If you need to verify that your settings are working properly, more information can be found in the
Exchange 2007 documentation
Q After I boot my Virtual PC image with Exchange on it, I keep having problems related to contacting the directory or LDAP server. Telnetting to 389 works and all services are running. Why is this?
A I had this problem myself last year at Tech•Ed. I had a copy of a Virtual PC on my laptop that I’d copied from a machine at work, and I was planning on using it to do demonstrations for members of the press who were publishing articles coinciding with the launch of Exchange 2007 Beta 2 the following month.
I’d done a million demos of the product and knew the build was solid, so I didn’t prepare extensively. You can imagine the sweat on my forehead when I booted up my Virtual PC on Monday morning, just hours before the first meeting, and every part of my build insisted it couldn’t contact a domain controller. Thanks to the high concentration of super-smart folks in the cabana, we were able to figure it out quickly.
The problem I had in the Tech•Ed debacle was the result of running Virtual PC on my super-slow laptop. At the root of the problem was a race condition with DNS and Active Directory. The DNS server on the image was configured to be integrated with Active Directory, but due to the sequence in which the services on the image were loaded (and the, shall we say, lack of zippiness of my laptop), the necessary directory services hadn’t started up by the time the DNS server tried to contact Active Directory.
This situation can happen on any server that has DC and Exchange on the same machine (it does not have to be a virtualized image), but it’s far more likely to occur in a virtualized environment where there’s an extra slowdown—particularly with a not-too-beefy laptop like mine.
I have also seen a similar problem happen with Virtual PC images that are copied between two machines, especially when one of those machines is on a different network. If this has happened to you, check the IP address of the OS in the image; it may have a stale IP address from the old network. Refresh it to get an IP from the new network and see if that helps.
To avoid these kinds of problems in the future, one alternative is to make the DNS server on the guest not be Active Directory-integrated as well as install DNS on both the host and the guest. Have the guest forward to the host for unknown records and have the host forward to its appropriate DNS server for unknown records as well. When your image boots and tries to update the DNS records, it will be less prone to failure.
Q It seems like Exchange 2007 setup is quite different than setup in earlier versions of Exchange. How does this thing work?
A Yes, indeed, there are several stages of Exchange 2007 setup. Here is a general overview of how the whole process works.
When you first run setup.exe, a process launches that gives you the links for most of the prerequisites that you need to install before you begin installation of actual server roles. Once you have installed all of those prerequisites, the Install Microsoft Exchange link becomes available for you to click on (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Installation link available after general prerequisites are met
If you ran setup.exe from the network and you clicked on the Install link, core setup files will be copied into the %TEMP%\ExchangeServerSetup\ folder on the local machine. The setup wizard then launches.
Setup wizard will walk you through the various choices such as license agreement, error reporting, and installation type (where you get to pick server roles you want to install). Wizard pages will vary based on the presence and state of the current Exchange organization (if any).
After that is complete, setup will run a readiness check—really a tweaked version of the Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer (BPA), which, by default, will connect to the Internet to download the latest prerequisite XML file. That presents an opportunity to update the prerequisites periodically or address any issues that the Exchange team has learned about since the product shipped. When the prerequisite check is complete, you will have a chance to review the results and continue; otherwise you will see any issues that you might need to address before continuing with setup. If your server fails a prerequisite check, the wizard will let you retry the check in most cases.
Once the prerequisite check has passed, you will actually get the Install button that will let you start the installation of any roles that you have chosen previously. Only the files for roles that you selected will be copied and installed.
At the very end of setup, you will get a chance to launch the Exchange Management Console as well as apply any Exchange 2007 updates that might be available.
KC Lemson is the User Experience Manager for Exchange Server. Her online banking account has been temporarily suspended.
Nino Bilic is a Supportability Program Manager for Exchange Server. He recently added a secondary e-mail address to his credit card.
© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.