Exchange 2000 public and system folder replication problem

These folders are not replicating between my servers. SERVER1 and SERVER2. I am swinging the original Exchange installation from SERVER1 to SERVER2.

When I check replication status on SERVER2 for say 'OAB v2....', it says In 'Sync' for SERVER1 but 'Local Modified' for SERVER2!

a. The public folder database on the SERVER2 is stamped with proxy addresses (ascertained by using ADSI edit on SERVER2)
b. There are no orphaned connections (using ADSI edit) under:

CN=Configuration
CN=Services
CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN="Your organization name"
CN=Administrative Groups
CN="Administrative Group/5.5site name"
CN=Routing Groups
CN="Routing Group name"
CN=Connections

There is however, only one SMTP connector which is to our ISP. So perhaps the replication mails between our SERVERs are getting lost and being sent to our ISP! Do I create a new SMTP connector? If so how and will it disrupte my user's outgoing emails?

Also, Im not 100% sure that there is mailflow between SERVER1 and SERVER2. How do I check this?

Thanks in advance,

Lee.
LeeGoldingAsked:
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SembeeCommented:
A couple of things that you can do/check.

1. The number one reason for failure of the replication traffic is a smart host on the SMTP Virtual Server.
ESM, Servers, <your server>, Protocols, SMTP. Right click on the SMTP VS and choose Properties. Click on the tab Delivery and then Advanced and ensure that smart host is clear.

2. The second most common reason is antivirus getting in the way. Many AV applications don't like the replication packets, so ensure that the AV is configured correctly on both servers. Any file level AV needs to be excluding everything under /exchsrvr .
If you have the new version of Symantec AV then the Internet Mail Protection option will stop replication.

3. Enable Message tracking on both servers. This will show you what Exchange is doing with the messages. Replication traffic sticks out in the tracking center, so is easy to find and check.
http://www.amset.info/exchange/message-tracking.asp

4. Check the SMTP communication between the servers.
From each server in turn, drop in to a command prompt and try each of these combiantions...

telnet ip.add.res.s 25
telnet servername 25
telnet servername.domain.com 25

replacing the IP address and server name details with the details of the OTHER server. You should get an SMTP banner for the other machine. if you don't, then there is an issue with communication or name resolution.

Simon.

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LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
1) I cleared the Smart Host value and set the option to let DNS decide.... The bridgehead is set to 'Default SMTP Virtual Server'. All mail still seems to be flowing internally and externally which is good! :-)

2) We use Symantec corporate v9. I have already excluded the exhange folder and all sub folders.

3) Already enabled. No messages from SERVER1-IS@DOMAIN.COM or thereabouts, etc.

4) STMP banners are coming up fine.

Do I have to replicate public/system folders such as controls, default, EventConfig_SERVER, exchweb along with Offline address books, schedule.., etc? I did this and everything except offline address books and schedule folders won't replicate.

I have now noticed a problem with WMI which I am looking into. This may be affecting replication. I'm removing and reinstalling Exchange on SERVER2 now.

Thanks Simon,

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
It was the MAD thread not initialising properly. Fixed doing this:

1 Stop the WMI service (winmgmt.exe) on the problem server. This action usually also stops the Microsoft Exchange Management service. If not, stop that service.

2 On the problem server, rename the %systemroot%\system32\wbem\Repository folder to %systemroot%\system32\wbem\Repository\Repository.bak.

3 Copy the %systemroot%\system 32\wbem\Repository folder from a known good Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server machine to the problem server.

4 Start the WMI and Microsoft Exchange Management services.

5 Check event logs!

Points are yours Simon as you answered the question in good depth and I did have to change the smart hosts setting on my SMTP connector to get replication working properly.

Cheers as always! :-)

Lee.
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LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Got ahead of myself there. I've yet to see if everything replicates yet so fingers crossed.

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
The important ones to replicate are the free busy and offline address books as those are the two parts that Outlook users need most.
This article on the MSKB is about removing the first Exchange server. However it gives you an idea of what needs to be replicated to the other server.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=307917

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Yes mate. I've followed that one to the letter and they still won't replicate properly.

If I go to ESM - Administrative Groups -> First Administrative Group -> Servers -> SERVER1 -> Protocols -> Public Folder Store (SERVER1) -> Replication Status shows that:

Internet Newsgroups - In Sync
OAB Version 2 - In Sync
Offline address book - /o=...  - In Sync
Offline address book - First Adm....   - In Sync
Public Folder Heirarchy - BOTH MODIFIED
Schedule+ Free Busy Information....  - In Sync
System configuration  - In Sync

HOWEVER....

