Exchange 2000 Forest Preparation Error

Can't prep the forest for the trees.

Bill, I'd appreciate if you could advise me. I logged in as a Domain Administrator to install Exchange 2000 to the first Windows 2000 domain controller with DNS, NNTP, SMTP and Remote Registry services installed. This error appeared after I clicked the Install button via the Exchange 2000 component wizard:

The component "Microsoft Exchange Forest Preparation" cannot
be assigned the action "Install" because: Either you do not
have permission to update the AD schema or AD service is
currently too busy.

—Toh

Toh, You didn't say how many domains you have in your forest. ForestPrep modifies the Active Directory schema, which requires several permissions in the forest root domain (the first domain installed in the forest). If you do have multiple domains, you can log on as the Domain Administrator in the forest root domain, then run Setup /ForestPrep. If you do not have that level of authority in your organization, you can have someone with admin rights in the root domain add your account to the following groups:

  • Schema Admins group
  • Enterprise Admins group

You'll also need local admin privileges on the server on which you're installing Exchange.

If you have only one domain, it is the forest root domain by default. In that case, if you are logged on with your own account that has membership in the Domain Admins group, you'll need to add yourself to the Schema Admins group before running ForestPrep.

If you have one domain and you are logged on with the actual Administrator account from the domain and you still get the error, then make sure the domain controller that owns the Schema Master token is available. The simplest way to find the identity of this server is to run DUMPFSMOS from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit. You can also load the Schema snap-in into an empty MMC, right-click the Schema container, and select Operations Master from the property menu. You won't see the Schema snap-in until you register the snap-in DLL, located in %systemroot%\System32\schmmgmt.dll. Register with the syntax:

regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll

If the Schema master is alive and kicking, check to see if someone has changed the default group membership of the Administrator account.

Once you're done with ForestPrep, you'll need to run DomainPrep. This only requires admin privileges in the domain.

The schema modification permissions are also required to install the Active Directory Connector (ADC) that comes with Exchange 2000. If you have Exchange 5.5 servers already installed, you'll need to install the ADC first the run ForestPrep. This requires two sets of modifications to the schema.

Exchange Server 2003 installs the same schema changes for ADC and ForestPrep, so you only need to modify the schema once.

Hope that helps!

—Bill

About the Author

Contributing Editor Bill Boswell, MCSE, is the principal of Bill Boswell Consulting, Inc. He's the author of Inside Windows Server 2003 and Learning Exchange Server 2003 both from Addison Wesley. Bill is also Redmond magazine's "Windows Insider" columnist and a speaker at MCP Magazine's TechMentor Conferences.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Feb 8, 2006 Don Bruce Memphis

Thanks for the article it solved my issues.

Thu, Oct 13, 2005 Stedlar melbourne

I got this error when my other DC was offline. Brought it back up and every thing went ok.

Wed, Sep 8, 2004 Ben Cincinnati, OH

Great ideas here! Thanks for everyone's help.

Mon, May 3, 2004 Netta IL

I had this error in running Exchange 2003 on Server 2003. Turns out there was an additional domain controller unavailable at the time of forestprep. Truth is or DCDiag noticed it and warned but I didn't realize it should be a problem until reading Brad from WA above. In my case, I removed the System alltogether- which did the job- Thank You so much

Mon, May 3, 2004 Netta IL

I had this error in running Exchange 2003 on Server 2003. Turns out there was an additional domain controller unavailable at the time of forestprep. Truth is or DCDiag noticed it and warned but I didn't realize it should be a problem until reading Brad from WA above. In my case, I removed the System alltogether- which did the job- Thank You so much

Fri, Dec 5, 2003 Kirsty Anonymous

I have checked all that has been suggested and mention in this article - and still will not run. I log in under Administrator which has schema/entreprise etc etc admin permission. Any more suggestions would be appreciated..

Mon, Nov 24, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

It was the parent child domain setup that gave me the error. Thanks for the info!

Thu, Jul 24, 2003 Thomas NZ

Thanks Bill, suggesting the use of the Schema snap-in was a great lead. When I had this problem I selected Operations Master and the server shown was correct and online. Then I noticed the "The Schema may be modified on this Domain Controller" checkbox was cleared! I ticked it, and forestprep ran happliy.

Tue, Jun 17, 2003 Brad WA

This happened to me a few weeks ago. I went through all the steps as described above. I was the Domain Admin, Schema, etc, etc, and the DC was holding all FSMO roles and was one of two DC's. We had another DC that was not currently on the network and that was the problem. Once I brought the other DC back online, and let replication happen, I was able to install Exchange 2000 with no problems at all.

Tue, Jun 17, 2003 Mark NL

Nice one Bill. Much more elaborate answer than I would have answered.

Chapeau

Tue, Jun 17, 2003 Bob Erwin Champaign IL

Hello,

I ran into this problem just recently, and went through all the troubleshooting steps which did not solve this.

I found the problem to be the Global Catalog replicating, hence the "AD Service is currently too busy".

When working with exchange on a single domain, I typically add another GC on the network so if one of my domain controllers with a GC goes down, I'm not taking Exchange down as well.

In this case, I was being too proactive, so right before I setup the Exchange 2000 Server, I added another GC and apparently the replication caused my setup to give me that error. I left it to sit over night and came back in the next morning and everything worked from that point on.

Thanks,
Bob

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