How to Install Blackberry Enterprise Server on Windows XP Pro in a SBS 2003 Environment

Contrary to what RIM and other people might have you believe, it is very possible to install and run Blackberry Enterprise Server (including BES Express) on a Windows XP Professional computer. To further complicate the problem, these same folks will also tell you that there is no way to install the Exchange System Manager using the Small Business Server 2003 CD’s.

Of course, all of this is simply not true, and the setup is smooth as long as you know what to do. RIM won’t provide technical support for this configuration, but we don’t really care, now do we?

Small businesses can get away with this, because in the event of a total disaster, deploying a new Blackberry server in place of the old one is trivial. Just setup the new box, activate your handful of users again, and away you go. However, for larger corporations I cannot recommend this configuration. A Windows XP computer hosting BES typically cannot meet the demands of a corporation that requires 24/7 uptime, usually lacking ECC RAM, an Uninterruptible Power Supply, and RAID for data redundancy.

Installation Pre-Requisites

Before installing Blackberry Enterprise Server on your Windows XP Professional computer, the following pre-requisites must be met or you will have some serious problems:

  • Windows XP Professional, fully patched via Windows Update.
  • Computer is joined to the domain that hosts Exchange.
  • Microsoft Messaging API and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1
    • Download and install this from Microsoft.
  • Internet Information Services.
    • Install this through Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs –> Add/Remove Windows Components. You will be required to insert your Windows XP CD.
  • Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack
    • Download and install this from Microsoft.
  • Exchange System Manager
    • Install the Exchange System Manager using SBS 2003 CD2. During the Exchange setup, you will be prompted for a CD Key, and you must use the CD Key that came with SBS 2003. If you don’t have your CD Key, you can run the Magical Jellybean Keyfinder utility on your SBS 2003 server to locate it.

Installing Blackberry Enterprise Server

Before continuing on to install Blackberry Enterprise Server, it’s a good idea to reboot the computer. Now you’re ready to install BES!

Follow the official instructions in order to install Blackberry Enterprise Server. It’s important that you don’t skip any steps. The instructions involve a very in-depth security configuration for the Besadmin account, and if you don’t get this correct you will have issues.

The installation went smoothly for me, but I did have one problem. When I was prompted for the MAPI configuration during installation, for some reason BES could not locate the Besadmin mailbox, even though it had no problem locating the Exchange server. I thoroughly tested the mailbox (by using it with Outlook) and everything appeared to be normal. Although it couldn’t locate the Besadmin mailbox, I told it to continue with the installation anyway, until it was finished. To troubleshoot this issue, I deleted the Exchange mailbox using Active Directory Users and Computers, then created it again. I also rebooted the Windows XP computer. Finally, I loaded up the Blackberry Server Configuration where I was able to verify that the MAPI configuration was indeed correct, and it could now find the Besadmin mailbox.

To date, I’ve had no problems using this configuration. Blackberry Enterprise Server Express on a separate Windows XP Pro computer in a Small Business Server 2003 domain environment.


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  1. Pingback: How to Install Blackberry Enterprise Server on Windows XP Pro in a SBS 2003 Environment | Glass Ocean | Computer Solutions Repair Inc.

  2. it seems like ages that i heve been searching for a completesite like this one? i am glad i found it,some great information here, i am new and just starting out, anyway thanks for some great tips..

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