Public Folder Re-homing and Replication

I am migrating from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003.  Exchange 2000 sever is in the child domain and Exchange 2003 is in the parent domain.  I have moved most mailboxes to the new server in the parent domain.  I now want to re-home the public folders to the new server.  I have read articles that say I need to add the new server in the Replication Tab in the properties of the public folder, propagate the replication settings to the sub-folders and then remove the original server from the properties of replication.  I have also read articles about the PFAdmin utility and exporting the PF to a .pst file and re-importing them.  I am leery of those solutions.

I am experiencing some problems with the replica method.  The other day I added the new server in the Replication Tab of the PFs.  I did not remove the old server.  The next morning users who had mailboxes on the new server could see the PF structure but there were no documents in them.  Users on the old server could view PFs normally.  As soon as I removed the new server from the Replication Tab of the PFs in System Manager everything magically appeared as the users were pointed back to the original server.  

How the heck does PF replication work?  I checked the replication settings and some said "in synch" some were "locally modified" on the original server.  When I add a server to the Replicatin Tab it says "replcate contents to these public folders" but it does not seem to be working.  

Why could users on the new server only see the PF structure but not documents?  As soon as I removed the new server in System Manager they were pointed back to the original and could view everything.  

So I figure maybe I have to remove the old server before the actual documents replicate or I have to initiate the replication from the original server.  So I create a new PF on the old server and add the new server in the Replication Tab.  I did that 2 hours ago and I still cannot see that PF in Outlook.  My mailbox is on the new server.  Maybe I am missing something here but replication does not seem to be working at all here.  

Any ideas?
chrmar40Asked:
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SembeeCommented:
Public Folder replication is a pain. It can take weeks for everything to replicate correctly (yes you read that right - weeks). I have seen with my own eyes replication taking three weeks before I was confident about shutting down the old server.

The way replication usually works is that the hierarcy goes across first and then the content.
You can speed it up a little by changing the replication priority.

For this reason, when I do a migration to a new system I do public and system folders first. Mailboxes are one of the last things that are moved.

If time is critical then the manual move methods that you have read about will have to be used.

Simon.
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chrmar40Author Commented:
Simon,

Which method would you recommend the .PST method or the PFAdmin method?  

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SembeeCommented:
PFADMIN is probably the method of choice as you can move ACLs as well.

Simon.
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chrmar40Author Commented:
Is there anyway that i can manually specify which server the users point to?  I don't mind if the replication takes awhile but users are defaulting to the new server which has only the PF directory structure.
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SembeeCommented:
By default the users will look at the same server the mailbox is on. There is no way that I am aware of to make the users look at another server - except changing the location of the public folder store in ESM - which will defeat the purpose.

When I do a migration I always do mailboxes last for this very reason.

Simon.
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chrmar40Author Commented:
Thanks for you help!
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