new certificate template (a copy of a built-in WEB Server certificate), deploy it and issue the certificate we’ll be using in the new Exchange organisation based on that newly created template.

(run –  mmc – add Certificate Templates snap-in)





Deploying the template:



Now we can install Exchange 2013 SP1 pre-requisites on Exch1 in the following order:

1) Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

2) Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime

3) Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack 64 bit

4) Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 64 bit

Next restart the server and proceed to the installation:



After the Introduction and License Agreement pages we must check both server roles: Client Access and Mailbox:



I will name my Exhange organisation  ENTERPRISE:







Now I’ll check “Launch Exchange Administration center…: checkbox and run ECP:


First of all we need to enter the product key:


Restart Information Store service.

I think the first thing any Exchange administrator is willing to do after installation is to get rid of the default mailbox database named something like “Mailbox database nnn…n”. But before deleting it we must create a new database and remove ALL mailboxes contained in the default database to the new one. Here’s how.


After restarting the Information Store let’s have a look at what mailboxes reside in the default database (TestCompany database is empty yet *):


As you already may know there are several system mailboxes (arbitration and monitoring mailboxes) that can be listed only with the corresponding switches, so we should type in the following commands:


Get-Mailbox –Arbitration
Get-Mailbox –Monitoring

Next we can start moving mailboxes to the new database – TestCompany:

Get-Mailbox –Arbitration | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase “TestCompany”

Now I strongly recommend to run an extra move-request wich is not proposed in the “Installing Exchnage 2013.pdf” available for download on It would cost you nothing but will save you from the error otherwise arising after deleting a default database:

 Get-Mailbox  -monitoring | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase “TestCompany”

35* Please don’t be frightened by the error with one of the monitoring mailboxes above: it just says some of the monitoring mailboxes are already in the TestCompany database because each mailbox database contains several monitoring mailboxes right after creation.

Now we can finally move all other mailboxes (currently only Administrator and  DiscoverySearchMailbox mailboxes)

Get-Mailbox  | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase “TestCompany”

After checking out that our move-requests are completed it’s safe to delete them:

Get-MoveRequest | Remove-MoveRequest


It’s time to delete the default database:


…and look at the warning we get:


Compare it to the one from Installing Exchange 2013.pdf:


We didn’t get the error “Failed to remove monitoring mailbox object…” which hasn’t even been explained in that guide.


Please RESTART the server after deleting the default mailbox database – otherwise there can be issues connecting to the ECP/OWA sites!

Now we can log on to Administrator’s mailbox and ECP to make sure all is working as expected:


The installation is complete!


In Part1 of the series of articles on deploying Exchange 2013SP1 we installed the first CAS/Mailbox server without the error “Failed to remove monitoring mailbox object…”.  In Part 2 we will  install  Exchange certificate on


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