Installing Exchange Server 2000

Before we actually start our Exchange installation though, we need to talk about the rights required to install Exchange 2000 into the network. Exchange 2000 was the first Enterprise application designed by Microsoft to take advantage of the extensibility of the Windows 2000 Active Directory schema. By introducing Exchange into our network, we will now have a directory that understands mailboxes and virtual servers, amongst other things. In order to accomplish this task, we need an account that has the appropriate rights to modify the schema of Active Directory. This requires an account that is a member of both the Schema Administrators and Enterprise Administrators groups. The user must be a member of the local Administrators group as well.

Now this presents a quandry, because in a typical Enterprise environment, the number of users that will be in those first two groups is (or should be) extremely small. It is a quandry because typically, the Exchange Administrator will not be a member of either of those two groups. So how can we extend the schema if we aren’t a member of the appropriate groups? Enter ForestPrep. Running setup with the ForestPrep switch will allow an Enterprise admin to extend the schema of AD, without actually performing an installation of Exchange 2000. By completing this step, the Enterprise Administrator has extended the schema to understand the new object classes and attributes that will be used by Exchange 2000. When they are finished, we will be one step closer to staring the installation of our first Exchange 2000 server.

There are a couple of things to consider when running setup with the ForestPrep switch. We have already covered the rights issue. There is also the issue with spelling. Believe it or not, if you run setup with the ForestPrep switch, and don’t spell ForestPrep correctly, it will launch the full blown installation program and attempt to install Exchange 2000. I will be showing you the screens from ForestPrep later on in this article, and will point out what to look for.