Introduction Recently I was faced with the task of re-installing the Exchange 2007 Mailbox server role as well

as the operating system on each node in a CCR-based Mailbox server setup. Since there’s no documentation available on how this is done in a step by step fashion, I thought you would like it covered here on MSExchange.org as chances are you’ll find yourself in a similar situation one day. To be honest the process is relatively straightforward, but things can become messy if you don’t follow the right steps as well as perform them in a specific order. Note: The steps provided in this article will make sure the clustered mailbox server (CMS) is 100% available to your Outlook users during the whole process. In the first article, we’ll uninstall the passive clustered mailbox role from the first CCR node, evict the node form the Windows cluster and the re-add the node to the Windows cluster after the operating system has been re-installed and configured accordingly. Re-Installing the first CCR Node The very first thing you’ll want to do is to logon to one of the CCR nodes. Then ensure the Windows cluster resources and the clustered mailbox server is owned by the opposite node than the one you’re going to reinstall first. To see which node owns the Windows Cluster resources, open the Windows Cluster Administrator console, then select the Groups node as shown in Figure 1 below. As you can see in the right pane the owner for both the Windows Cluster Group and the CMS is revealed.

Figure 1: Cluster Administrator Console Note: You can also see which node owns the CMS by typing Get-ClusteredMailboxServer | FL in the Exchange Management Shell (EMS). If you’re running Exchange 2007 SP1, you can even use the Exchange Management Console (EMC) to check this. This is done under the Server Configuration work center, where you open the Property page for the CMS and then click the Clustered Mailbox Server tab). If the resources are owned by the node you planned on reinstalling first, you must move them to the other node. As you probably had the CMS running in production for quite some time, I shouldn’t need to tell you this but remember that it’s only supported to move the Windows Cluster Group using the Windows Cluster Administrator. The CMS must be moved using

either the Move-ClusteredMailboxServer cmdlet (Figure 2) or if you’re using Exchange Server 2007 SP1 by using the Manage Clustered Mailbox Server wizard in the EMC (Figure 3).

Figure 2: Moving the clustered mailbox server using the Exchange Management Shell

Figure 3: Moving the clustered mailbox server using the Exchange 2007 SP1 Management Console When the Windows Cluster Group and CMS have been moved to the other node, we can begin uninstalling the Mailbox server role. To do so, open the Control Panel and then Add/Remove Programs. Select Microsoft Exchange and click Remove (Figure 4). This will launch the Exchange 2007 Setup wizard.

Figure 4: Clicking Remove in Add or Remove Programs On the Exchange 2007 Setup wizard maintenance mode page, click Next then untick Passive Clustered Mailbox Role and Management Tools. Click Next again.

Figure 5: Removing the Passive Clustered Mailbox Role Let the readiness checks complete then click Uninstall (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Readiness Checks completed successfully When the passive clustered mailbox role have been uninstalled, click Finish (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Exchange 2007 Passive Mailbox role and Management Tools removed successfully With the passive clustered mailbox server role uninstalled, we can evict the node from the Windows cluster. To do so, open the Cluster Administrator console, then right-click on the respective node and select Stop Cluster Service in the context menu as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Stopping the cluster service When the cluster service has been stopped, we are able to evict the node. Do so by right-clicking on the node that’s now offline then select Evict Node (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Evicting the cluster node

We’ll get a warning message like the one shown in Figure 10, click Yes.

Figure 10: Warning message We have now removed the node from the Windows cluster (Figure 11).

Figure 11: Cluster Administrator with one node We can begin to re-install the operating system, but before you do so please make sure you have the NetBIOS name, IP addresses, LUNs etc. documented, so you know how to configure these things when Windows Server 2003 has been reinstalled. Before we re-add the node to the Active Directory domain, we must also make sure the computer account is reset. To do so open the Active Directory Users & Computer MMC snap-in, then select the respective computer account object, right-click on it and select Reset Account on the context menu (Figure 12).

Figure 12: Resetting the Active Directory Computer account When the cluster node has been reinstalled and you have configured the NetBIOS name, IP addresses, and LUNs as well as added the node to the Active Directory domain, the next task is to re-add the node to the Windows Server cluster. To do so, open the Cluster Administrator console and then right-click somewhere in the left pane. In the context menu, select New > Node as shown in Figure 13 below.

Figure 13: Adding a new node to the Windows Server 2003 cluster On the Add Notes Wizard welcome page, click Next, then enter the NetBIOS name of the node you’re re-adding to the cluster and click Add (Figure 14). Click Next.

Figure 14: Entering the NetBIOS name of the node to be re-added to the cluster The cluster wizard will now analyze the cluster configuration (Figure 15). When finished click Next.

Figure 15: Cluster configuration wizard analyzes the cluster configuration We now need to enter the password for the cluster service account (Figure 16). When you have done so, click Next. Note: Although I use the Administrator account as the cluster service account in my lab, you should always create a dedicated cluster service account for the cluster when dealing with production environments.

