How to install Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 on single Server 2012 Domain Controller

This step by step guide will show you how to install exchange server 2013 on a your Domain Controller. The same steps will work for an installation on a non Domain Controller server but I have done it on a single server in a lab environment for testing purposes so I will show you the same way I have done it making my Exchange virtual server.

Firstly I have a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller that I am installing this on. Follow these steps if you need to install Windows Server 2012. Also there are some on active directory here.

Exchange 2013 is also able to be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2, if you have a previous version of Windows Server then you will need to get a newer version to use Exchange Server 2013.

Now you will need to insert the installation media that came with your Exchange Server 2013 purchase, if you are just testing it out there is a free version available here for testing purposes that is valid for 180 days.

Preparing Schema for Exchange Server

Make sure you are logged in as a user with domain admin rights.

Launch a power shell session

Change the directory to the drive letter for the installation media

Run the following command to prepare the Active Directory Schema(Make sure you don’t forget the ‘.’ in front of the command):
.\setup /prepareschema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Once it is finished successfully you will get a message saying “The Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully” the Schema value will now be set to 15137.


Prepare Active Directory for Exchange 2013

Run the following command to prepare the Active Directory(Once again make sure you don’t forget the ‘.’ in front of the command):
.\setup /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:YourName /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Once the Exchange Server 2013 setup operation has completed successfully it will set the organisation objectVersion value to 15449.

NOTE: This will create the required Exchange containers in Active Directory and call it YourName. Please replace “YourName” with an appropriate name for your organisation.


Prepare Domain for Exchange 2013

Run the following command to prepare the domain:

.\setup /PrepareDomain /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Once the Exchange Server setup operation has completed successfully, it will set the Microsoft Exchange System Object objectVersion value to 13236.

Install pre-requisites for an Exchange 2013 mailbox and client access server roles

Launch PowerShell from within your newly created Active Directory server and run the following PowerShell Script:

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, 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

This will install and enable all the necessary roles and features from within Windows Server.

Upon a successful completion of the command you will receive the following details:

Success powershell exchange server 2013


You may receive a warning saying you need to reboot the server: “WARNING: You must restart this server to finish the installation process”
If this happens, reboot the server so the roles and features are properly installed and will all be running.


Now check for updates, install them and reboot the server if it asks you to.

Then you will need to download the following from Microsoft and install in the order listed.


Running the Exchange Server 2013 Setup

Run the setup from the installation media and follow through the wizard


When you get to the Role Selection for Exchange Server make sure that both Client Access and Mailbox Role are both checked.

It will then ask you to put select a path for the database files to live on, I recommend using a separate partition from the boot partition for the Exchange data to be stored on.

Accessing the new ECP (Exchange Control Panel)

EMC (Exchange Management Console) has now been replaced with ECP(Exchange Control Panel) which is a web based management portal. To access the ECP open your browser window on the server and type in:


Or you can also browse to it through any other computer on the network by replacing localhost with your servers hostname.

So that’s it how to install Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, I hope this has helped you. If you have ran into any problems please post them in the comment section below.

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7 thoughts on “How to install Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 on single Server 2012 Domain Controller

  • Jake,

    Although I have done several successful implementations of SBS 2008, I am a relative novice to Server 2012 and Exchange 2013. I followed your instructions to the letter and everything seemed to install properly.However, when I start the EAC, I can’t log in using the computer admin account or the domain admin account I created prior to installing Exchange. The credentials are not recognized.

    I have tried domain\user, domain.local\user and just user with the corresponding password. The error message reads “The user name or password you entered isn’t correct. Try entering it again.”

    Can you offer any advice as to how to correct this issue?


  • Jake-

    I have used your instructions to a T. I am getting the following error when installing Exchange 2013 SP 1 on a Windows 2012 R2 server.

    Installing product C:\ExchangeInstaller\exchangeserver.msi failed. Fatal error during installation. Error code is 1603. Last error reported by the MSI package is ‘The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. The error code is 2337. ‘.

  • Hi

    I installed a fresh Exchange 2013 on a Domain Controller. The setup had 2 DCs ( windows 2012) and I installed on the DC which is not holding any FSMO roles. The setup completed without any error but my outlook client connectivity is not working. I tested from many machines ( Domain and workgroup) but its not working. After starting outlook it gives an error that unable to open your default folders please check connectivity with Exchange. on the other hand, OWA app is working fine, mail flow is working fine, and POP, SMTP is also working fine. Can you please help what could be the problem ? Is there any special step that needs to be taken in order to make outlook run when Exchange is installed on Domain Controller ?

  • It is my understanding that Microsoft does not support installing Exchange 2013 on a single Server 2012 Standard domain controller. I am deploying my server in a small business with less than 10 users and only 5 mail boxes. Can you give your thoughts on this issue?


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