In this post I will go to show you, how to setup and ready-up an email server with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 on Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit). Newer versions of Exchange Server may differ from this one, but it will help you. And if you are trying this for first time, it’s better that you do it on virtualization applications like Oracle VirtualBox or VMware. Then let’s go!

Here is overview of what we are going to do:

  • Install Windows Server
  • Configure static IP address
  • Add role: Active Directory Domain Services
  • Add role: Active Directory Lightweight Services
  • Add role: Web Server (IIS)
  • Add feature: Windows Process Activation Service
  • Add feature: PowerShell
  • A feature that should not be installed
  • Enable TCP Port Sharing
  • Apply Office System Converter
  • Installing Exchange Server
  • Adding email users
  • Activating and enabling anti-spam
  • Testing via email and calendar

Step 1 – Install and Config your Windows Server

At the first you will need to install Windows Server and Activate it via valid licence.

There are many sources that help you how to do it, if was needed. Then lets start with the first simple and important config. Any server computer should have an static IP address (does not matter valid or invalid), so as you see in the picture we go to “Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings” and by right click on our connection, select Properties. After that double click on IPv4 to set you own IP addresses.

Configuring Server IP Address

Step 2 – Adding needed roles

Add role: Active Directory Domain Services

Exchange Server will need a Domain to work with it. Domain also like IP address can be valid or invalid, but in both cases most important thing is a Domain Controller. So by installing Active Directory Services and configuring it, we will have a Domain Controller on our server.

Then open the Server Manager and click Add Roles option. In opened windows click Next and tick the Active Directory Domain Services from list.

Adding Active Directory Domain Services Role

A dialog box appears and asks you to install .Net Framework, so click on Add Required Features button.

Add .Net Framework Features Dialog

Go on with just clicking buttons next by next and finally wait it to be installed. You should see complete screen with no errors like this picture. If there was an error check your server’s configuration.

Active Directory Domain Services Role Installation Complete

Now installation of this role is finished but it’s necessary to config, how it should work. As you see there is an error, click on it to open Active Directory page.

Active Directory Config Error

In this page, find the Installation Wizard option, it will help very much to config fast and easily.

Find AD Installation Wizard Option

When wizard did appear like this picture, we just need to enter few thing, most will just go on simply by clicking Next buttons one after other.

Domain Installation Wizard

When you have reached to this page, choose option of creating a new domain in a new forest.

Create a new Domain in a new Forest

And at the Root Domain page give your domain to it. Also you can use any local or fake one, like how I have done.

Root Domain

At the options page get sure that DNS server is also checked. Then keep clicking Next buttons and in password page give any password you would like. Remember this password is not the same you use for login to your account in the server.

Wait for wizard to finish setting up, it might take a while and at the end restart your server (you will be asked with a dialog box).

Restart after AD Domain config

Add role: Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services

Now, we have to install the second role that is necessary for us. Simply like how was done in the first adding role, repeat the same steps.

Adding AD Lightweight Directory Services

And after finish this the message you should see.

AD Lightweight install complete

Add role: Web Server (IIS)

Exchange Server has an web interface that is called Outlook Web Application (OWA) and allows clients to access their account via web. So IIS that is an integrated web server with windows server should be installed to handle OWA.

Web Server installation

Exchange Server requires several additional services to be added in IIS. In the next page get sure you check all these services:

  • Security – Basic Authentication
  • Security – Windows Authentication
  • Security – Digest Authentication
  • Performance – Dynamic Content Compression
  • Management Tools – IIS 6 Management Compatibility (include all items)

For better understanding which ones I mean, look at picture carefully.

IIS Additional Services

And we completing this one, step 2, adding roles is finished.

Adding IIS complete

Step 3 – Adding Features

Add feature: Windows Process Activation Service

This time in Server Manager go to Features Summary section to add a new feature.

Like the picture find Windows Process Activation Service in the list, expand it and only check Process Model and Configuration APIs.

Adding Windows Process Activation Service

Wait for installation finish and see complete message like previous installations.

Add Feature: Windows Power Shell

Go to adding feature for last time! Select Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) and check it’s box. This feature is needed because Exchange Server has a command line interface powered by PowerShell.

Adding Windows PowerShell

A Feature that should not be installed

All services that were necessary have been installed. Now we are going to set some configuration settings and start installing Exchange Server after that. Only important notice is that, the SMTP feature should not be installed, because Exchange Server will install and use it’s own integrated SMTP. Windows Server SMTP can cause error while installing Exchange Server.

SMTP feature should not be installed!

