After all of the hoopla, Exchange 2000 is finally here. Although Exchange 2000 seems to live up to most of the marketing hype, the installation process is quite a bit different from what you might be used to. In this Daily Drill Down, I’ll walk you through the process of installing Exchange 2000.

Before you begin
Before I get started, I need to go over a few things. First, I should point out that although I’ve made every effort to make this a step-by-step guide for installing Exchange, the installation process will vary widely depending on your environment. For example, if you already have some Exchange 5.5 servers running but want to add an Exchange 2000 server to the mix, the installation would go one way. But if you’re just starting out with Exchange 2000 and don’t already have other Exchange servers running, your installation procedure would be totally different. Therefore, I’ll provide you with a general overview of what might be involved in your particular installation.

Another thing I should point out is that if you’re looking to upgrade an existing Exchange 5.5 server to a new version, you’ll need to get the upgrade edition of Exchange 2000. I should also point out that the upgrade process can be tricky. I’ve written a Daily Feature on upgrading to Exchange 2000 titled ”Upgrading your Exchange 5.5 server to Exchange 2000.”

Another thing I should mention is that if you do have other Exchange servers already online, I recommend performing a full backup of every Exchange server in your organization before attempting any of the procedures I’ll discuss in this drill down. If possible, I recommend trying out Exchange 2000 on a test network that’s isolated from the production network before implementing Exchange 2000 into a production environment. With that said, let’s get started.

One final detail before you begin the installation process. You must complete the procedures I’m describing while using a user account that has full administrative privileges, including permission to modify the Active Directory schema. The built-in Administrator account will work fine for this purpose.

Installing Exchange Server 2000
To install Exchange 2000, go to the server that you plan to install Exchange on and insert the Exchange 2000 Server CD into the CD-ROM drive. When you do, you’ll see a splash screen. On the splash screen, click the Exchange Server Setup icon. When you do, the server will launch the Microsoft Exchange 2000 Installation Wizard. Click the Next button to get past the wizard’s introduction screen. At this point, you’ll see the end-user license agreement. Select the I Agree radio button and click Next to continue. You’ll now be prompted to enter your CD key. Enter the key number found on the back of the Exchange Server 2000 CD jewel case and click Next.

After the installation wizard confirms the CD key’s validity, you’ll see the main Setup screen, as shown in Figure A. Don’t panic if you don’t see immediate results after you enter the CD key. I’ve seen the validation process take as long as ten minutes. The reason for the delay is that the Setup program analyzes your server and searches for components that may already be installed. Therefore, if Setup appears to disappear or stop responding, wait it out instead of rebooting or rerunning Setup.

Figure A
This is the screen where you select which Exchange components you want to install.

As you can see in the figure, this portion of the Setup process is quite a bit different from what you’ve probably encountered when installing other Microsoft products. Microsoft breaks the Component screen into several columns: Action, Component Name, Current, Drive, and Required Space.

In the figure, you’ll notice that the first line in the Action column contains a dotted line and a down arrow. The down arrow means that an action is required. If you click the down arrow, you’ll see a menu appear. Select the appropriate command from the menu. At the Microsoft Exchange 2000 component level, you can choose Typical, Minimum, or Custom.

If you choose Typical, Setup automatically selects components for installation. If you select Typical, you can’t select the Chat or Instant Messaging components. If you choose Minimum, Setup automatically selects only the main Exchange component but not the collaboration and administration tools. When you choose Minimum, you can’t select any of the other components. If you choose Custom, you can pick and choose which components to install. Components you can install include:

