Exchange 2016 Install (Part 2)

Step by step GUI install:

As always, we can run the install via the unattended setup using the command line or by starting Setup.exe and using the GUI. Below I chose to run the install using GUI, but I will do a quick post on the unattended install in a future post. In this case, this is a new Exchange install. No Exchange server currently exists in the environment and because of this, I won’t be discussing any topics related to a coexistence situation. The process we’ll follow will be to extend the AD schema, prepare the AD environment for Exchange, and finally run the install.

The whole process is pretty straight forward (assuming we have the prerequisites installed correctly). Performing the schema update and preparing AD are just a simple commands that needs to be run before the install. And the Exchange 2016 install itself is a next, next, finish type install with some settings that we will need verify.

To run the Schema upgrade, run the following command:

[PS] C:\Users\mkrause\Downloads\EX2016> .\setup.exe /prepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

After you have updated the schema, you will not be able to install any version of Exchange prior to 2016 and this can’t be undone so be sure this is what you want to do.

If you haven’t installed the active directory management tools on the exchange server, you will need to prepare the AD from a server that has the tools installed, like a DC, by running the following command:

[PS] C:\Users\mkrause\Downloads\EX2016> .\setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrginizationName:"EX16Lab" /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Preparing the AD in a separate command isn’t necessary in a GUI install as the Exchange installer will perform this task and ask you to name the organization as long as the server has the AD management tools installed. I typically run the prepareAD command from the DCs at the same time I run the prepareSchema command because I prefer to run the unattended installer most of the time.

Finally, to start the setup process, browse to the Setup.exe file and start the install. The first page we are presented with is a general Introduction. There really isn’t anything important here other than some links to Microsoft documentation that can help you plan your Exchange deployment.

Next, we need to accept the license agreement to continue with the install.


Now we have the choice of using the recommended settings or manually configuring our settings. In almost every install I do I prefer to chose to manually configure the install settings and we have selected this option here.


In this install we will not be deploying an Edge Transport server so all we need is the Mailbox Role. You will notice that when we select the Mailbox role, the other options are grayed out. This is because you can’t have the Mailbox and Edge Transport roles on the same server. We have already installed the prerequisites so we shouldn’t need to check the automatically install Windows Server roles/features check box.


Now we need to chose the install location. Typically, I will install exchange on it’s own drive. But since this is just a lab environment, we left this as the default location on the C: drive.


I suggest that you leave the default here and allow Exchange to install malware protection. If you have a separate device that will protect your environment you can choose to remove this from the install. We will chose ‘No’ to leave it in place a continue.


Now that we have all the required info for the install, the setup will run a readiness check. Assuming that we have all the prerequisites from earlier correctly installed we should be able to continue on with the install. If any prerequisites were missed, the install will notify us here.


Now we wait for the install process to finish.


We need to restart the server after the install completes. We should now be able to open a web browser and navigate to the Exchange Admin Center. The URL for this is: https://servername/ECP. Since this is the first time we’ll log in and we haven’t configured the server to use a certificate, we can expect to get a certificate error.

Now we are ready to start configuring our new Exchange 2016 environment. The Exchange Release Notes are helpful to look up any info you might have additional questions on.