Recently our Exchange 2003 environment broke down when we demoted our last ancient DCs. We panicked and re-promoted them, but no avail. The Exchange servers won't finish loading (they'd get stuck on "Applying computer settings", while actually waiting for the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service to finish starting).
The error listed in the event viewer was from MSExchangeDSAccess, claiming that "Topology Discovery failed". After some searching, we found KB919089, which indicated we should run Exchange's setup.exe /domainprep on every DC.
While executing it on one DC did solve the problem, I wasn't planning to add this to my DC construction document. Therefore, my solution was setting the following setting to all DCs through Group Policy:
Open

Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment > Manage auditing and security log

And add DOMAIN\Exchange Enterprise Servers to the list.