Deleting phantom recipients from the Global Address list

Posted on 2003-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I manage part of an Exchange organisation, with 4 different sites.

Sites 1, 2, and 3 replicate their Directory Stores (DS) with another central site over a WAN.

Site 4 only replicates its directory with Site 1, and it receives all inbound directory information from Site 1.

The problem is as follows...
I deleted a mailbox recipient from Site 4, however the recipient name still appears in the Global Address List (GAL) of all other sites in the organisation.

I have tried the following to resolve this problem...
 - Looking in the GAL for Site 4 the recipient does not appear.
 - Performing a full inbound replication from Site 4 to Site 1.
 - Recreating the recipient & replicating. Deleting the new recipient & replicating.
 - Restarting the Directory Store service on Site 1
 - I have looked for corrupt parametres in the directory store using the raw view, but can see nothing amiss.

I think I know WHY and HOW the problem occured in the first place, but what I want to know is how to delete the phantom entry from the GAL...?

Thanks in advance...

Question by:FiVe
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3

Accepted Solution

rvanr earned 680 total points
ID: 8064713
Hi Five
I think I understand what has happened.  When you delete an object (like a mailbox) from your server, it does not actually get deleted, but a 'tombstone' flag is set and the object is hidden from view.  After a certain number of days (30 by default) your server deletes the object.  

What may have happened in this case is that, when you deleted the mailbox on site 4, replication with the other sites was not working properly and that situation continued for the whole 'tombstone' period.  This meant that the object in the GAL never got 'tombstoned' because when replication started working again your server did not send a message to update the status of the deleted mailbox because that mailbox had already been purged from your server.

To get rid of the phantom GAL entry follow these steps:  

1.  Create a new mailbox with the same Distinguished Name as the old one.  If you use the same information in the First, Last, Display and Alias fields this will be the case (see screen shot below).

2.  After creating the mailbox display the properties and make a small change to the Address field and click the Apply button (it does not matter what the change is, just add or delete a letter.)

3.  Repeat step a number of times.  (you need to do this to increase the Object Version attribute of this object to a number that is higher than the value of the old object that you can see in the GAL.  The new object that you have just created has an Object Version number of 1 and it is increased by 1 every time you make a change to the object.)

4.  Now delete the mailbox you have just created.  During replication the information we receive from you about the new mailbox contains the tombstone flag.  This information is compared to the information we have in the GAL and because the Object Version number of the new mailbox is higher than the  Object Version number of the mailbox that is in our GAL the GAL entry will be 'tombstoned'.

This has worked for me in the past



Author Comment

ID: 8086852
Ok, am going to try this.
Will get back to you...


Author Comment

ID: 8087058
Thanks v much, problem solved.

Author Comment

ID: 8087067
A detailed answer at the right technical level.
Solved the problem and explained why.


Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article will help to fix the below error for MS Exchange server 2010 I. Out Of office not working II. Certificate error "name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site" III. Make Internal URLs and External…
This article will help to fix the below errors for MS Exchange Server 2013 I. Certificate error "name on the security certificate is invalid or does not match the name of the site" II. Out of Office not working III. Make Internal URLs and Externa…
To show how to generate a certificate request in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.:  First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Servers >> Certificates…
The video tutorial explains the basics of the Exchange server Database Availability groups. The components of this video include: 1. Automatic Failover 2. Failover Clustering 3. Active Manager
Suggested Courses

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question