May 28 2013

Installing Exchange Server 2013

Looks like Exchange is getting easier and easier on every version, the installation anyway. Even so, I taught I’ll give it a try here for those that are new to this product, or want to play with it to learn more. In this guide I’m going to install Exchange 2013 on a server 2012 box and a 2008 R2 one. This is a simple scenario with a single forest and a single domain.

Before you actually want to start the installation, first you need to think on what server version Exchange 2013 is going to sit, because there are different prerequisites:

For Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Mailbox and Client Access Server

– from a PowerShell console use these two commands:

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
Windows Management Framework 3.0
Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack 64 bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 64 bit
Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime 64-bit
Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB974405 (Windows Identity Foundation)
Knowledge Base article KB2619234
Knowledge Base article KB2533623

For Windows Server 2012 with the Mailbox and Client Access Server

– from a PowerShell console use these command:

Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime 64-bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack 64 bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 64 bit

If you don’t install those prerequisites the Exchange installation will stop. The nice thing about the wizard is that it gives you the address page of every prerequisite that needs to be installed on the system. That way you don’t have to search for packages on the internet.

Now that everything is in place, let’s move on with the installation. After the installer launches, on the first screen you will have to choose if any Exchange updates that might exist should be downloaded before the installation actually begins. Since this is a test environment, I will choose not to, and continue the wizard.

The wizard will copy the necessary files for the installation on temp directory then it will initialize the Exchange setup.


On the Introduction page just click Next.

Accept the EULA then continue the wizard.

Right now I don’t want to provide any feedback to Microsoft, or let my Exchange installation to send error reports to Microsoft. In a production environment this is a nice thing, and lets Microsoft improve their products.

You might be surprised if this is the first time you are seeing this screen. I was, that’s for sure. In Exchange 2007 and 2010 we had 5 roles and now we are left with two. The Hub Transport role and the Unified Messaging roles were included in the Mailbox and the Client Access roles. Now these two roles will perform the email routing between Exchange servers and outside world, email routing within the organization, handle client connections to mailboxes, etc. The Edge Transport role was no included, and right now, at the time of this writing there is no Edge Transport role for Exchange 2013. You will have to use the one from Exchange 2010. If you want to know more about the new Exchange 2013 architecture you can follow this Microsoft TechNet page. Now, for the sake of this example we are going to install the two roles on the same box. If you want o split the Exchange roles, Microsoft recommends you install the Mailbox role first.

Choose an install path then click Next.

If you are seeing this screen it means that your forest and domain was not prepared for the Exchange installation, or there was no Exchange server in your environment ever. You don’t have to worry because the wizard will automatically prepare the forest and domain for you, if the proper permissions are met. Since I’m logged in with an enterprise admin account I have all the rights I need on mine domain controllers. If not, you will need to ask you AD admins to prepare the forest and domain for you.

To prepare the forest and the local domain, the AD guys will need to mount the Exchange installation media on one of the domain controllers, open a PowerShell console and issue the following command:


Back to our Exchange installation wizard we have a new feature. A malware scanning engine was integrated in Exchange 2013, so if you want to use it just click Next to continue.

The wizard will do a prerequisite check to see if everything is in order. If is OK, click Next. You have to stay and watch this because is not going to tell when the checking is finished, the bar just stays at 100%.


After you click the Next button the installation of Exchange 2013 starts. This is going to take a while, so fell free to take a pause.


A server reboot is required after the installation. Go ahead and do that, then we’ll take a look at the new Exchange Administration Center.

In Exchange 2013 the management console is gone, we have a web page for administration now. This is good and bad. Is bad because I like to have a console to manage Exchange stuff, is good because you can access it from everywhere. The Exchange Administration Center can be launch by typing https://<Exchange server name>/ecp in Internet Explorer.

Choose the language and time zone then click Save.

And here it is. To be honest I don’t like it, but maybe until I get used to the new look. Fell free to explore the interface, but in Exchange 2013 you will heavily depend on PowerShell, so don’t get to comfortable here.

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    1. Adrian Costea

      Never happened to me, but thanks for the hint, much appreciated.

  1. mark

    Thank you Adrian, managed to get it working that way. Actually I was thinking way too complicated and got me confused 🙂

    1. Adrian Costea

      I’m glad it worked out.

  2. mark

    Great, thank you! I have installed it into my lab. I am beginner and just started preparing for 70-341/70-342 exam. Let’s assume I wanna go live in the real world with this setup – just for some hours and demonstration purposes. I have fixed IP, will get cheap SSL cert and registered Domain xyz.com with subdomain mail.xyz.com. How would I configure DNS / MX entries in order to get it working? TIA

    1. Adrian Costea

      You will need to create an A record that points to your IP, then create an MX record (mail.xyz.com) that points to your A record. Let me know how it works. Cheers

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