Exchange2003 - doesn't login - stuck at "Preparing network connections..."

Hello Everyone,

First some info: we're trying a fresh installation of Exchange on a brand
new server.
In my mind, I am still more of a developer than an administrator but
somehow, it's all my problem to handle.

So, we used to have an Exchange 2003 server running Active Directory on
the same machine. It's a network with 4 machines; the other 3 are not
part of the domain so far.

The current Exchange server is meant for being phased out and we wanted
to just reinstall Active Directory from scratch on the new server, as a
Primary Domain Controller. I did all the DNS stuff outlined by this guide:

http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_install_active_directory_on_windows_2003.htm

I reached the end of that guide and apparently I have successfully
installed AD, finally, and was able to carry on with the installation of
Exchange2003.

All the while, however, the current Domain Controller meant for phasing
out was 'alive' .. even when I ran dcpromo on the brand new server. I shut
down the old DC only when I needed to 'borrow' its private IP address to
test the new server.

When I try to reboot it now, I can't login.. we're stuck at
"Preparing network connections..."

We still have SMTP, but no access to our mailboxes.. It's been around
10hours now. I'm thinking something happened to the old DC when I ran
dcpromo on the new server.. but I'm not clear what, and what would be a
good course of action from here.

Is it stuck because it doesn't know better than keep trying to contact
the, now, dcpromo'ed new server? I have shut the new server down to keep
things simple when rebooting the old DC. I had configured DNS on the new
server by replicating the settings on the old one.. Would the inability to
login be DNS-related? I had at some point enabled dynamic updates on the
new server, which I doubt was so on the old DC. Or is it just that it's
been demoted and it's trying to contact the new DC?

Thanks, in anticipation of some enlightenment.

Rico.
0
ras_nas (4)
7/1/2006 10:09:43 PM
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This sounds more like a Windows Server issue than Exchange so I would 
suggest posting to the Windows Server Groups.  From what you stated it 
sounds like the Exchange Server is trying to find a DNS and GC which in this 
case was your old server.  Have you tried just unplugging the network cable 
from the new server and rebooting?  Verify DNS is running and that the 
server is pointing to the correct DNS Server.  If you ran DCPROMO on the old 
server then I would also verify all FSMO roles transferred to the Exchange 
Server and that its a GC.

-- 
John Oliver, Jr
MCSE, MCT, CCNA
Exchange MVP 2006
Microsoft Certified Partner

"Rico" <ras_nas@yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:pan.2006.07.01.22.09.40.813000@yahoo.com...
> Hello Everyone,
>
> First some info: we're trying a fresh installation of Exchange on a brand
> new server.
> In my mind, I am still more of a developer than an administrator but
> somehow, it's all my problem to handle.
>
> So, we used to have an Exchange 2003 server running Active Directory on
> the same machine. It's a network with 4 machines; the other 3 are not
> part of the domain so far.
>
> The current Exchange server is meant for being phased out and we wanted
> to just reinstall Active Directory from scratch on the new server, as a
> Primary Domain Controller. I did all the DNS stuff outlined by this guide:
>
> http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_install_active_directory_on_windows_2003.htm
>
> I reached the end of that guide and apparently I have successfully
> installed AD, finally, and was able to carry on with the installation of
> Exchange2003.
>
> All the while, however, the current Domain Controller meant for phasing
> out was 'alive' .. even when I ran dcpromo on the brand new server. I shut
> down the old DC only when I needed to 'borrow' its private IP address to
> test the new server.
>
> When I try to reboot it now, I can't login.. we're stuck at
> "Preparing network connections..."
>
> We still have SMTP, but no access to our mailboxes.. It's been around
> 10hours now. I'm thinking something happened to the old DC when I ran
> dcpromo on the new server.. but I'm not clear what, and what would be a
> good course of action from here.
>
> Is it stuck because it doesn't know better than keep trying to contact
> the, now, dcpromo'ed new server? I have shut the new server down to keep
> things simple when rebooting the old DC. I had configured DNS on the new
> server by replicating the settings on the old one.. Would the inability to
> login be DNS-related? I had at some point enabled dynamic updates on the
> new server, which I doubt was so on the old DC. Or is it just that it's
> been demoted and it's trying to contact the new DC?
>
> Thanks, in anticipation of some enlightenment.
>
> Rico. 


0
jcoliverjr (1013)
7/1/2006 11:36:27 PM
Rico <ras_nas@yahoo.com> wrote:

					[ snip ]

>When I try to reboot it now, I can't login.. we're stuck at
>"Preparing network connections..."
>
>We still have SMTP, but no access to our mailboxes.. It's been around
>10hours now. I'm thinking something happened to the old DC when I ran
>dcpromo on the new server.. but I'm not clear what, and what would be a
>good course of action from here.
>
>Is it stuck because it doesn't know better than keep trying to contact
>the, now, dcpromo'ed new server? I have shut the new server down to keep
>things simple when rebooting the old DC. I had configured DNS on the new
>server by replicating the settings on the old one.. Would the inability to
>login be DNS-related? I had at some point enabled dynamic updates on the
>new server, which I doubt was so on the old DC. Or is it just that it's
>been demoted and it's trying to contact the new DC?
>
>Thanks, in anticipation of some enlightenment.