Figure 16: Specifying the password for the Cluster Service Account Now verify you want to add the node to the proposed cluster configuration and click Next (Figure 17).

Figure 17: Proposed Cluster Configuration Wait for the cluster to be configured and when possible click Next and finally Finish to exit the Cluster setup wizard (Figure 18).

Figure 18: Cluster is configured Summary In this part 1 of this 2 part article series, we uninstalled the passive clustered mailbox role from the first CCR node, evicted the node from the Windows cluster and then re-added the node to the Windows cluster after the operating system had been re-installed and configured accordingly. In the next part, we will install the passive mailbox role and configure it accordingly. Introduction In the previous article, we uninstalled the passive clustered mailbox role from the first CCR node, evicted the node from the Windows cluster and then re-added the node to the Windows cluster after the operating system had been re-installed and configured accordingly. In this part two of this articles series, we can move on where we left off in part one by installing the passive mailbox role. To do so, launch Exchange 2007 Setup.exe, and then click Install Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 (Figure 2.1). Note: The clustered mailbox server in the lab I’m using for the purpose of this article is running Exchange 2007 SP1, which is why I use the Exchange Server 2007 SP1 binaries to re-install the passive Mailbox role. If you’re CMS haven’t yet been upgraded to Exchange 2007 SP1, it’s important you use the Exchange 2007 RTM binaries to re-install the passive Mailbox role.

Figure 2.1: Exchange Server 2007 SP1 splash screen On Introduction page, click Next > accept the License Agreement and click Next. Decide whether or not you want to enable error reporting, and then click Next once again. On the Exchange 2007 Setup Installation Type page, select Custom Exchange Server Installation and click Next (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2: Selecting a Custom Exchange Server Installation Now tick Passive Clustered Mailbox Role. If you installed the Exchange 2007 binaries at another location than the default, this is also the page on which you change the installation path (Figure 2.3). Click Next.

Figure 2.3: Selecting Passive Clustered Mailbox Role and specifying the Installation path The readiness checks will now be performed. This will normally complete without any issues or errors, but if you like me forgot to remove the database and log files from the Database or Log file LUNs, you’ll receive an error similar to the one shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4: Readiness Check error as databases are present on the database LUN When removed, you should see a Readiness Checks page like the one in Figure x (of course without the 32-bit version warning). Click Install.

Figure 2.5: Readiness Checks Completed Successfully The installation process will now begin and after a few minutes you should get a completion page as shown below (Figure 2.6).

Figure 2.6: Installation of Passive Clustered Mailbox Role installed successfully Now that the Exchange 2007 SP1 binaries have been installed, we must reboot the node before continuing with the next steps. Next step is to reseed the storage group copies, so that the CCR node gets up to date replicas of each the active databases. This can be done using the Exchange Management Shell and when speaking Exchange 2007 SP1 the Exchange Management Console (EMC) UI. In this article, we’ll use the EMC UI, so launch the EMC. In the EMC, select the clustered mailbox server under the Server Configuration work center. As we can see in Figure 2.7 below, the copy status is currently in a failed mode, which is expected.

Figure 2.7: Copy status is currently in a Failed state If we open the Property page for one of the storage groups and click on the Cluster Continuous Replication tab, we can also see that no logs have been copied to the newly installed CCR node.

Figure 2.8: No logs have been copied to the new CCR node To seed the passive node, select a storage group and click Update Storage Group Copy in the Action pane (Figure 2.9).

Figure 2.9: Update Storage Group Copy On the Update Storage Group Copy Introduction page, click Next (Figure 2.10).

Figure 2.10: Update Storage Group Copy Wizard On the Summary page, click Update (Figure 2.11).

Figure 2.11: Update Storage Group Copy page If you receive the warning shown in Figure 2.12, click Yes.

Figure 2.12: Checkpoint File Warning After a while (depending on the size of the databases) you’ll be taken to the Completion page (Figure 2.13), where you simply click Finish.

Figure 2.13: Completion page The storage group will now be in a healthy state (Figure 2.14) and any log files will have been copied to the passive node (Figure 2.15).

Figure 2.14: Healthy Copy Status

Figure 2.15: Log file copy dates updated You must run the Update Storage Group Copy wizard for any existing storage groups. Re-installing the Second CCR Node Time has come to re-install the second CCR node. Since the steps are identical to the ones we went through in order to reinstall the first CCR node, I won’t repeat them. Just go back to part one of this articles series and follow each step until you end up here again. Summary As you have seen throughout this article, although CCR-based clustered Mailbox server scenarios can be complex, it is a straightforward task to re-install the nodes in such as scenario. But with that said, if you do not follow the right steps in the right order, your day (or perhaps week!) can quickly be ruined. This article helps you through the process without any downtime to your end users at all.

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