How to Generate Certificate Signing Request (CSR) in Microsoft Exchange 2003


This document provides instructions for generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for Microsoft Exchange 2003. If you are unable to use these instructions for your server, RapidSSL recommends that you contact Microsoft.

NOTE: To generate a CSR, you will need to create a key pair for your server. These two items are a digital certificate key pair and cannot be separated. If you lose your public/private key file or your password and generate a new one, your SSL Certificate will no longer match. You will have to request a new SSL Certificate and may be charged.

To Generate a CSR on Microsoft Exchange 2003 follow the instructions below:

1.    Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.

2.    If the Display administrative groups option is turned on, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand First Administrative Group (where First Administrative Group is the name of your administrative group).

NOTE: To display administrative groups, right-click Your_Organization, click Properties, click to select the Display administrative groups check box, click OK two times, and then restart Exchange System Manager.

3.      Expand Servers, expand the Exchange Server container that you want to configure, and then expand the Protocols container.

4.      Expand each protocol that you want to configure, right-click the Default Protocol_Name virtual server object, and then click Properties.

5.      Click the Access tab, and then click Certificate.

6.      In Web Server Certificate Wizard, click Next, click Create a new certificate, and then click Next.

7.      Click Prepare the request now, but send it later, and then click Next.

8.      Either type an appropriate name for the certificate in the Name box, or leave the default setting of Default Protocol_Name Virtual Server.

9.      In the Bit Length list, select 2048, and then click Next.

10.    Fill out the information in the required fields and click on Next.

Organization (O): If your company or department has an &, @, or any other symbol using the shift key in its name, you must spell out the symbol or omit it to enroll, for example: XY & Z Corporation would be XYZ Corportation or XY and Z Corportation.

Organizational Unit (OU): This field is the name of the department or organization unit making the request.

Common Name (CN): The Common Name is the Host + Domain Name.

NOTE: RapidSSL certificates can only be used on Web servers using the Common Name specified during enrollment. For example, a certificate for the domain "" will receive a warning if accessing a site named "" or "", because "" and "" are different from "". 

Country Name (C): Use the two-letter code without punctuation for country, for example: US or CA.

State or Province (S): Spell out the state completely; do not abbreviate the state or province name, for example: California.

Locality or City (L): The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Berkeley.

11.    In the File name box, do one of the following:

- Type a name and a path for the location where you want to create the certificate

- Leave the default file name in this box.

12.    Click Next.

13.    Review the information that is on the Request File Summary page. If something is not correct, click Back until you reach the page that must be corrected, and then click Next until you return to the Request File Summary page, and then click Next

14.    The final page confirms that a certificate with the specified file name has been created. The default setting is drive name:\certreq.txt.

15.    Click Finish.

16.    Proceed with the Enrolment.


           Source for these instructions is the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 823024.




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