Exchange 2003 Public Folder Replication

Hi Everyone,

I have installed exchange 2003 in our organisation with another existing exchange 2000 a few days ago. Public Folder Replication is taking a long time and I have started moving things manually to the exchange 2003 server from the exchange 2000 server using .pst files. I have tried many posted solutions on this site and also looked everywhere on the Microsoft sites, but things are still going slow. I don't really have much time as I need to have all the mailboxes moved by this week.

Has anyone got any suggestions or some sort of information that will help this replication to speed up!!!!

Also there is an article on how to remove the last Exchange 2000 server from the site. When replicating systems folders, has anyone out there replicated all system folders or as specified in the article just to replicate the offline address books and system -free busy.

Regards,

Moey_G
Moey_GAsked:
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SembeeCommented:
If you are againist the clock then you have no option other than to use the pst files method. Exchange 2000 replication is notoriously slow - with reports of it taking up 3 weeks before the replication is complete. It was one of the areas that Exchange 2003 has improved - except you need to be replicating 2003 to 2003 to use it.

With regards to the system folders, just do the ones in the article. All the others have been recreated on the new server.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
Simon,

It has been along time to replicate. But what concerns me is misleading information on the server. If I view the replication of the Public Folder by ESM--Admin Groups--Folders---Public Folders, most of the public folders show as insynch. But if I select the the 2003 server---First Storage Group---Public folder store---Replication Status, they are not the same. Most of them are viewed as local modified?? Which one do you believe? I know which one I would choose, but in reality if the store is showing as local modified , even when using .pst files to update the Public folders, you would choose the public folder store.

Am I correct in suggesting this ??

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
You are not alone.
I usually use the item count. If the numbers are the same then the folder is in sync, no matter what Exchange actually says. How long do you wait for them to be in sync?

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
I just restarted the exchange 2003 server earlier and when checking replication status in the public folder store, I now have more folders to replicate than before. Folders that were synchronised are now showing as local modified. This is weird behaviour I must say. As for replication how long it takes to wait for them, I am not exactly sure. I have all public folders set to always replicate.

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
The question was a little retorical. Public Folder replication is notorious for being flakey - especially on reporting its status of in sync or local modified. As I said above, I usually have to look at the item count to get an idea if things are bhaving themselves correctly.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
I have started to look at the item count as well within the outlook client. It all seems synchronised to me ,but not the exchange server.One of the processes is to move the mailboxes over. I have moved my mailbox successfully and I use windows XP. I have moved users that have Windows 2000 installed , and they are having difficulties connecting with their outlook client. An error message appears that it cannot find their names in the address list. When fault finding windows 2000 users, their email settings are still pointing to the windows 2000 server, but you can see their mailbox in the exchange 2003 information store?

I seem to overcome one thing and then something else comes up. Any ideas?

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
As long as both Exchange servers are accessible to the client when they first connect to the mailbox after the move, then Outlook should automatically update. That is by design.

However I always say that the mailboxes should be the last thing that are moved to a new server. Get the system and public folders replicated across first, as without those the Outlook clients wil not operate correctly. Too many people want to get mailboxes on to the new server before anything else and then find they have problems.

I would put the mailboxes back on to the working server until you have the public and system folders replicating correctly. Only then look at doing the move of the mailboxes.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
So there is no issue with clients using windows 2000 pro moving mailboxes? I have posted another question in regards to removing ADC connector from our exchange 2000 server. I saw an article somewhere , cannot quite remember where that mixed mode exchange servers can cause mailbox move problems. We are currently in mixed mode , but I am trying to make this native. Let me know if you have any tips.

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
No issues at all. I have done it loads of times. One of my specialisms is doing migrations to a new Exchange server without the clients even noticing that anything has changed.
The clients need to be at least Windows 2000/Outlook 2000. The AD and everything else needs to be operating correctly so that the change in mailbox location is communicated to the client.

The two most common reasons for Exchange not going up to native is the AD connector (which needs to be removed) and SRS still in place. Remove both of those and it should switch up quite happily.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
So for me to remove SRS, i have been posted an answer of to remove this using the exchange 2000 CD. Is this correct?
I think our exchange 2000 server was upgraded from 5.5 and it still has the ADC and CA on the server?

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
The ADC needs to be removed via Add/Remove programs. There is no other way.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
The error message I recieve when trying to use add/remove programs is

"Setup is unable to continue  as it has detected that there are one or more connection agreement/s associated with this Active Directory connector.You must first delete this connection agreement/s or configure them to run under a different connector service before attempting to remove this connector service"

I have looked up a microsoft article , and is specifies to delete the SRS using exchange administrator 5.5 . But I cannot do this as I do not have the option to delete the SRS in exchange administrator 5.5 using the tools container. I do not have the tools container?

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
You should have SRS in Tools in ESM - Exchange System Manager. I haven't got access to a mixed site at the moment so cannot remember the exact place, but I am sure it is in Tools. Look for SRS or Site Replication Service and delete it.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
Simon,

Thanks for the info. I found the SRS on the weekend and deleted. It then allowed me to uninstall the AD Connector. I have now setup our exchange ouganisation to native mode. No point having it to mixed if there are no exchange 5.5 in the site.

I have enabled diagnostic logging on both servers to monitor incoming and outgoing replication messages. Is there anything else I should consider monitoring? There has been no errors reported thus far which is great.

As a test , I have created a new public folder calendar on the new server to see if it replicates. I made sure I added the exchange 2000 as a replica and there it was on outlook connected to the exchange 2000 server. Replication seems to be going OK , but very tedious at times.

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
I wouldn't run diagnostic logging for too long. It is a bit picky and will fill your event logs up with errors that don't mean a great deal. Once you are pretty sure that it is replicating correctly, shut of the logging.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
Simon,

It has been nearly 2 now and I am still having troubles with the windows 2000 client machines connecting to mailboxes on exchange 2003 server. I have noticed though that there are a few warnings of error id : 2012 stating as below

Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:      smtpsvc
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      2012
Date:            12/8/2004
Time:            3:00:01 PM
User:            N/A
Computer:      W2K3SRVLGATEWAY
Description:
SMTP could not connect to the DNS server 'xxxx.xxxx.xxxx.xxxx'. The protocol used was 'UDP'. It may be down or inaccessible.

I have no problems with dns in our organisation and I dont really know why this is displayed in the logs.

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
That error is quite common. What is your firewall? Windows 2003 introduced a change to the DNS behaviour which allows larger DNS packets to be sent, yet some firewalls cannot handle those packets. You have to make a registry change on the DNS servers to resolve the problem.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
We use a Watchguard Firebox II as our firewall. Do you know the registry location to change this behaviour or an article to do this?

Mo
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
Is there a common value that is used in the registry settings. It states that the default is 1280 bytes. Is that what it is already using or should I use this value?

Mo
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SembeeCommented:
I use Cisco PIX firewall and set mine to 512 - it is the higher number (1280) that is causing the problem.

Simon.
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Moey_GAuthor Commented:
Replication has finally been completed. I also found the cause to our windows 2000 professional users not being able to connect to the exchange 2003 server. The cause was due to somebody changing the permissions on the GAL and it had become hidden in ESM. Recreated permissions using DSACLS.exe and behold , there was the GAL and windows 2000 pro users were able to use the new exchange 2003 server.

Weird!!!!!

Thanks for all your help and have a merry christmas and a safe new year.

Mo
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