  • Microsoft Exchange 2000: Here, you select the type of installation you want to perform.
  • Microsoft Exchange Messaging And Collaboration Services: These are Exchange’s basic messaging components. At a minimum, you should select this choice. When you select this component, all of its subcomponents are automatically selected as well. Deselect any of the ones you don’t want to install.
  • Microsoft Exchange MSMail Connector: Select this component if you still have MS Mail running on your network and want to transfer mail messages between Exchange 2000 and MS Mail.
  • Microsoft Exchange Connector For Lotus cc:Mail: Select this component to transfer messages between Exchange 2000 and cc:Mail.
  • Microsoft Exchange Connector For Lotus Notes: Select this component to transfer messages between Exchange 2000 and Lotus Notes.
  • Microsoft Exchange Connector For Novell GroupWise: Select this component to transfer messages between Exchange 2000 and Novell GroupWise.
  • Microsoft Exchange System Management Tools: You must select this component to install Exchange’s MMC snap-in. You must install this component to manage your Exchange 2000 server. You can install it by itself on a Windows 2000 Professional workstation to administer Exchange 2000 remotely.
  • Microsoft Exchange Chat Service: Select this component to allow your Exchange 2000 server to function as an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) host server.
  • Microsoft Exchange Instant Messaging Service: Select this component if you plan to use your Exchange 2000 server to host instant messaging services on your network, such as MSN Messenger.

As you can see in Figure A, Setup will also detect if you have previous versions of Exchange installed on your server. If you’re doing a fresh installation, you won’t see any prior version information. You also won’t see components such as the Exchange 5.5 Administrator.

After you’ve made your component selections, click Next. The following screens will prompt you for some basic information, such as a service account name and password. If you’re joining an existing Exchange 5.5 site, you should use the Exchange 5.5 service account and the password for the Exchange 5.5 service account. Enter the password and click Next.

In the next portion of the installation process, you’ll have to tell Exchange 2000 whether you’re joining an existing organization or if you’re creating a new organization. Answer this question and click Next. If you’re creating a new organization, you’ll now be asked to enter an organization name. Remember that you won’t ever be able to change this name without completely reinstalling Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000, so choose the organization name carefully.

You’ll then see the Licensing Agreement screen appear. Microsoft licenses Microsoft Exchange on a per-seat basis, and this screen reminds you of that fact. Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Microsoft Exchange are separate from the ones you’ve purchased for your Windows 2000 server. So, even if you purchased 200 CALs for your Windows 2000 server, if you’ve only purchased five CALs for Exchange, you can allow only five users to access your Exchange server. Exchange 2000 Client Access Licenses represent accesses made by Outlook, Outlook Express, or any mail client. You must have one CAL for every computer that is going to use Exchange 2000.

You don’t really have much choice on this screen. If you select I Don’t Agree, the installation stops. If you select I Agree and click Next, you can install Exchange 2000.

At this point, you’ll see one more summary screen. This screen displays the components that will be upgraded without all of the clutter. It also displays the disk space requirements. Once you’ve looked at this screen, click Next to begin the upgrade process. If you see something wrong with a choice you’ve made, you can click Back to back up to previous screens and make necessary changes.

After you click Next on the summary screen, the setup process will begin copying files and upgrading your databases. This process can take a very long time. During the installation process, you may see a message stating that Exchange needs to extend your Windows 2000 Active Directory Schema. Go ahead and click OK to begin this process. I should point out, though, that extending the schema can take hours depending on the size of your organization. However, in my test environment, the process took only about half an hour.

Now, just complete the wizard. This basically involves clicking the Finish button. Exchange Server 2000 is now installed. When the installation completes, reboot your server.

When the server reboots, check the Event Log to see if anything unexpected occurred. You should also make sure that the Exchange services started automatically as they were supposed to.

To check the status of the Exchange services, you can either use the Services snap-in or check the Services hive in the Computer Management utility. At a minimum, you should see the following services showing a status of Started:

  • Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
  • Microsoft Exchange Information Store
  • Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine

You may see other Microsoft Exchange services listed if you selected additional components during installation. If all of the services are working properly, you’re almost done. Reinstall Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 and reboot your server one more time. Then, you’re ready to go.

In this Daily Drill Down, I’ve walked you through the Exchange 2000 installation process. Keep in mind that the process will vary greatly depending on your environment.

Editorial disclaimer

The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.