How to install Exchange 2013 on Server 2012

Hello, The Internets. I hope things are going well. If you’ve reached this article, you probably have selected a link on the second or third page of a search using your favorite search engine after you typed in, “How to find singles in my area.” Unfortunately you’ve reached a post on how to install Exchange 2013 on Server 2012, however, I urge you to put your social life on hold and continue reading. You never know if your next date will ask you back to their place to do an Exchange install and the last thing you want to do is look stupid when you can’t perform because you didn’t expect the install to be on Server 2012. I promise that this post will teach you how to install Exchange 2013 on Server 2012 and your date will be so impressed that they might even ask you to come back tomorrow to install Lync. Now that you’re excited, let’s get started.

Are you ready for this?

Let’s start with the basics and make sure you’re ready to handle this install. The first thing is your Forest Functional Level. It needs to be at least 2003 Native Mode and your Schema Master needs to be hosted on Server 2003 SP2 or later.

I’m assuming that you read through the junk I started this post with and that you are actually installing Exchange on Windows Server 2012, but just in case, Exchange 2013 is only supported on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Hopefully you’re up to specifications so far but if not, pause this post and go get caught up then come back and press play.

This next one is pretty obvious, but I have seen this stump a few admins for half an hour because they couldn’t get Exchange to find the Schema Master. Make sure you join the machine to the domain and log in with a domain account and not a local account. Furthermore, the account you’re planning on doing this install with needs to have certain rights. If you’re installing Exchange for the first time and plan to extend the schema during the install, this post assumes you are, then the account needs to be in the Schema Admins and Enterprise Admins groups. If you’ve extended the schema and this is not the first Exchange server, you only need to be a member of the Organization Management role group.

I know everyone keeps all workstations and servers up-to-date in their environment, but I feel obligated to say that you should probably make sure this server has all the Security and Critical updates installed.

Finally, if you plan to put this server in a Database Availability Group (DAG), then you should ensure you’re running Standard or Datacenter. This doesn’t cover 2008 R2 SP1, but you want that one to be Enterprise or Datacenter. This DAG requirement is due to Windows Clustering, just in case you’re wondering. I’m about to squirrel here, so if you just want to move on to technical data, you can skip the rest of this paragraph. When I help a customer install Exchange, I usually make them click the buttons while I stand behind them and bark orders like an annoying backseat driver. “NO!!! DON’T CLICK THAT!!!” “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!” “MOVE!!!” When it comes time to add servers to the DAG, I usually make the lame joke, “This is where you realize you installed the wrong version of Windows Server and we have to start over.” I don’t make that joke anymore because I had a customer that actually did that, and right in the middle of my joke adding servers to the DAG failed. It was 2am in the morning and we had to start all over. Now I just tell customers, “I used to tell this joke, but this one time…” Ok, back on track.

Let’s get this server ready!

Let’s assume you’re reading a post on how to install Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 and you’re planning on installing the first Exchange 2013 server in the environment. You’re probably going to want to prepare Active Directory and you’re probably going to need a server to do that from. Don’t panic, we can do that from the 2012 Windows Server you’re installing Exchange on, but you will need to install Remote Tools Administration Pack. All the cool kids call it RSAT-ADDS and it does require Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Management Framework 3.0, which is installed by default on 2012 but if you uninstalled it, then put it back before you try to install RSAT-ADDS. To install RSAT-ADDS, we’ll jump to my buddy, PowerShell.

Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS

RSAT-ADDS

Note that you only need to install RSAT-ADDS on the first Exchange 2013 server. Subsequent Exchange servers do not have this requirement.

Now that we can prepare Active Directory, let’s get those Exchange 2013 prerequisites installed! If you’re installing just the Mailbox role or both roles on this server (Mailbox and CAS), you’ll need to copy and paste this mess into PowerShell to install the required Windows components.

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

If you’re installing just the CAS role, you’ll need to copy this equal of a mess into PowerShell to install the required Windows components.

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

WindowsFeaturesMailboxandCAS

You’ll probably want to reboot about now because next up we are installing supporting software before we install Exchange.

After the reboot, let’s install the following software in this order if you’re installing the Mailbox role or if you’re installing both roles. If you’re installing just the CAS role, you only need to install the first one.

  1. Microsoft Unified Communication Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit
  2. Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack 64 bit
  3. Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 64 bit

NERD KNOWLEDGE: In Exchange 2010, the 2010 Filter Pack allowed Exchange to search the content of Office attachments. In 2013, that is built into the product, but it now allows Transport Rules to make decisions based off of content in those attachments, so that’s why it’s still recommended you install it. There are filters out there from other vendors that allow you to search the content of their file types too, but be careful and test them before rolling into production. Exchange will give you a warning if you don’t install the Office filter pack when installing the Mailbox role, but it will let you continue with the install. If you decide to install the filter pack after the Mailbox role has been installed, it will install but it won’t do crap for you because it’s not registered. You have to go in and register it after the install. Moral of the story, install the Office filter pack before you install Exchange and no one will get hurt.

