Install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012

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Exchange Server 2013 is very different from Exchange 2010. There have been lot of changes and new features available in Exchange 2013. The installation process in Exchange 2013 is quite different from installation of Exchange 2010. So, in this post I will show steps to install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012. It is very important to go through the prerequisites of Exchange 2013 before the install. Prerequisites can be different for different scenario. In this post, I will install fresh Exchange 2013 in Server 2012. This is done in test environment and there is no older versions of Exchange installed in our domain. Unlike Exchange 2010, there are only two roles in Exchange 2013, mailbox server role and client access role.

Install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012

The diagram below shows our lab scenario. We have installed domain controller in MBG-DC1. Now we will install Exchange 2013 in MBG-Mail server.

Install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012

Installation Prerequisites

Since we will install both Mail Server role and Client Access role in same physical server, there are some prerequisites that needs to be taken care of. They are: –

  1. The Active Directory forest functional level must be at least Server 2003.
  2. The Active Directory site must contain at least one Global Catalog server and a writable domain controller.
  3. Exchange Server must be member of Domain Controller.
  4. Perform Windows Update and reboot the Mail Server.
  5. Install .NET Framework 4.7 in the Exchange server. Exchange 2013 CU23 requires .Net Framework 4.7.
  6. Install Remote Server Administration ToolKit in Mail Server. Use PowerShell cmdlet, Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS.
  7. Run the following command in Windows PowerShell to install other required components.
    Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation
  8. Download and install Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit in Mail Server.
  9. Download and install Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2012.
  10. Download Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2013.

Exchange 2013 Installation Steps

Now insert the Exchange 2013 installation media in Mail Server to start installing the Exchange Server 2013. Run the setup from installation media. You will see following window pop up. Choose to connect to the internet and download the updates. Click Next.

 Install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012

After installing the updates, the setup will copy files that are required to install Exchange 2013.

Install Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012

After copying the necessary files, the setup will initialize the setup.

Initializing Setup

The setup now welcomes you to the welcome screen. Read the information and click Next.


Read and accept the license agreement. Click Next.

License Agreement

Choose do not use recommended settings and click Next.

Recommended Settings

Now select the server roles. Since we want to install both Mailbox and Client Access server role, check both roles. Click Next.

Choose Server Role

Now specify the installation space and location. Since this is test environment, I will use default location. But make sure you have alternate location other than system volume in production environment. Click Next.

Installation Location

Type the name for this Exchange organization. This could be your organization name. Click Next.

Exchange Organization

Choose No to enable Malware protection and click Next.

Malware Settings

The installation now performs checks of you environment.

Readiness Checks

You will see a little warning as shown below after completing the readiness checks. Now click Install button to start the installation of Exchange 2013.

Prerequisite Analysis

The setup will now start installing the Exchange Server 2013. There are total of 15 steps to complete the setup.

Exchange Setup


Now the setup has completed. Check launch Exchange administration center and click Finish.

Finish Setup

Now log in with you domain administrator credentials. You can also open the Exchange Admin Center by browsing the link, https://localhost/ecp in the browser of the Exchange Server itself.

Exchange 2013 Admin Center

You can now configure send and receive connectors to send and receive mails from this console. Exchange Server 2013 has web management console unlike Exchange 2010.

Exchange Admin

In this way you can install Exchange 2013 mail server. You can also verify the Exchange installation. To do so, open Exchange Management Console, and type Get-ExchangeServer cmdlet. You can see more detail information by formatted list pipe cmdlet, i.e. Get-ExchangeServer | fl.

Exchange Install Verification

You can also view the setup log located in <system drive>\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.log path. More on Exchange 2013 installation here. Now update your Exchange server with latest bug fixes. Then, configure the server to send and receive outside email. You can download and install Cumulative Update 2 for Exchange Server 2013. To check your current build of Exchange 2013 type following cmdlet in Windows PowerShell.

[PS] C:\Windows\System32>Get-ExchangeServer | fl name,edition,admindisplayversion

You can also easily view the latest information about download availability and new updates.

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Bipin is a freelance Network and System Engineer with expertise on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, VMware, and other technologies. You can hire him on UpWork. Bipin enjoys writing articles and tutorials related to Network technologies. Some of his certifications are, MCSE:Messaging, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIS-ENT, and others.

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