Home » Microsoft Exchange 2016 Installation “Couldn’t find the Enterprise Organization container”

Microsoft Exchange 2016 Installation “Couldn’t find the Enterprise Organization container”

Today I continued installing Microsoft Exchange 2016 on Windows Server 2016 in my Home Lab. The forest preparation continued without problems but the active directory preparation failed.


The virtual machines related to the problems:
* DC1 – Windows Server 2012 R2 – Domain Controller running all FSMO roles
* EXH01 – Windows Server 2016 – A new server that will become an Exchange 2016 server.
In the past the domain controller had a Microsoft Exchange 2013 server joined but that was removed. I guess that there are still registrations in the Active Directory schema.


The following error appeared in the Exchange Server 2016 log file (C:\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.txt):
“[REQUIRED] Setup encountered a problem while validating the state of Active Directory: Couldn’t find the Enterprise Organization container.”

I found a solution… but I do not think Microsoft officially supports it. Keep in mind: if you are still running an Exchange Server infrastructure you will probably destroy it!


1. Start a RDP session with the domain controller.
2. Open the following tool “ADSI Edit”.
3. Connect to the “default-naming context”.
4. Delete the following CNs completely, including all content:
CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=Lab,DC=local
CN=CN=Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=Lab,DC=local
5. Restart the Exchange Server.
6. Start the Exchange Server 2016 installation.
7. Follow the installation wizard.

After these steps, the problems were gone and the Exchange Server 2016 is running without problems.

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