Exchange 5.5 not cleanly removed from an Exchange Organization

When trying to remove the first Exchange 2003 Server from a site (that was previously an Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 server and POORLY managed, orphaned and lots of other neglect by its previous owner), I ended up with two issues before I could successfully/cleanly uninstall Exchange from this server (after migrating all valid mailboxes from it):

  1. When running setup to uninstall, I was told that SRS was still in place (yet I couldn’t connect with Exchange 5.5 admin or see it in Exchange System Manager)
  2. When running setup to uninstall, I was told mailboxes still existed on the old server but they weren’t visible (turns out a few old accounts, that hadn’t replicated from Exchange 5.5 via the SRS (long time ago), had Exchange Attributes but were invalid)

one or more users currently use a mailbox store on this server”

To resolve #1, I found the following…

  1. Open ADSI Edit. This is a tool supplied with the Windows 2000 Support Tools on the Windows CD.
  2. Navigate down to ConfigurationServicesMicrosoft ExchangeOrganization NameAdministrative GroupsAdministrativeGroupServersServername. Click on the Server that the SRS shows to be running on. When you are in the Exchange System Manager and you see the SRS listed, it has the name of the server in the display name. On the right side, you will see CN=Microsoft DSA. Delete this object. This removes the SRS and it should disappear from the Exchange System Manager once Active Directory replication has taken place.

To resolve #2, I found the following gem…

What you need to do is open AD users & Computers on a machine that is exchange aware (i.e. your exchange server or a machine with ESM installed). Open ADUC and Right click at the top level of the domain tree and choose find. Click on the advanced tab and for user, choose the field ‘exchange home server’ and ‘ends with’ and enter the name of the server you wish to decommission. Add this to the search criteria and choose find. This will return a list of all mailboxes that are currently resident on that server.