How to remove the last Exchange Server 2013 from the Exchange Organization

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In a few situations you may want to remove the last Exchange Server 2013 and the setup process will give you a hard time for the Arbitration Mailboxes but since that is the last server we need to perform a specific cmdlet.

There are a couple of situations where the last Exchange Server 2013 must be removed, as follows:

  • It your LAB environment and you are playing around
  • In a special case, such as this one (real story!) the customer installed an Exchange Server 2013 RTM (Yes, he installed RTM and on top of that a DC on the same server to make things worse) in an existent Exchange Server 2007 environment and the customer did not have spare servers to make the transition; My first recommendation was to avoid deploying DC and Exchange on the same box which means that in that situation I had to remove the last Exchange Server 2013 first before adding the new Exchange Server 2013 CU2
  • You may have installed Exchange Server 2013 and you are going to the Office365 and the server is not longer required

Please, only run this cmdlet if you have the last Exchange Server 2013, there is no point in running this cmdlet just to bypass the error of Arbitration mailbox when removing a regular server. You can and should always move the Arbitration mailbox.

Since that is not your case, we need to remove the Arbitration Mailboxes from the last server using the switch –DisableLastArbitrationMailboxAllowed.

The complete cmdlet will be like this one:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database <MailboxDatabase> |  Disable-Mailbox -Arbitration –DisableLastArbitrationMailboxAllowed

After running that command you can start the removal process of you last Exchange Server 2013 and the Arbitration Mailbox is not longer going to be an issue.

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, and Office Server and Services, besides the Microsoft Award he also holds a Solutions Master (MCSM) in Exchange and several other certifications. Anderson has been contributing to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, twitter, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor here at ITPROCentral.com, MSExchange.org, Techgenix.com and Anderson Patricio.org (Portuguese).

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