I wanted to test out the installation of Exchange 2007 SP1 on a Windows 2008 server. Since you can get the RC0 version of Windows 2008 as well as the Exchange 2007 SP1 bits from Microsoft, it couldn’t hurt to try them out now. You can get the Release Candidate of Windows 2008 from here and the full install of Exchange 2007 SP1 from here.
I did all of this via Virtual Server 2005. Oh yeah, you can download that as well here. Because of that I wanted to see if I could do a 32 bit install of Windows 2008 and then install the 32 bit version of Exchange 2007 SP1. I am happy to say that it works.
For the installation of Windows Server 2008 you will need to install the Full version (not the core). Once that is installed into a domain, you can then install the necessary Windows components for Exchange 2007 SP1 by creating an XML file and using the ServerManagerCmd to install them. Paul Bowden wrote about this at “Running Exchange with Windows Server 2008” and I have to say that this is so much easier than doing the mind numbing “Add or Remove Programs”, “Add/Remove Windows Components”, install IIS, install Powershell, get your CD for SP2, etc. The contents of the .XML file can be found here:
After restarting the server I extracted the E2K7SP1EN32.exe to c:\Exchange and from a command prompt ran “C:\exchange\setup.com /m:install /r:m”. After a few minutes I had a working Exchange 2007 mailbox server running. Do you remember how quickly you could install Exchange 5.5? This reminded me a lot of that. If you want to learn about the setup.com switches you can run “setup.com /help” or you can read more here.
Now it did go faster since I already had Exchange 2007 SP1 installed in my lab, so that means I had the schema already modified. Also, I only did the Mailbox role install with no clustering or anything else. Oh, and let’s be clear that everything I did up above is not supported in a production environment. This is only for testing.