Cannot Install Exchange 2013 on Windows 2012

This weekend I decided to install Exchange 2013 in the lab. A number of things I am working on in the Lab require email capabilities and I wanted to see what the new version has to offer.

I installed a new VM with Windows Server 2012, joined it to the domain, ran the installer then I came across this error:

The Active Directory schema isn’t up-to-date, and this user account isn’t a member of the ‘Schema Admins’ and/or ‘Enterprise Admins’ groups.
For more information, visit:

install error

Now this error didn’t make a lot of sense to me as I knew I was a member of the ‘Schema Admins’ & Enterprise Admins’ Groups, but the installer kept repeating the same error. I tried to install under the default Enterprise Admin account and running setup.exe /preparead, but nothing worked. This was the first Exchange server in a new domain so I assumed it didn’t like the fact the domain wasn’t prepared.

For a work around I installed just the management tools first. This ran the setup.exe /preparead properly.

setup completed

Next I went to AD and added my user to the ‘Organisation Management’ group.

Make sure you check Advanced Features to view the Exchange groups

Make sure you check Advanced Features to view the Exchange groups

Now I went back to my server and ran the installer again selecting  both ‘Client Access’ & ‘Mailbox’ roles. I no longer got the ‘Schema Admins’ error.


Finally I need to download the UCMA runtime and the Office 2010 Filter packs.
After installation the prerequisites were satisfied and I could finally install Exchange!
setup completed

I don’t know about you, but that seemed a pain for such a simple task? I thought installing Exchange was supposed to be getting easier?

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Posted in Exchange
6 comments on “Cannot Install Exchange 2013 on Windows 2012
  1. Ross says:

    In my case I removed the domain admin and domain user roles from my user account and made the schema administrator the primary group and this worked!

    • Ryan says:

      I have tried everything to get past these errors. My account is a member of the Enterprise Admins, Organization Admins and Schema Admins groups. I have tried removing both domain admin and domain users, same errors. Tried installing just the management tools, same errors. My environment is currently Exchange 2010. Any other ideas on this?

  2. jamesitpro says:

    sounds like the wizard is failing to upgrade the schema. I would try to follow the manual process. Get your Exchange 2013 ISO and copy the files to the DC which is the Schema master for the domain. Then run the command Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms.

    Read this link for more info:

    Let me know how you get on

    • Ryan says:

      After searching through the logs I found that the wizard was not able to update the schema in my situation because the schema master was in a different AD site. I had to run all of the active directory preparation on a server in the same site as the schema master and then wait for replication to occur.

  3. jamesitpro says:

    nice work. Have a good new year!

  4. kriscoady says:

    I had this exact same problem in a environment that already contained an Exchange 2016 CU4 installation whilst trying to install and extra Exchange 2016 CU8.

    Installing CU4 instead fixed the problems and installed flawlessly.

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