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
claiming that "Topology Discovery failed". After some searching, we
found KB919089, which
indicated we should run Exchange's
setup.exe /domainprep on every
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:
Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment > Manage auditing and security log
DOMAIN\Exchange Enterprise Servers to the list.