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public folders do not replicate in exchange 2003. rpc errors in event log

Hi Guys,

we have an existing windows 2000 domain, nothing compicated. We had a single exchange 2000 server with latest service packs which was upgraded long time ago from 5.5, using the swing method.

just installed a new windows server 2003, and connected to the existing domain. Then run all the domain and forest preparation tools for installing exchange 2003. Installed exchange 2003 and sp1, and all looked ok. Moved all the mailboxes to this server, no problems. The final outcome is to actually remove the old exchange 2000 so that it is re-set to run other things.

Now, the problem began when i went to replicate the public folders from the 2000 to the 2003 exchange server. All looked ok in the configuration, accepting the replication set by me and all. Then i went to the new 2003 server, and there was nothing there. Not even replicas showing.

Deleted some of the replications and reset... nothing.
Did the replicas manually and still nothing comes in. All folders show empty in the 2003 server. What is even more weird, is that in the details it shows that the two replicas are in synch! but checked the public folder storage file and it is only some 5-6megs, when it should me around a few gigs.

Checked the event logs, and i get a couple of errors which repeat all the time:
- source mxexchangeMTA,  warning, event id 9318, INTERFACE category
An RPC communications error occurred. Unable to bind over RPC. Locality Table (LTAB) index: 29, Windows 2000/MTA error code: 9297. Comms error 9297, Bind error 9297, Remote Server Name ISNEXCH [MAIN BASE 1 500 %10] (14)

- source mxexchangeMTA,  warning, event id 9297, SECURITY category
Calling client thread does not have permission to use MTA RPCs. Windows 2000 error code: 0X80070005. Client user account: NT AUTHORITY\ANONYMOUS LOGON. [BASE IL INCOMING RPC 25 237] (14)

these messages come on both servers. The isnexch is the old and the isnexch01 is the new.

I can see lots of messages leaving the old server, and going into the new. But on the new server they remain in a queue named PUBLIC FOLDER STORE (ISNEXCH01) which is an x400 folder and scheduled but does not process the messages. The next processing always shows to be forwarding by 3 hours every time you click on it.

There is also a queue named ISNEXCH01 on the old server, which has a number of messages which never get delivered.

I upgraded onsite the old exchange to exchange 2003  just in case it would help. Then installed also the sp1. Nothing. still same old thing

I checked the RPC with the rpc checkup tools, and also double and tripple checked the DNS settings and the FQDN of the servers and dns servers. Didnt find anything!  Even checked the virtual smtp server and didnt find anything wrong.

Any ideas? Could it be remaining from the 5.5 swing upgrade? or cound it have to do something with the anonymous login of the windows server 2000 / 2003?
it must have to do something with access rights, btu where do i change them?

would really appreciate your help!
Thanks people
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1 Solution
Did you send the hierarchy across first? Use ESM on Exchange 2003 to send it over from the old server to the new one.
That will take a little while to sort itself out. You can check by looking in ESM, Admin Groups, <your admin group>, Servers, <your server>, <your storage group>, Public Folder Store, Public Folders.

Once the hierarchy is over you can replicate the public folders.

You actually did your migration the wrong way round... the usual method is mailboxes LAST. Replicate everything else first - once that is complete the mailboxes can go across as Outlook looks to the same Exchange server as the mailbox for public folder information.

When you think you are ready to remove the first Exchange server, follow this article from Microsoft to ensure that you complete all the steps: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=307917

djadAuthor Commented:
Hi Simon,

thanks. Will try it later on, since i have some replicas already created the hard way (manually on new serve. i know this should be dublicate work), since the replication wasnt coming through from the replication setting in the folders setting. I was able to start the synch on those folders by going into the ESM, then to the folders list, monitoring them, going to the status, right-click on the replicas and choosing to synchronise them. Synch is now still running on those folders, since we have some huge folders (several gigs).

do you know if choosing to replicate the hierarchy will also send out the messages in the folders? or will it only send the folder structure? how about the existing ones which are already replicating?

The error still comes up about the RPC though. Is it possible to be errors coming for the messages that got stuck in the queues? Any idea how to remove that problem? Any way we can change or authorise the other servers anonymous user to the other one?

you are right, we did went about it the wrong way around. but since these folders were to be sent during the weekend due to the size, i chose to send the mailboxes first to save time later on. (and it seemed to work...)

thanks again
Sending the hierarchy will not replicate the content as well. You need to set that by folder. At least you can set the replication at the top level and then propagate it down which makes setting it much easier.

Exchange 2003 also introduced a mechanism to send the content now which will force the content to go across. It floods the network but does work.
When I do a migration to new hardware I usually allow at least three weekends to do the work - once the new server has been built. This allows enough time to get everything moved without any data loss.

RPC errors usually mean that the servers cannot communicate with each other or a domain controller. There are tests on the Exchange server CD checklist that you can run to see where the problem is.

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djadAuthor Commented:
Hi All,


I had defined the replication since 2 days ago on the server, but the replication instances came only half way through automatically. I guess you are right, i should have left it a bit more, but for the basic folders i had listed (less than 1 megabyte of information), i thought it was weird not to come out. Then i put the rest of the public folders which were some Gs and not Ks.

finally the replication started when i forced it as per my previous message. Then the rest of the hierarchy came along with it (dont ask me how, it did) as i had it set to replicate. All folders are now in.

Lots of messages remained in the queues as defined in my first message, for some reason would not update the folders nor the configuration. The rpc continues, without any reason. did all the exchange toold and exchange server tests and even RPC termination tests and nothing came out bad! all i can think of is the anonymous users since it is windows 2000 with windows 2003... would it make any difference?

Im planning now to remove all replication (since it is now complete), rehome the system folders, recreate the offline address book, and remove the old exchange... that would stop the rpc errors. But i am not sure if in the future i use another exchange server for any reason, if this will come back to haunt me...

Any ideas?

djadAuthor Commented:
Hi ppl,

finally removed the other server, and all look ok. The replication completed at some point, and i deleted all the msgs which were on the queues. I couldnt find out why they were there or what they were, but since the number was not growing and the public folders were ok, i decided to clean them out.

the rpc messages stopped as soon as i removed the other server. I guess i will know which server was to blaim when it comes to adding another exchange server (if it happens...)

For now everything looks ok...

In any case, i think its only fair to split the points for the both of us :) some usefull info there, plus the rest for me for taking the gamble for the next one with the same problem :)

djadAuthor Commented:
no splitting? never mind... all yours... :)
till next time
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