The next screen prompts for the account to be granted Exchange 2000 administrative rights to the root of the Exchange Organization. As I mentioned earlier, you can select any account that you want at this point, or if you like you can use the default and you will always have the option of running the Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard at a later point in time.
After selecting the user account, ForestPrep begins the process of actually extending the schema. This process can take from 30 minutes to several hours to complete, so you will need to be patient. This is also one of the reasons for recommending running ForestPrep early in the Windows 2000 deployment process. The ForestPrep process is actually a ten stop process, and the screen that shows during this time will actually count through the steps, one by one.
When it does finish (this process took 30 minutes on a PIII 700 with 512MB of RAM) you will get the final screen, and now we will have finished the first step in actually preparing to install our first Exchange 2000 server into our Organization. Of course, we aren’t done with installing Exchange 2000. In fact, we have only just begun. But by allowing an Enterprise Administrator with Schema Administrator rights to accomplish this task, we have at least ensured the success of the first step of our Exchange 2000 installation. The next step required in order to install Exchange 2000 is a process called DomainPrep. This utility must be run in every domain that we are going to have an Exchange Server or Exchange recipients in. Keep in mind that if you have a large enterprise environment, you will need to wait for ForestPrep replication to complete before running DomainPrep. We start out by finding the Exchange 2000 setup file, and this time will add the DomainPrep switch, like so:
Next up we will see the Welcome Screen (omitted by choice) and then the license agreement screen much like we saw with ForestPrep:
Now comes our Product Identification Screen where we will enter the appropriate information (once again, no freebies here):
And now we are up to the component selection screen. You will notice here that the component listed is DomainPrep. If you had misspelled DomainPrep, then it would have attempted to run the Exchange installation and install the first Exchange 2000 server into your organization.
The file copy runs (this should finish much faster than ForestPrep) and now we have completed DomainPrep.
But what exactly did we just do? Well, for starters we just created two groups, an Exchange 2000 Domain Servers domain global group that contains all computers running Exchange 2000 in the domain, and an Exchange 2000 Enterprise Servers domain local group that will contain all computers running Exchange 2000 in the enterprise. These two groups will also be granted the necessary permissions required in order to access various containers in the domain.
In order to run this utility, you will require Domain Administrator privledges, which an Exchange administrator may or may not have. This utility does not require you to have any Exchange Administrator permissions. So depending on your organization, you may be able to run this utility yourself, or you may require someone else to run it for you.
Now that we know what ForestPrep and DomainPrep can do for us, and what is required to run them, we should be a little bit closer to starting the installation of our first Exchange Server.
That about wraps it up for this week. When we pick up next week, we are going to finish our discussion of ForestPrep and DomainPrep. As you might have guessed, these utilities aren’t a one size fits all solution, so we will discuss these utilities in a little more detail. After that, we will actually pop the cd into the server and start the installation of our first Exchange Server. Until next time, ciao.