In this picture all roles and features that are needed and installed are shown.

Roles and Features

Step 4 – Enable TCP Port Sharing

TCP Port Sharing is a services that Exchange Server needs to use it for several types of connections. This services is disabled by default in Windows Server, so first we have to enable it and set it to automatic start.

How to enable it is here, open run window (Windows Button + R on keyboard) and type this “services.msc” then press Enter.

After a short while services window will open, look in the list and find Net.TCP Port Sharing Service. First right click on it and select Properties. In properties window set startup type to Automatic, press Apply button, then press Start button to get services running.

TCP Port Sharing Service

Step 5 – Apply Office System Converter

This program is a converter between various versions of Microsoft Office formats, specially old ones that do not support most symbols. Also helps Microsoft Office Outlook application to read content and calendars correctly by indexing them.

To install it, go in this URL and download your edition.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20109

Then you can install it. When it’s finished, we are ready to install Exchange Server.

Step 6 – Installing Exchange Server

Finally, let’s start our main process! At the beginning after opening setup you should choose how you want to languages be installed. If you prefer offline installation, then click on Install only languages from the DVD.

Setup language

Now start installing. In third page, after accepting licence agreement, set error reporting option to No.

Error Reporting Option

Next is your organization name. This can be any name that you like. It is not important for Exchange Server working methods but you cannot change it later.

Organization Name

If you have clients that use Outlook 2003, at the next page you should set it. If you are not sure, it’s better to set it up. Otherwise it is not needed and do not enable it.

Outlook 2003 Clients

As we said before, Exchange Server has web interface for clients to access their accounts. This was set in Windows Server by a domain. Now we have to set that domain or sub domain of it (which you have configured for Exchange) in Exchange installation.

Exchange Server Domain

It is not needed for you to join customer experience improvement program. But it is up to you!

Customer Experience Improvement Program

Wait for installation to check readiness of system.

System Readiness Checking

And last thing is just waiting! Wait about 30 mins to installation complete successfully.

Installation Finished

Step 7 – Adding Email Users

For adding a user, open Exchange Management Console and expand your server from left pane. Then expand Recipient Configuration and click on Mailbox. From right pane click New Mailbox… to add a new user.

Mailbox Window

When new mailbox window appears, select User Mailbox in first page and New user in second page. In third page you have to give your user’s information, here I’m creating a test user for our next step. Again do not forgot, this password is for this user login, and it is different from Windows Server password and Exchange Server password.

Test User Information

The next page comes asking you to enter an alias for the user, this can be anything. By default it is better alias be the same as user logon name (in here: test_user).

Archive mailbox is an option for your user to store it’s mailbox online and other place than your main server. It can be used for tuning up your server respond time, make mailbox faster and/or other things. If you do not have online mailbox service, leave it’s box unchecked.

Go on and wait for user creation finish successfully.

User Creation Finished

I have created another user just like this with name [email protected] for our last step in this article (Step 9 – Testing).

Step 8 – Activating and Enabling Anti-spam

By default anti-spam agents are disabled and not ready in Exchange Server, so we must first activate and enable them to work properly. These agents can block and spam emails by various items, like IP addresses, sender’s email, recipient’s name, content and else.

So open Exchange Management Shell and wait for it be completely loaded.

Then type these commands one by one:

  1. cd ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\Scripts’ (or anywhere you have installed it!)
  2. .\install-AntispamAgents.ps1
  3. Restart-Service MSExchangeTransport

Enabling Anti-spam

Now open (or reopen if it is open already) Exchange Management Console and expand Organization configuration this time, choose Hub Transport. You will find Anti-spam tab in middle pane, click on it then it shows you anti-spam agents and you can edit their properties.

Anti-spam Agents

For disabling agents automatic updates only go to Server Configuration > Hub Transport and from right pane disable it. Like how you see in this picture.

Disabling Anti-spam Auto Updates

So all we need to learn has finished. Just last step is left, and that is testing!

Step 9 – Testing via Email and Calendar

To access web interface, client has to enter domain given to your Exchange Server in his/her browser. But if your server does not have a valid domain, then must enter server IP address directly with an https protocol. For example in here: https://192.168.1.20/owa (Outlook Web App)

Outlook Web App

Then we log in with a user like test_user and send an email to other user.

User Sends Email

Also we can set events in calendar. They will be shown like this.

User Calendar

Let’s see whats going in test_user2 inbox, should receive the email.

User Received Email

Yes! This is what we worked for it!

Here I will finish this article, thanks for reading it. Help me by telling your opinions about it. 🙂