Can Exchange 2003 be installed on 64-bit editions of Windows Server 2003?


It seems like a question of compatibility / incompatibility of current versions of Exchange (mainly Exchange 2003) and Windows Server 2003 x64 editions is coming up more and more, so let’s address it.


 


In short – running current versions of Exchange, including Exchange 2003 on Windows Server 2003 x64 editions is not supported.


 


In fact, Exchange 2003 does not even install properly under WOW64. There are several reasons for this – some are related to Exchange 2003 IIS dependency but the biggest problem is that Exchange Setup installs the IFS (Installable File System) driver (exifs.sys) which is a 32 bit driver. On x64 editions of Windows, all of the Kernel mode components (which includes drivers) have to be native 64 bit components, while the User mode applications can be run under WOW64. This problem can not be addressed in future Exchange 2003 Service Packs either.


 


Now – the future is bright, we have plans, just not with current versions of Exchange. There is a list of applications that will run under Windows Server 2003 x64 in either 32 bit compatible or 64 bit native mode and you can find it here.


 


For more information on Exchange 2003 installation requirements, please go to this page.


 

Nino Bilic

Comments (11)
  1. Devin L. Ganger says:

    Just to be clear, you’re talking about running Exchange 2003 in the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003, correct? We could still run the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003 on an Opteron server and run Exchange without any problems?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is an often asked question…the answer to which is basically "no" but for those who wish…

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is an often asked question…the answer to which is basically "no" but for those who wish…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just came across a post from the Exchange team that explains the issues with trying to run current…

  5. Exchange says:

    David,

    Yes you are correct – we are talking about trying to install Exchnge 2003 (32 bit application) onto 64 bit OS (x64 editions of Windows), not on 32 bit OS (32 bit versions of server) while running on 64 bit capable hardware.

  6. Ian Fretwell says:

    Being unable to install the full server on the x64 OS is fair enough. Why has no mention been given to the administration of Exch2003 from say the x64 XP OS…surely I ought to be able to install the Exch2003 version of AD Users & Computers somehow ?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just came across a post from the Exchange team that explains the issues with trying to run current…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just came across a post from the Exchange team that explains the issues with trying to run current…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just came across a post from the Exchange team that explains the issues with trying to run current…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I just came across a post from the Exchange team that explains the issues with trying to run current…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nach dem Start des Beta1-Programm nimmt der Exchange "12"-Zug ganz langsam Fahrt auf. Die Beta1 steht…

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