How to prepare Windows Server 2012 R2 to support Exchange Server 2013 SP1

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Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 is finally here and now we can start taking advantage of Windows Server 2012 R2 for either Operating System on Exchange Server and also as Domain Controller. In this Tutorial we are going over the process to prepare the Windows Server 2012 R2 to support a new installation of Exchange Server 2013 SP1 and must be a new one since the previous version wasn’t supported on Windows Server 2012 R2.


Let’s assume for this Tutorial we have a single Domain Controller running Windows Server 2012 R2 and a Windows Server 2012 R2 for Exchange Server 2013 SP1, and we installed using all default settings of the product, and so far we have done these following steps:

  • Join the server in the domain
  • Run Windows Update and applied all updates available

Note: We can use the following Tutorial to install the Windows Server 2012 R2.

Installing Windows Server 2012 R2 OS features…

Microsoft has documented all the Windows Feature ( that must be installed on the OS and we can always use the option that comes with the graphical user interface where the setup process will install any feature required during the process. I added two OS features on top of Microsoft recommendation for this Tutorial, and they are the last two of the cmdlet below: Telnet-client and RSAT-ADDS. The first one (Telnet-client) is for troubleshooting purposes, we Exchange Admins always need telnet around to test 25 port, send a couple of messages and etc.. and the second one (RSAT-ADDS) will allow the Active Directory preparation process from the Exchange Server in order to keep consistency I would keep both features for any Exchange Server in the organization.

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, Telnet-Client, RSAT-ADDS

After running the cmdlet above the results will be similar to the figure below. image38_thumb

Installing Unified Communications Managed API 4.0….

The second step to prepare a server to support Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 is the installation of Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, you can download it from here: The installation process is straight forward, and on the first screen we just need to click Next. image41_thumb In the License Agreeement page. Check the option I have read and accept the license terms and then click  Install. image44_thumb In the last page of the wizard we will have the result of the installation process and if everything went well, then you should have window similar to the image below. image47_thumb

Finally… Exchange Server 2013 latest Cumulative Update available

That is the last step before starting the setup process of the product. Let’s download the product from this location and after that double click on the Exchange2013-x64-SP1 file and let’s extract the content to the C:EX2013SP1 folder (the folder will be created automatically).

Note: This Tutorial was written during the SP1 release, however, we always recommend downloading the latest Cumulative Update for Exchange available. (Special thanks for Jonathan for his feedback)



That’s it! Now just make that you restart your server before starting the Exchange Server 2013 setup process but following these steps described on this article it will save you some time to deploy the product.

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).