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Installing Exchange System Manager on Windows XP

Installing Exchange System Manager on Windows XP can be a little tricky. This article will guide you through the precarious process.


There is a general rule that you should never log on directly at a server console, unless you are trying to recover the server from some kind of disaster. By not doing server maintenance directly from the server's console, you're a lot less tempted to treat the server as a personal workstation.

Although I think this is a good philosophy, I have to admit that the "don't log directly on to the server console" rule is not something I've practiced on my own network. I work out of my home, and the vast majority of servers on my network are lab machines I use to test out various concepts that I write about. Since I am constantly monkeying around with these servers, I assumed it only made sense for me to log onto them directly.

Recently though, a reader noticed a screenshot in one of my articles that displayed Exchange System Manager running directly from the server console -- and called me on it.

I decided it was time to practice what I preach, so I set out to install the Exchange System Manager on a Windows XP machine. I soon realized that the process wasn't as clear and simple as I thought it would be. So I wrote this article to explain the process.

These instructions assume that you are running Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 or higher. Hopefully, you have Service Pack 2, but the procedure will not work at all unless you have at least Service Pack 1.

  1. To begin the procedure, open the Windows XP Control Panel and click the Add or Remove Programs link. Windows will open the Add or Remove Programs dialog box.

  2. Click the Add or Remove Windows Components button to launch the Windows Components Wizard.

  3. Now, scroll through the Windows Components Wizard and find Internet Information Services (IIS).

  4. Select the IIS option and click the Details button.

  5. Choose the Internet Information Services Snap-In option from the list of available components and click OK.

  6. Click Next, and follow the prompts so that Windows XP installs the necessary files.

  7. Now that Windows XP contains a copy of the Internet Information Services snap-in, you must install the Windows Server 2003 AdminPak. To do so, insert your Windows Server 2003 installation CD and navigate to the CD's I386 folder.

  8. Locate and run a file named ADMINPAK.MSI.

    AdminPak contains all of the Windows Server 2003 administrative tools, such as Active Directory Users and Computers and the Terminal Services Manager.

    Now that the AdminPak component is installed, you need to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 on your machine. Once this service pack has been installed, you can install the Exchange System Manager.

  9. To install the Exchange System Manager, insert your Exchange Server 2003 installation CD, navigate to the I386 folder, and run Setup. This will launch the Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard.

  10. Follow the wizard's prompts until you reach the screen where you are asked which components you wish to install.

  11. Assign the Custom option to the Microsoft Exchange component and the Install action to the Microsoft Exchange System Management Tools component.

  12. Click Next twice. The Exchange System Manager will now be installed.

You would think that the article would end here, but there is one more thing that you need to take care of. The Exchange System Manager will run properly now, but may lack some functionality. The reason is because the System Manager actually has three different dependencies; the AdminPak, the Internet Information Services snap-in, and the SMTP Service.

If you were already running Windows XP Service Pack 2 prior to installing the Internet Information Services snap-in, then you've got nothing to worry about. In Windows XP Service Pack 2, when you install the Internet Information Services snap-in, the SMTP services are installed automatically as well.

The problem is that if you were running Windows XP Service Pack 1 at the time that you installed the Internet Information Services snap-in, then you aren't running the SMTP component, because Service Pack 1 isn't designed to install it automatically. Furthermore, when you upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 2, the SMTP Services are not automatically installed.

Exchange System Manager is able to partially function, because the installation program checks to see what service pack level Windows XP is running. If you are running Service Pack 2 and the Internet Information Services are running, Exchange Setup assumes that the SMTP component is installed as well.

To fix the problem, the easiest thing to do is to uninstall the Internet Information Services snap-in and then reinstall it. This will give you the necessary SMTP component. Your other option is to manually register the SEO.DLL, SMTPADM.DLL and the SMTSNAP.DLL files. Once you have done one of these two things, you should be able to run the Exchange System Manager from Windows XP with no problems.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer he has written for Microsoft, CNET, ZDNet, TechTarget, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at


What about Outlook and ESM MAPI file conflict for those of us that only have one workstation to use for both Office and network administration? I could not find a workaround to allow both on same PC. I ended up uninstalling ESM and reverting back to remoting into server desktop.
—Joan E.


Check out I'm not sure why you got that error, but this is the fix for it.
—Brien M. Posey, tip author


When I follow the directions in this article (using my machine with Windows XP Pro with SP2), and I run the program 'adminpak.msi' on the Windows 2003 Server disk, I am prompted to either uninstall all Windows 2003 Administration Tools or reinstall all Windows 2003 Administration Tools.

When I choose to reinstall all Windows 2003 Administration Tools, it begins the process of installing the tools, stops during the copying of new files on C:Windowshelpadminpk.chm (30777 bytes), and then displays the following prompt: "Please insert the disk Windows Product CD."

I tried inserting the Windows XP Pro CD and removing the Windows 2003 Server disk, but it doesn't like either one. I even tried the Windows Service Pack 2 to no avail.

What disk do you think it is referring to here?

My only choice right now is to click cancel and allow the installation to rollback.

Any ideas?
—Joel L.


Hmm ... it almost sounds like maybe the admin pack was already installed. The message is definitely referring to the Windows Server 2003 CD. The only thing I can think of is that you may have to manually specify the path to the installation files (on the CD).
—Brien M. Posey, tip author


Nowhere in this article did you mention that the machine must be part of a domain. The install throws an error when the machine is not part of a domain.
—Sean S.


The Exchange System Manager is a graphical interface to the Exchange portion of Active Directory. Windows Server is designed so that not just anyone can monkey around with Active Directory; they have to be authenticated. So unless you have a RADIUS server, or something like that, the machine that the user is logging onto has to be a member of a domain before the user can even log in, much less make modifications to Active Directory.
—Brien M. Posey, tip author


All looks good with these documents, except the fact that if you previously had Windows 2000 AdminPak and Exchange 2000 Management Tools installed on your WIndows XP machine, you must remove them both first. Remove Exchange 2000 Management Tools first, then Win2k AdminPak next. If you did what I did, which is simply install Win2k3 AdminPak on top of all this, then you must remove Win2k3 AdminPak, then Exchange 2000 Management Tools, then the Win2k AdminPak. Reinstalling Win2k3 AdminPak and then Exchange 2003 will allow you to "customize" the install and choose Exchange system management tools. This is the fix!
—Lee H.

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