Installing… About time.

The moment you’ve been waiting for, the install! The first thing I like to do is copy the media to a local folder. Just a preference, but if you don’t do it your entire Exchange environment will crash right in the middle of huge business deal and the company will lose millions. Just kidding… Maybe…

Now that we’ve copied the install files locally, let’s take a look at them. First thing you might notice is that there is only one setup file. SETUP.COM has gone away. I believe SETUP.COM was jealous that everyone used SETUP.EXE more and just bolted. The Updates folder tried to talk him out of it and assured him that there were still people out there that liked to script installs and create default databases without crazy numbers, but it didn’t work. Don’t be sad. SETUP.EXE can do all the things SETUP.COM could do, but SETUP.EXE is a little upset about doing twice the work with no raise.

The other thing I want to point out is the Updates folder. It’s not new to Exchange 2013, but it is useful. If you have a Rollup Update that needs to be installed, you can copy it into this folder and go through the normal install process and it will install the Rollup Update as well and save you work.

Since there’s no concern with SETUP.EXE getting upset at us if we do the GUI over the command line, we’re going to use the GUI, so double-click on it and let’s roll.

From here on out, it’s pretty straight forward, but I’m still going to include screen shots for your viewing pleasure and so that you’re fully prepared for your Exchange install date just in case you don’t have a lab of your own to practice in.

First up, we need to check for updates. This will download and install any updates and install them before continuing. You’ll want to do this. Click Next

GuiInstall-CheckUpdates

On the Introduction page, click Next.

GuiInstall-Introduction

On the License Agreement page, click Next

GuiInstall-LicenseAgreement

On the Recommended settings page, make a choice and click Next

GuiInstall-RecommendedSettings

On the Server Roles Selection page, select everything and click Next.

GuiInstall-ServerRoleSelection

On the Installation Space and Location page, click Next

GuiInstall-InstallationSpaceandLocation

On the Exchange Organization page, pick a name here and click Next. Unless you have a business requirement to apply split permissions, do NOT check the Apply Active Directory split permissions security model to the Exchange Organization.

GuiInstall-ExchangeOrganization

On the Malware Protection Settings, click Next.

GuiInstall-MalwareProtectionSettings

On the Readiness Checks page, we’ll get to see how well you followed this post. Make me proud!

GuiInstall-ReadinessChecks2

SUCCESS!! Click install and we’re done!

After the install, make sure you reboot and go get ready for that date cause you’re going to be a rock star!

Summary

Let’s review. In this post you learned how to install exchange and greatly improved your chances of being asked back to install Lync. I was also able to insert a very small SNL reference that you probably missed so go back and read this entire post again, I told you a real-world story about bad DAG jokes, and I gave you something to brag about at your next Microsoft party with the Nerd Knowledge.

I encourage you to provide your feedback and share any DAG jokes you have.

 

15 Comments

  1. Ping from Creating a two node Exchange 2013 DAG » Welcome to Jerrid's Site.:

    […] How to install Exchange 2013 on Server 2012 […]

  2. Comment by Reuben Wanjiru:

    Great guide Jerrid you rock! Did you omit the AD preparation and schema update part?

  3. Comment by Kha Huynh:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I enjoy reading your guides. You made it technically fun to read. Keep them coming and keep up the good work!

  4. Comment by Paul Smith:

    Thank you, Jerrid – best guide on the Web – worked perfectly.

  5. Comment by Hossein Mo:

    Thanks Jerrid, This is a great guide. All of the guides list Unified Communications API as a required prerequisite. Is this true, even if you are not planning to use Lync?

    • Jerrid Williams
      Comment by Jerrid Williams:

      Hey Hossien, thanks!

      Yeah, it’s required because the UM portion of Exchange is now included in what they call the Mailbox Role in 2013. They really should call it Frontend and Backend instead of CAS and Mailbox role, but I guess that’s too much like 2003 😉

  6. Comment by Rada Savoeurn:

    Great guide!! work perfectly, no error

  7. Comment by Gene:

    Hey Jerrid I have a silly question. I m trying to extend the Ad schema on a server 2012 with Exchange 2013 sp1 I keep getting the ” I need to accept exchange server license agreement window when I try to use
    the below commands setup.exe /prepareschema/IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseterms.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to make this wrok . I need to extend the schema so that I can use Ad with Office 365 exchange

    • Jerrid Williams
      Comment by Jerrid Williams:

      Hey Gene,
      To be honest, I have never seen that because it’s always just worked. I’m currently rebuilding my lab and I’ll test a few things to see if I can reproduce the issue. I don’t know if you mistyped it in the comment but you do need a space between the /prepareschema and /IAcceptExchangeServerLicneseterms switch.
      Thanks,
      Jerrid

  8. Comment by Keith:

    Hey Jerrid,

    Its so refreshing to come across a blog where someone has injected some humanity into it, got the job done, and had a laugh on the way 😉