Removing last Public Folders Database

In a weeks I’ve visited our customer in a beautiful place named Sauda,

MaximumExchange.ru: Sauda, Norway

The matter of visit still has some new feeling for me – removing last Exchange 2003 servers from the organization. I remember the tasks of migrating Exchange 5.5 to 2003, and nowadays its time is gone. Do you feel anything like that? But let’s get back to the deal.

When you are removing the last Exchange 2003 from your Exchange 2007/2010 Organization – you have to clean up the old server from mailboxes and mailbox databases, as well as public folders and PF databases too. And this guide is tested on removing problematic Public Folders from Exchange 2007 in Exchange 2010 Organizations, so it’s all the way useful.

Mailboxes is an easy deal – find the couple of system accounts holding their mailboxes in each Exchange Database and remove these connections from ADSIedit. If you ever need some details on this procedure – just ask, I’ll make some wide and thorough explanation on the topic.

Public Folders require a bit more of attention, because old clients (up to Outlook 2003) access Address Lists and Calendar information from there, and you have not to ruine this process.
Moreover you have to be twice much careful if you have any user data in Public Folders.

So the task is to accurately migration all the public folders data to remaining Exchange 2010 (and Exchange 2013 soon) to release old Exchange servers for discontinuation.

Normally you have to replicate all the public folders from an old Exchange server to a new, cut the replication paths from Exchange 2003 and remove the tails. And remember – public folder replication has has a pretty much Nordic style – nowhere to hurry, it goes as it goes 🙂

You can force moving all public folder data to your new Exchange 2010 servers:

1. Navigate with EMShell to:
cd $env:exchangeinstallpath\scripts

2. Collect if and what is still replicating with this public folder database:
Get-PublicFolder \ -Recurse | ft name,parentpath,replicas

If you find your old Exchange 2003 server in the list – that’s your goal.

3. Move everything to your new Exchange 2010
MoveAllReplicas.ps1 -Server ex2003name -NewServer ex2010name

After some-while command #2. must show no Exchange 2003 among the replicating servers

You’ll also need to make sure that the server is not the OAB generation server for any Offline Address Books that are also being published to public folders.

4. If necessary move the OAB generation to another mailbox server:
Move-OfflineAddressBook "Default Offline Address List" -Server ex2010name

Once all of these conditions have been met you should be able to remove the public folder database.

* If you still can’t remove it and you’re sure the public folder database contains no more replicas you can use ADSIEdit to remove the public folder database from the organization.

5. Launch adsiedit.msc, connect to “Configuration” context, Navigate to “CN=Configuration / CN=Services / CN=Microsoft Exchange / CN=YourOrganizationName / CN=Administrative groups / CN=Exchange Administrative Group / CN=Databases”
and remove
CN=YourEx2003PublicFolderDatabaseName.

Here is the deal. What’s up?

10 thoughts on “Removing last Public Folders Database”

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