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Deleting phantom recipients from the Global Address list

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...

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1 Solution
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


FiVeAuthor Commented:
Ok, am going to try this.
Will get back to you...

FiVeAuthor Commented:
Thanks v much, problem solved.
FiVeAuthor Commented:
A detailed answer at the right technical level.
Solved the problem and explained why.


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