Exchange 2016 with 4GB RAM

I was doing some exercises for school with exchange server 2016 when i had a fun idea, i was wondering what would happen with 4gb of RAM. The bare minimun is 8GB of ram to get past the prerequisites. On 8GB it ran quite well, so i wondered: what would happen? what could happen?

Testing Exchange 2016 with 4GB RAM

Hyper-V status for ‘Mail1’, It is asking for 10GB of RAM while 4GB of RAM has been assigned.

Now on to the experiment, i decided to boot the server for the fun with 4GB of ram. It booted just fine, that was until i tried to log into the server. I could not access it via RDP, only the Hyper-V native console. After that i decided to check the server memory. The server was asking about 6GB of non-existant RAM.

Trying to access the OWA portal surpised me, login screen presented itself. When my login finally processed i was disappointed to see the server ‘officially’ ran out of memory.

Okay, back to the drawing board. What if i created a 15 to 20 GB pagefile?

Setting up Exchange 2016 with a pagefile

So i did create a 20GB pagefile, rebooted the server, waited a long time for it to initialize, and bingo! After the reboot i tried logging into OWA again, and to my surprise i was greeted with the inside of my mailbox. Now lets try to use the actual mailbox, i sent a mail to my own mailbox and waited for the magic to happen. Only for it to never be sent, it completely dissappeared. So i sent another email and decided do investigate using the ECP.

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Conclusion

To conclude, it is not possible to run Exchange 2016 with 4GB of ram, i don’t think that 6GB will change much, 8GB is the bare minimum for a reason. It was a fun experiment. Here are some of the eventlogs:

Event ID 7000: The Microsoft Exchange Diagnostics service failed to start due to the following error: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

Event ID 7009: A timeout was reached (30000 milliseconds) while waiting for the Microsoft Exchange Diagnostics service to connect.

Event ID 2004: Windows successfully diagnosed a low virtual memory condition. The following programs consumed the most virtual memory: w3wp.exe (8528) consumed 455249920 bytes, noderunner.exe (6748) consumed 442880000 bytes, and w3wp.exe (2320) consumed 403537920 bytes.

Event ID 1000: Faulting application name: dwm.exe, version: 10.0.14393.0, time stamp: 0x578999ab
Faulting module name: dwmcore.dll, version: 10.0.14393.1715, time stamp: 0x59b0d15f
Exception code: 0xc00001ad
Fault offset: 0x00000000000f5956
Faulting process id: 0xf10
Faulting application start time: 0x01d619b841150774
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\system32\dwm.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\dwmcore.dll
Report Id: e2e48ab6-8839-4c86-9bd7-c2e956165c3c
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

Event ID 3154: Active Manager failed to mount database EXC-DB01 on server Mail.school.test. Error: An Active Manager operation failed with a transient error. Please retry the operation. Error: Database action failed with transient error. Error: A transient error occurred during a database operation. Error: MapiExceptionNetworkError: Unable to mount database. (hr=0x80040115, ec=-2147221227)

Sysprepped server not automatically AzureAD joined

Around the start of the corona crisis a client of ours needed a big upgrade for his RDS farm. The current farm existed of 5 RD servers and 1 gateway. We would sysprep 5 servers for a total of 10 RD servers.

I should mention that those RD Servers are hybrid joined, local and via AzureAD. We configured the 5 servers en went about our day. Until users started complaining about conditional access policies on the RD servers. Five of them were not AzureAD joined and that caused problems.

DsrDeviceAutoJoinFederated failed with -2146893802
wmain: failed with error code 0x80090016.

Manually running the workplace join task (Task scheduler>Microsoft>Windows>Workplace Join>Automatic Device Join) dit not help, it just created these errors. After a long internet search i found the solution.

Rename-Item -Path "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Crypto\Keys" -NewName "KeysOLD"
New-Item -Path "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Crypto\Keys" -ItemType Directory
Get-Acl -Path "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Crypto\KeysOLD" | Set-Acl -Path "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Crypto\Keys"