Exchange 2013 – Deploying, Configuring & Upgrading – Part 2

In Exchange 2013 – Deploying, Configuring & Upgrading Part 1, we covered the prerequisites for Exchange 2013 & prepared the schema, AD & domain to have it ready for the first Exchange 2013 server. In this part, we will install Exchange 2013 using the GUI and from the command line. We will be installing the…

In Exchange 2013 – Deploying, Configuring & Upgrading Part 1, we covered the prerequisites for Exchange 2013 & prepared the schema, AD & domain to have it ready for the first Exchange 2013 server.

In this part, we will install Exchange 2013 using the GUI and from the command line. We will be installing the Mailbox role first, followed by the CAS server.

Deploying Exchange 2013 RTM:

Command Line Install

In order to install 2013 Mailbox role using the command line, run the following in an elevated command prompt.

Setup.exe /mode:Install /role:Mailbox /OrganizationName:HEWOrg /InstallWindowsComponents /MdbName:DB1 /DbFilePath:”G:\Databases\DB1” /LogFilePath:”G:\Databases\DB1” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

The “/InstallWindowsComponents” will go ahead & install all the required features for Exchange 2013, “/MdbName” is used to specify the name of the first mailbox database (use this parameter if you don’t want setup to create a database with a random name like “Mailbox Database 0981237234”), “/DBFilePath” points to the location of the first mailbox database and “/LogFilePath” points to the location of the transaction logs.

The command prompt will display the various steps taken and their progress. It will also highlight any warnings and errors, just as in the GUI setup. Restart the server once the setup completes successfully.

Installing Exchange 2013 using command line

The setup has to be run in the same way on the second mailbox server. The only difference in the command is the name of the database & logs location. The “/OrganizationName” parameter is not required the second time as the Exchange organization already exists.

Setup.exe /mode:Install /role:Mailbox /InstallWindowsComponents /MdbName:DB2 /DbFilePath:”G:\Databases\DB2” /LogFilePath:”G:\Databases\DB2” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

The CAS server can be installed by running the command below from an elevated command prompt.

Setup.exe /mode:Install /role:ClientAccess /InstallWindowsComponents /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Exchange 2013 GUI Install

Navigate to the Exchange 2013 media and run the setup.exe (right click the file and select “run as administrator”).

Exchange 2013 Run setup as administrator

The first window is all about making sure that the setup is using the latest set of binaries. You can select the first option if you want setup to check for any updates. In our case, we will use the second option as we want to install Exchange 2013 RTM. Click Next to continue.

Exchange 2013 setup1 - Check for updates

Setup will start copying the Exchange 2013 files to the server.

Exchange 2013 setup2 - copying files

After the files are copied, setup will be initialized.

Exchange 2013 setup3 - Initialize setup

Next is the Introduction page. This has a few links about Exchange 2013 and a brief description about the product. Click Next to continue.

Exchange 2013 setup4 - Introduction page

Agree to the terms and conditions to proceed to the next option in the setup.

Exchange 2013 setup5 - License

On the Recommended Settings page, stick to the default option so that Microsoft can collect feedback and improve the product.

Exchange 2013 setup6 - Recommended settings

In the Server Selection Role page, select the Mailbox role. Make sure that the option “Automatically install Windows server roles and features that are required to install Exchange server” is checked.

Exchange 2013 setup7 - select role

In the Installation Space and Location page, select the location where Exchange 2013 should be installed. By default, the location will be “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15”. Select the location required and click Next.

Exchange 2013 setup8 - Location

In the Exchange Organization page, give the organization name. In our case, it is HEWOrg. Select the check box if you want to have a split permission model. This is usually the case in large organizations where there are AD & Exchange teams and both teams have their own rights. In my opinion, it is better to have custom RBAC roles if there is a requirement to have distinct permission sets for both teams.

On the Malware Settings page, keep the default options. Although the malware protection in 2013 is basic and can only be customized using the Exchange Shell, it is good to have it turned on.

Exchange 2013 setup9 - enable malware

In the Readiness Checks page, setup will check for all required components, existence of other Exchange versions and if everything is fine, the Install button will be available. Since we are building a greenfield environment, setup will warn us that we will not be able to introduce any no pre-Exchange 2013 servers later on.

Exchange 2013 setup10 - Readiness check

The Setup Progress page will be displayed and you will see that there are 13 steps which the setup will execute (12 steps if it is not the first mailbox server). The Exchange 2013 setup will take some time, depending on the hardware & setup options.

Exchange 2013 Setup12 - setup progress

You will be taken to the Completion page, once all the 13 steps have been completed successfully. Click Finish and reboot the server.

Exchange 2013 setup13 - Setup complete

You can check for any errors or warnings by opening the C: \ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.log file using notepad.

Exchange Setup14 - ExchangeSetupLog File

Another method to analyze the log file is to use the Get-SetupLog.ps1 script.

If you are following my lab setup, repeat the setup on the second mailbox server and the two CAS servers.

Licensing Exchange 2013

Once the server has been rebooted, login to the Exchange Admin Center by hitting https://CASservername/ecp or https://localhost/ecp (if you are on the CAS server).  You will need atleast one CAS server installed to manage an Exchange 2013 environment. Ignore the certificate error if prompted (we will fix this in the coming parts).

Login to EAC Exchange 2013

Sign in using the domain\user format.

EAC Signin

Navigate to Servers & highlight the server name. An Enter Product Key option will be displayed on the right hand pane.

Enter Product key Exchange 2013

Clicking that will bring up a new window, where the product key can be punched in and click Save when done.

Exchange 2013 Enter key & save

The product key doesn’t get activated until the Exchange Information Store service or the server itself is restarted.

If you are more into Exchange Shell, the product key can be activated by running the commands below.

Set-ExchangeServer “server name” –ProductKey ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE-ABCDE

Restart-Service MSExchangeIS

Note that Exchange 2013 Standard edition can be upgraded to Enterprise by updating the product keys. But if you want to “downgrade” an Exchange 2013 Enterprise edition to standard, you will have to reinstall Exchange and apply the standard edition key. A Std edition 2013 Mailbox server can only mount 5 databases, where as an Enterprise edition can have 50 databases.

Now that all our four Exchange 2013 servers have been built and licensed, we will continue with configuring the servers in the next part of this article series. In the meantime, leave a comment if you have any questions.


  1. amol sontakke says:

    I want to install CU 2013 patch on server in quite or silent mode by using command line,

    How to install all features through command line.

    I tried below command line option, but failed to proceed.

    Setup.exe /mode:Install /r:CA,MB,ET /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

    Please guide us to install it through batch file.

  2. hello Rajith ,

    Thank you for your posting .

    could you have please any articles talking about how to configure two Exchange 2013 CAS servers .

  3. very good article … Thank you very much .
    could you please where can I find other parts for Deploying , Configuring & Upgrading Exchange 2013

    1. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

      In the pipeline Yasin ;-)

  4. Very Good Article.. Thanks…
    Keep your posted..
    I am Waiting…

    1. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

      Thanks Arumugam.

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