Removing Exchange 2007 From Small Business Server 2008

With several Office 365 migrations under my belt, I felt it was time to remove Exchange services and data from client SBS 2008 boxes who had moved away from their on-premesis Exchange solution. I looked for a good article that condensed the information but was trapped bouncing from MS article to MS article, and scattered information here and there to accomplish this. This post includes all necessary links and some additional tidbits I have found apply to removing Exchange. Whether you have moved to Office 365 or another 3rd party cloud Exchange provider, this information remains the same. This information applies to SBS 2008, but I imagine the steps for removing Exchange 2010 from SBS 2011 are similar. If you are using active directory federation services, I cannot help, as this may not apply.
Below are the steps in order of operations, and links as needed.
  • I would run a final image based backup of the server and archive it, who knows what might happen, and after this you will have deleted your information store to reclaim the space.
  • Disable all mailboxes in your Exchange Management Console (this in effect, deletes mailboxes attached to users)
  • Remove public folders and OAB
  • Follow the steps to edit the registry in this Microsoft article:
  • Now you can go to add/remove programs and uninstall. Make sure to deselect all
    roles, and once the top roles are deselected, the management tools below can be
    selected. The readiness checks will run and possibly fail because there are a few
    more steps. Go back in to the EMC and delete your SMTP connectors. Once this is
    done, open up an exchange powershell command prompt and you may find some
    legacy bridgehead connectors left behind. Run the following command:

    • Get-routinggroupconnector
      • If there are results from this run the following command to remove them:
        • Remove-routinggroupconnector –identity “nameofconnector”
  • Click Retry in the Removal applet and remove if now possible (should be fine now)
    • Removing took about 40 minutes overall (your server performance may vary). You will be stuck at “Removing Exchange Files”
      for about 30 minutes, no worries, let it finish
  • Once complete, open regedit and navigate to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServices
    • Delete: MSExchange ADAccess
  • The server does not ask for a reboot at this point, but I would go ahead (and always do) to make sure I take care of any issues before my image backup gets too old.
  • Always remember you should remove any 3rd party AntiSpam software left behind.
  • You are free at this point to delete your EDB files and Exchange data files as they are not removed during the uninstall process. (make sure you have a backup!!)
Javier Trilla, MCSA, MCTS
Infostream Network Engineer