We have recently completed a server replacement for a customer. They had SBS2011 using Exchange 2010. They now have Server 2008 Std R2 and Google Apps email. We have migrated the DHCP, DNS, Filserver and all 5 FSMO roles to the new 2008 R2 server (today). During the grace period for SBS2011 we intend to decomission the old server completely.

Previous experience would suggest uninstalling Exchange 2010 then demote SBS2011 then remove from the domain and switch off. Can I simply demote SBS2011 without removing Exchange?

Can't really find any walkthroughs on this.

My concern is that if we simply turn off SBS2011 the AD is left in a mess with legacy Exchange objects making any potential reintroduction of Exchange difficult in future, plus I want to do it the right way!


I'm not sure there is a 'correct' way to do this...

Demoting a DC Exchange Server usually indicates that a new DC running Exchange will be taking over immediately.

You are probably best following through instructions on removing SBS as that will include Exchange. But check after demoting your server that the Exchange Objects also are removed cleanly.

As this is an old question - how did you proceed and what results (+problems) did you experience?

  • Thanks Haydn, I uninstalled Exchange 2010 as part of the SBS removal process which leaves the AD in a sane state. I didn't encounter any issues with the Exchange uninstall. After another 2 exchange 2003 to 2010 migrations since this question I am now satisfied with my understanding of AD objects removed and necessity to uninstall Exchange to keep AD tidy. – SysAdman Jan 28 '13 at 9:27
  • Thanks for the feedback and update, you certainly did things the right way - keeping AD working (and tidy) should be the main object of any changes! I'm stuck in a situation which may require a similar resolution - SBS2011 on an underspecced server. Solution looks like introducing a second server for the workloads as virtualisation/cloud is off the cards. – HaydnWVN Jan 28 '13 at 10:53

Did you join the new DC to the existing SBS domain, or create a new Active Directory forest? My understanding is that an SBS server must be at the root of its own forest, and while additional domain controllers can be added, the original server cannot be removed. This is why Microsoft's instructions on migrating from SBS to another server dictate that the new server create a new Active Directory Forest and Domain.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.