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Installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016

Exchange Server 2016 CU3 and later supports installation on Windows Server 2016. The installation process for Exchange on Windows Server 2016 is much the same as installing previous builds of Exchange 2016 on Windows Server:

  1. Install the Exchange 2016 pre-requisites (note that .NET Framework does not need to be separately installed)
  2. Run Exchange 2016 setup

After setup is complete the Windows Defender service on the server should be configured with antivirus exclusions for Exchange 2016. The guidance remains the same for now, but Windows Defender has PowerShell cmdlets available that make it easier to configure the exclusions when compared with third party antivirus products.

On a newly installed Windows 2016 server there’s no exclusions configured by default.

I’ve updated my Get-Exchange2016AVExclusions.ps1 script with an additional -ConfigureWindowsDefender switch that will add the exclusions to Windows Defender on the local server.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.
Category: Exchange Server


  1. Fred says:

    What about doing an in-place upgrade of Exchange 2016 running on Server 2012 R2 to Server 2016? It didn’t work for me. Exchange services wouldn’t start.

      • ndfan77 says:

        So what/where are the migration steps to move Exchange 2016 from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016?

        Something like(?):
        – Deploy new Windows 2016 server
        – Install second instance of Exchange 2016 (any potential interference with existing Exchange 2016 installation?)
        – Apply same settings as existing Exchange server
        – Move mailboxes to new Exchange server (how?)
        – Change firewall to map inbound ports to new Exchange server
        – Shutdown old Exchange server
        – Move licensing from old Exchange server to new Exchange server?

          • ndfan77 says:

            Thanks. Read through the like-for-like, and the autodiscovery/certificate article it referenced. The one part I don’t feel like I understand well enough before “diving in” is the bit about setting the SCP back to the original value immediately after the 2nd Exchange installation.

            When I issue “Get-ClientAccessService | fl” there are something like 25 lines returned. Is the gist of setting the SCP back to the “original value” just a matter of setting the AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri back to what it was?

          • AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri is the only thing you need to touch.

            “….you need to be aware of the Autodiscover SCP that the new server will be registering in Active Directory, and be prepared to change that immediately to match the Autodiscover URL for the existing server”

  2. Roël Ramjiawan says:

    Dear Paul,

    Something worth mentioning;

    When I tried to install Exchange 2013 CU3 (full install) it keep gave me the ” A reboot from a previous installation is pending ” error.

    I am familiar with the UpdateExeVolatile registry key and the PendingFileRenameOperations registry key in the HKEY Local Machine System CurrentControlSet Control Session Manager.

    But there was nothing present there not even the empty keys. So upon further research I stumbled upon PendMoves and MoveFile (Windows Sysinternals from Mark Russinovich).
    PendMoves told me I had files Pending FIle Rename Operations in the
    C:Windowssystem32spoolV4Dirs with all kinds of dirs with GUIDS in it.

    But this was a fresh install of Windows Server 2016 with only AD/DNS installed on it.

    Still I couldn’t find those in the PendingFileRenameOperations so then I checked the whole registry on that key and I found it.

    HKEY Local Machine System ControlSet001 Control Session Manager was the location.

    So instead of CurrentControlSet it was ControlSet001 in Windows Server 2016.

    Maybe you can add this to the article? I don’t know if this differs from the previous Windows Servers Edition because I do not have much Experience with the final version of Windows Server 2016.

    And I did not want to install Exchange 2016 on a Technical Preview which I already been testing for almost a year right now. Besides it took some time to for CU3 to show up.

    I thought sharing this would be good to help others and I was racking my brain for a few days.

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