If I go to the same thing on SERVER2, 'Replication Status' shows only:

Internet Newsgroups - DATA NOT AVAILABLE
Public Folder Hierarchy - In Sync
System Configuration - In Sync

AND if I go to ESM - Administrative Groups -> First Administrative Group -> Servers -> SERVER1 -> Protocols -> Public Folder Store (SERVER1) -> Public Folders and right click on say 'OAB Version 2' folder -> Properties -> Replication Tab -> Shows:

SERVER1 - In Sync
SERVER2 - Local Modified.

It all seems to be contradicting itself!

We don't need Schedule+, Offline address book (as we have no-one working offline for now).

If so, does my new Exchange look ready to have the mailboxes transferred to it via the wizard on SERVER1?

Ta,

Lee.


LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Well I also have maximum logging on Replication incoming/outgoing/errors by setting the logging up on each Exchange server. But event ids in the event logs regarding replication are few and far between.

This is impossible!!!!!

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
I've tracked some messages as per your recommendation from SERVER1-IS@ourdomain.com to SERVER2-IS@domain.com.

The message history in Exchange ESM -> Tools -> Message Tracking Center is:

15:10 SMTP: Started outbound transfer of message
15:16 Message transfered to ourdomain.com via SMTP
15:30 SMTP: Started outbound transfer of message
15:36 Message transfered to ourdomain.com via SMTP

I don't know if the messages from server1 are getting to server2.

At this rate I may as well reinstall OS, Exchange, Setup AD, New Users, etc from scratch. Would have been done with the time I've wasted trying to swing the Exchange over perhaps :-( :-(

Lee.

SembeeCommented:
You may not be using Free Busy and the Offline Address Book, they are still requirements for the operation of Exchange. If you ever introduce Outlook 2003 then that uses the OAB in cached mode.

The reason that you are seeing the "ourdomain.com" is because that is what both servers are announcing themselves as. You need to change at least one of them to announce differently so that you can tell which server is which.
ESM, Servers, <your server>, Protocols, SMTP. Right click on the SMTP VS and choose Properties. Click on the tab Delivery and then FQDN and change "ourdomain.com" to something like "mail.ourdomain.com".

Replication of Exchange 2000 data is notoriously slow. My record for waiting for replication is three weeks.
The replication status is also unreliable. What I work on is the item count - verifying that the numbers are the same.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Which section of ESM do I use to TRULY know when something has replicated?

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Simon,

Right. There are outgoing replications messages from SERVER1 in the Application event logs. But there are NO incoming replication events in SERVER2's Application event logs.

Therefore there replication messages are not being received by SERVER2!!

Help!

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
We have setup Exchange not to be on the Internet, but to collect our mail from our ISP via a POP3 connector program called ExchangePOP3. This gets the mail and forwards it to the user's on our domain internally. We have no MX records.

In ESM -> Recipients -> Recipient Policies -> Default Policy we have two SMTP addresses:

@ourdomain (obviously where our domain is our internal AD domain)
@externaldomain.com (this is our online websites domain name)

So if someone on the net sends a mail to lee@externaldomain.com, the connector connects to our POP3 account at our ISP, downloads the mail, and routes it to Exchange to deliver internally to 'lee@externaldomain.com'.

This allows our users to send internal email to each other (@ourdomain.com) internally, and anything sent to @externaldomain.com, goes our via the SMTP connector on Exchange.

I'm wondering if this arrangement is screwing up replication? I am also now seeing event id 3093 in SERVER2's app event logs.

Here is an outgoing replication message from SERVER1 to SERVER2:

From: SERVER1-IS@ourdomain.com
To:   SERVER2-IS@ourdomain.com

Location:
-server.ourdomain.com
--externaldomain.com

Event:
SMTP: Started Outbound Transfer of Message
Message transferred to externaldomain.com through SMTP

And that's it! No replication.


Think I should give up on swinging and do the other method in my other open question?????????

Lee.



SembeeCommented:
Are you sure about which server "ourdomain.com" is in the message tracking center? Work that out and you can see where the emails are going. Once you know that, then you can look at the message routing to see where the replication traffic is going.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Eh? Both severs are on the same internal domain "ourdomain.com"!

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
I know that.
However your servers should NOT be announcing themselves as ourdomain.com - they should be announcing as a server in that domain - mail.domain.com or something like that. "domain.com" is not a valid name of a server on the Internet.

