Installing Exchange Server 2013 Preview

Microsoft has not released a final ship date for Exchange 2013, but a preview version is available as a free download for beta testing.

Following are some of the highlights of New Features in Exchange Server 2013:

  • Server roles are reduced to TWO (Client Access Server and Mailbox Server)
  • Exchange Management Console is discontinued; new web-based Exchange Admin Center and Exchange Management Shell (using PowerShell 3.0) replaces the old MMC-based Exchange Management Console.
  • New streamlined Outlook 2013 and Outlook Web App user interfaces, and offline access for OWA.
  • Public folders are stored in mailbox databases hence it can take advantage of Database Availability Groups for      replication and high availability.
  • Improvements to high availability features and manageability
  • Data loss prevention capabilities that can be integrated into Transport Rules

Getting Started with Exchange Server 2013 Preview (This is pre-release documentation and subject to change in future releases)

Note that this is only to have a look and feel of the product; it is not supported to run in production environments. Exchange Server 2013 Preview has no co-existence support with previous versions, which means you have to have a new domain setup in your test environment to install this Exchange Server 2013 Preview.

1.       Download Exchange Server 2013 Preview from Microsoft (

In this scenario, I will be using windows server 2012 for installing Exchange Server 2013 Preview.

Windows Server 2012 supports any of the Exchange 2013 server roles. Unlike Windows Server 2008 R2, the installation of Exchange Server 2013 Mailbox servers as Database Availability Group member is possible with the Standard edition of Windows Server 2012. Enterprise edition is not required for DAG members.

Installing Pre-Requisites for an Exchange Server 2013 Mailbox, or Mailbox and Client Access Server

The following PowerShell commands can be used to install the required server roles and features for a Windows Server 2012 server that will host either the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server role, or both the Mailbox and Client Access server roles.

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


 Restart is required after installation of the above roles and features.

2.       Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit

3.       Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack 64 bit

4.       Microsoft Office 2010 Filter Pack SP1 64 bit 

After installing the above software components, remove the Microsoft Visual C++ Beta Redistributable via the Control Panel.

5.       Preparing Active Directory for Exchange Server 2013

Since the Active Directory preparation requires the RSAT-ADDS tools, run the following  PowerShell command from the domain controller.

setup /PrepareAD [/OrganizationName: “your organization name” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

If the Active Directory preparation is not done as a separate task, this can be done as part of the installation of the first Exchange Server 2013 server.

Installing Exchange Server 2013 Using the Setup Wizard

  1. Run the Exchange-x64.exe and choose a folder to extract.
  2. From the location where you extracted the Exchange 2013 preview installation files, run Setup.exe.
  3. Before we proceed, the installation wizard asks you whether to   check for updates to the setup files or continue without updating?

Since I do not have internet connectivity to my test lab, I selected not to check for updates right now and clicked next to continue.

Setup wizard start copying files, once file copy comletes, click next to continue

On the Introduction page, select Exchange Server 2013 Deployment and click next to continue

Exchange 2013 License Agreement page, Accept the license agreement and click next to continue

On Error Reporting option, Choose whether or not to enable Error Reporting and click next to continue.

Checking for required Software. After a check that all the pre-requisites are installed the setup wizard will move on to the next step automatically (if the check was successful).

Now we can choose the server roles to install.

If this is the first server you’re installing Microsoft recommends you install the Mailbox server role first (this can be either a Mailbox-only server or a combined Mailbox/Client Access server).

You can check the box to automatically install server roles and features required for Exchange 2013. click next to continue.

Verify that you have enough disk space for the installation, or choose a path that does have enough disk space, and click next to continue.

If there is no existing Exchange organization in Active Directory, and you haven’t already prepared Active Directory for Exchange, you will be prompted to enter an Exchange organization name. click next to continue.

When installing the Mailbox server role you are given the option to disable malware protection. If you disable it now you can enable it again later.

When installing the Client Access server role you can choose to enter an external domain name if you are planning to make the server internet-facing. This will pre-configure the virtual directories for services such as OWA with the external name that you enter here. click next to continue

Participation in the Customer Experience Improvement program is optional. click next to continue

Installation readiness checks are performed and  any critical or warning errors will be listed. installation wizard cannot proceed until you fix all critical errors, warning can be ignored.

Once the readinesss check completes without any critical errors, click Install to begin.

Setup goes through 15 steps to completed the exchange 2013 preview installation, wait for the installation to complete

When setup has finished click Complete.

Congratulations…!! your Exchange Server 2013  Preview setup completed.

Now lets have a look at the exchange 2013 OWA with new office 2013 logo

The first look of Exchange 2013 OWA

As mentioned erlier, new web-based Exchange Admin Center replaces the old MMC-based Exchange Management


About Jayachandran PK
My passion is for Microsoft technologies and how if properly implemented, they can provide actual value for an organization especially in the field of infrastructure, virtualization and system monitoring. I work for the biggest Microsoft partner in Kuwait, specialized in project consultation and implementation services for enterprise clients. When I'm not at work, I try to contribute back through a charitable organization dedicated to prompting cultural values of Kerala. In my free time, I dabble in gardening and am also an avid solar power aficionado.

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