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We currently have a single Exchange 2007 Server on Windows Server 2008. It's also a DC and I'd like to split the DC role to a different box.

Is this doable without migrating the mailboxes off to a temporary box, re-installing and migrating back? I.e. can I just demote the server without breaking Exchange completely? I know this was quite painful with Server 2003/Exchange 2003, so I'm trying to get an idea of how much different the process is for Server 2008/Exchange 2007.

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Unfortunately the process for Exchange 2007 is pretty similar, in that MS do not support changing the role of an Exchange server, once Exchange is installed. This article states:

If you are running Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange Server 2007 on a domain controller, using the domain controller promotion tool (DCPromo) to change the computer role is not supported, and it is known to break components such as Microsoft Outlook® Mobile Access.

Whilst it doesn't state that it definitely won't work, I wouldn't want to risk my Exchange infrastructure by trying, as if it goes wrong it's going to cause you some pretty major headaches. Yes doing a swing migration to a temp box is a bit of a pain, but at least you know it will work.

  • Great, thanks. That's exactly the sort of article I couldn't find earlier. :-) – ThatGraemeGuy Mar 15 '10 at 11:13

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