In around April 2011 I put together an article which made some recommendations for a successful installation of Exchange 2010 SP1 onto Windows Server 2008 R2. Since then as you might expect a number of things have moved on in the world of both Windows and Exchange – therefore I have decided it is probably appropriate to publish a short post that details some relevant changes to the requirements process for Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Thankfully much of the original article is still pretty current, however it is worth updating as since April there have been a number of updates for Windows 2008 R2 and of course Exchange 2010 SP 2 has been released, therefore for your viewing pleasure I would like to present to you the following updates:
Windows 2008 R2 Hotfixes Required to install certain Exchange Roles
All of the hot fixes detailed in this section of the original article are now part of the Windows Update Step – therefore you do not need to download and install them separately (this was also very kindly pointed out by Brad Saide).
Get your permissions in order
All of recommendations that I made in the original post still remain the same – however – I would like to add that if you are using an account that is not the original Domain Administrator for your Domain / Forest (e.g. one that you have created specifically for administrative purposes) – when running the Exchange “Setup.exe” binary, or a command prompt to execute the “Setup.com” binary you should ensure that these are run “As Administrator”.
For example; in the case of Setup.exe from the Exchange 2010 binary – right click on the file and from the context menu that appears choose the “Run as administrator” option – see below:
If you are running Exchange setup via the Command Prompt make sure that you start the Command Prompt as an administrative user – see below:
Some additional Tips
The following are some additional tips that I would like to add to the original article that I have thought of since
Domain Controller Goodness
- Before you install any new Exchange 2010 Server (does not matter if it is the first of one of many) you should ensure that all Domain Controllers are online and are working correctly in both Parent and Child Domains (should you have a multi-domain setup). If you have a DC that is offline, or is not functioning correctly in the replication topology, Exchange setup is likely to fail as the objects that need to be created cannot be replicated.
Given the above – a good tool to use BEFORE You install Exchange is DCDIAG (which can be used from a Windows 2008 R2 command prompt or directly on a domain controller).
Open a command prompt (as an Administrator) and type in the following command:
dcdiag /s:<home domain controller name> /a >c:\DomainReport.txt
This will pipe all relevant output to a text file called “DomainReport.txt” located in the root of C:\ on your server. The command will test each domain controller detected within your infrastructure for issues. When completed you should inspect this report (sic. the text file that has been produced) to ensure that there are no unexpected issues before you install Exchange.
It is important to note that Exchange will work perfectly well without PowerGUI, but it comes with perhaps the best Powershell scripting Editor around – and as you all know, Exchange is a beast for Powershell.
Normally I would never recommend placing 3rd party software on an Exchange Server (aside from Anti-Viral, Backup, Monitoring Agents, Statistics Tools) – but PowerGui IMHO is an exception to this rule.
You can download PowerGui from: http://powergui.org/index.jspa
If you are installing Exchange for the first time on a new Windows 2008 R2 Server, you should ensure that there are no previous reboots pending (e.g. from Windows Updates and the like). If there are, Exchange Setup will fail and require you to reboot the machine.