Overcome conflicts with Exchange management tools on WinXP

If you try to administer Exchange 2000 systems using the native Exchange management tools, you'll run into an error installing them on a Windows XP desktop. Learn how to overcome this error with a specific procedure using a patch from Microsoft.

Many administrators are likely to be interested in installing the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools in order to manage servers from their workstations. Unfortunately, if they also need to manage Exchange 2000 servers, they may run into a conflict with the installation of the Exchange 2000 management components along with the Windows Server 2003 management components on a Windows XP desktop. Here’s how to overcome this problem.

The situation
The Exchange management components require the installation of the Windows 2000 Administration Tools, which are not supported under Windows XP. While the Windows Server 2003 version of these tools is supported under XP, the Exchange installation program specifically checks for the Windows 2000 administration tools version before proceeding. If it does not locate the Windows 2000 tools, the installation fails.

The fix
Microsoft has released a registry patch that forces the Exchange installer into thinking that the Windows 2000 Administration Tools are installed on the computer.

Before installing any Exchange components or the fix, your XP system must meet certain requirements:
  • Your XP system must be joined to the Windows domain with the Exchange domain you wish to manage.
  • Your Windows XP system must have at least Service Pack 1 installed. You can get this from Windows Update or by visiting the Windows XP download site.
  • The SMTP Service must be installed. You can add this service by going to Start | Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs | Add/Remove Windows Components, and then selecting Internet Information Services (IIS) | SMTP Service and following the instructions on the screen. You may need your Windows XP CD for this step.

The rest
Before starting the installation of the Exchange management tools, you need to download the registry patch that Microsoft developed. Once you download the file named Exchange2000-kb815529-x86-enu.exe, run it. You'll see the welcome screen in Figure A. Click Next.

Figure A

The next screen asks for you to accept the End User License Agreement, after which you are informed that the installation will proceed. Follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to complete the installation.

Once the Exchange 2000 patch is installed, install the Exchange tools on the system. On the Exchange 2000 Server Installation Component Selection screen (see Figure B), choose a Custom installation for Exchange 2000, then choose to Install The Microsoft Exchange System Management Tools, and then click Next.

Figure B

The next screen provides a summary of the installation options (see Figure C).

Figure C

Installation of the Exchange System Manager requires a reboot once the installation completes.

After the reboot, download and execute the installer for Exchange 2000 Service Pack 3 on your workstation. The name of the installation routine is update.exe and can be found in the server\setup\i386 folder after you unpack the contents of the download.

During the installation of SP3, you will have the opportunity to update the Exchange 2000 System Management Tools, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

With the Exchange System Manager and Service Pack 3 installed, you can then install the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools. Note that the WS2K3 Administration Tools can also be installed before you install the Exchange System Manager on Windows XP. You should be aware that installing them afterwards results in the elimination of Exchange2000-kb815529-x86-enu.exe from the Add or Remove Programs list in Control Panel, so it's best to install them first. If you need help installing the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools, take a look at my article on the subject.

Did it work?
To run the Exchange System Manager, click Start | All Programs | Microsoft Exchange | System Manager. If everything went well, you will see the console in Figure E and will be able to manage your Exchange 2000 server from your Windows XP SP1 workstation using the native Exchange Tools.

Figure E

Many administrators prefer to use Windows and Exchange admin tools installed on their workstations rather than using remote control programs or walking to the server console. However, Windows XP users were previously left out in the cold since the Exchange 2000 management tools has problems running on Windows XP. With the fix provided by Microsoft and the instructions in this article, you can now administer your Exchange 2000 systems using their native tools installed on a Windows XP desktop.


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