I've seen this sort of whacked-out behavior before. While the server's
in that state, bring up "Computer Management" on another machne and
connect to the one that's stuck. If you can, set the Exchange services
to "Disabled" and then reboot. If you can't change the state to
"Disabled" then use regedit and connect to the server. Then change the
startup state of the Exchange service to "4" and reboot. If the
machine comes up okay you can straighten out whatever it is that's
wrong with the DC or DNS. If it still hangs up it's not an Exchange
problem and you'll have to ask that question in one of the Windows
newsgroups.

-- 
Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
0
richnews (7316)
7/2/2006 1:41:37 AM
Definitely try to get the server up in "safe mode" and see if you can 
disable some services.  If it is a Dell/IBM/HP or similar server, you might 
look at getting updated device drivers or system files from your server 
vendor and update the machine.  Sometimes if the vendor's tools (such as 
Dell OpenManage) gets out of date, this can cause such problems.

HTH,

Jim McBee
http://mostlyexchange.blogspot.com


"Rico" <ras_nas@yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:pan.2006.07.01.22.09.40.813000@yahoo.com...
> Hello Everyone,
>
> First some info: we're trying a fresh installation of Exchange on a brand
> new server.
> In my mind, I am still more of a developer than an administrator but
> somehow, it's all my problem to handle.
>
> So, we used to have an Exchange 2003 server running Active Directory on
> the same machine. It's a network with 4 machines; the other 3 are not
> part of the domain so far.
>
> The current Exchange server is meant for being phased out and we wanted
> to just reinstall Active Directory from scratch on the new server, as a
> Primary Domain Controller. I did all the DNS stuff outlined by this guide:
>
> http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_install_active_directory_on_windows_2003.htm
>
> I reached the end of that guide and apparently I have successfully
> installed AD, finally, and was able to carry on with the installation of
> Exchange2003.
>
> All the while, however, the current Domain Controller meant for phasing
> out was 'alive' .. even when I ran dcpromo on the brand new server. I shut
> down the old DC only when I needed to 'borrow' its private IP address to
> test the new server.
>
> When I try to reboot it now, I can't login.. we're stuck at
> "Preparing network connections..."
>
> We still have SMTP, but no access to our mailboxes.. It's been around
> 10hours now. I'm thinking something happened to the old DC when I ran
> dcpromo on the new server.. but I'm not clear what, and what would be a
> good course of action from here.
>
> Is it stuck because it doesn't know better than keep trying to contact
> the, now, dcpromo'ed new server? I have shut the new server down to keep
> things simple when rebooting the old DC. I had configured DNS on the new
> server by replicating the settings on the old one.. Would the inability to
> login be DNS-related? I had at some point enabled dynamic updates on the
> new server, which I doubt was so on the old DC. Or is it just that it's
> been demoted and it's trying to contact the new DC?
>
> Thanks, in anticipation of some enlightenment.
>
> Rico. 


0
jim3287 (14)
7/2/2006 6:22:52 AM
On Sat, 01 Jul 2006 19:36:27 -0400, John Oliver, Jr. [MVP] wrote:

> This sounds more like a Windows Server issue than Exchange so I would 
> suggest posting to the Windows Server Groups.  From what you stated it 
> sounds like the Exchange Server is trying to find a DNS and GC which in
> this case was your old server.  Have you tried just unplugging the
> network cable from the new server and rebooting?  Verify DNS is running
> and that the server is pointing to the correct DNS Server.  If you ran
> DCPROMO on the old server then I would also verify all FSMO roles
> transferred to the Exchange Server and that its a GC.

Thanks John and Rich.

In the spirit of focusing on moving forward, I've simply gotten the new
server to work; sending and receiving emails. As a small shop, good
thing I could afford to just recreate the accounts manually.

It's likely a Windows Server issue. I believe the old DC's being still
Live during the installation of the fresh new DC had it somehow upset. But
isn't something wrong if there was no warning of a potential conflict
with an existing installation, and actually having things break, during
the installation?

John, I had completely unplugged the network cable on the new server when
I observed that the old DC wouldn't bring up the login prompt, and be
stuck at "Preparing network connections..."
DNS had been working fine on the old DC when I shut it down and I hadn't
changed any settings there.
I didn't run DCPROMO on the old server. Btw, what is a GC? :)

I had kept the existing installation up in case I needed to check some
settings while installing the new one.. I hadn't thought that such harm
would be allowed.. and yet, it was indeed just a matter of thinking of
pulling the network cable for the old DC to be fine, and the settings
available for me to check any time..

oh well.. I have some time now to fix this issue with the old server.. if
only to login and check any emails that might have come in over the
previous 24hours or so since Friday night.

Thanks again.

Rico.
0
ras_nas (4)
7/2/2006 8:49:50 AM
Reply:

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Exchange2003 - doesn't login
Hello Everyone, First some info: we're trying a fresh installation of Exchange on a brand new server. In my mind, I am still more of a developer than an administrator but somehow, it's all my problem to handle. So, we used to have an Exchange 2003 server running Active Directory on the same machine. It's a network with 4 machines; the other 3 are not part of the domain so far. The current Exchange server is meant for being phased out and we wanted to just reinstall Active Directory from scratch on the new server, as a Primary Domain Controller. I did all the DNS stuff outlined b...