However it appears that one or both of the servers are announcing themselves as ourdomain.com instead of a fully qualified domain name.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
SERVER1 is on server1.ourdomain.com (this is the internal domain) for internal emails, etc.
SERVER2 is at server2.ourdomain.com (ditto).

The real domain names are withheld just for client privacy. I don't mind saying the real ones but they don't want me too :-( The clarify though, the AD domain is the company name .com and the externaldomain.com is actually the domain of our online website which has a different company brand name.

If someone on the LAN sends a message to lee@ourdomain.com it gets routed by Exchange to a LAN user. If someone on the LAN sends a message to lee@externaldomain.com then it still gets routed by Exchange to a LAN user. If someone on the LAN sends a message to 'support@yahoo.co.uk' then it gets routed by Exchange, via an SMTP Connector in the routing group, to our ISP's SMTP server.

I know this isn't the standard way of setting up Exchange. But the company wanted to use a POP3 connector to retrieve email from our website at 'www.externaldomain.com'. So Exchange is not on the internet and there are no MX records pointing to our Exchange server. I guess the MX records point to our ISP's mail servers.

Is this significant?

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Just noticed that the Default SMTP Virtual Server is not running on SERVER2 Exchange instance. Should this be running, and if so, I don't have the option to start it by right clicking on it. But the service is running in MMC -> Services.

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
I am not really worried about the real domains - what you need to do is change what the server actually announces itself. That information is used in message tracking to identify the servers.

ESM, Servers, <your server>, Protocols, SMTP. Right click on the SMTP VS and choose Properties. Click on the tab Delivery and then Advanced. In the box "Fully Qualified Domain Name" change the name to what the server is known as - preferably a name that resolves to the Internet, but as long as it isn't something ending in .local you should be fine.

What do you mean by Default SMTP VS not running? Red Cross over the server? Something else?
Exchange 2000 has its quirks - the main one being that IIS starts quicker than Exchange and you get some odd things that appear not to have started correctly but are actually working.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Fully qualified domain name is 'server1.ourdomain.com'. Why this should be a name that resolves to the internet I don't know! As I said, my Exchange server is not on the Internet. No MX records. Do you know what mean?

1) Now I have in the queues sections, loads of instances of my SMTP connector!!! How do I get rid of these!

I've got to laugh at what a mess I'm creating! LOL. Don't care much anymore. I'll just do a system state restore soon on SERVER1 and uninstall Exchange on SERVER2 and give up.

I think that my setup here is not compatible with having more that one exchange server on the same AD domain. What do you say?

I'm actually very intelligent and have worked in this job for years, I can do SQL server, windows servers, web dev, programming. Exchange is a b**l ache is it not! LOL. I'm not a dipstick in case you were wondering! :-D.

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
The reason the name should resolve on the Internet is because it is starting to become common for receiving servers to look back through the headers to verify the original source is genuine. It is part of the ongoing fight with spam. If you don't have everything set perfectly correctly then remote sites will use it as an excuse to bounce your email messages.

AOL for example are notorious for being extremely picky on who can deliver email to them.

I don't know why you think you need to do a system state restore. Exchange removes very easily, simply remove the replicas before you do so.

Part of the problem is that I cannot see how the server is configured, and I certainly feel that there is an uncommon configuration in the server somewhere. If you have inherited the server instead of configuring it yourself then who knows what else has been configured. I have seen all sorts of mess in my career where administrators try to get Exchange to do things in a way that it plainly not designed to do.

My personal opinion of POP3 connectors are that they evil things I refuse to deploy them. They can be avoided completely, even if you have just a dial up connection. It is a matter of using a supplier who give you the services that you need. A direct SMTP feed in to the server is much more efficient service and allows the email messages to be delivered immediately. POP3 is a server to client protocol, not a server to server protocol.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
The reason I'm thinking of a system state restore on SERVER1 is that I can receive internet mail, but I can no longer send it! And don't know what I've done to stop this :-( :-(

Every time I send an email, in the ESM queues for SERVER1, I see a new instance of our SMTP Connector in there with messages that are trying to be sent. Part of the name is the email recipient name! Eg:


How do I get this working again? Its either system state restore to get back the working settings for my SMTP VS and SMTP connector, or if you know what the problem is, let me know and Ill change the settings.

Ta,

Lee.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Ok. After restarting Exchange services after getting the settings back to normal, they are gone except one in ESM -> Queues...


externaldomain.com (Local delivery)
PreSubmissionQueue (Messages pending submission)
...
...
Our SMTP Connector (SMTP Connector - Remote delivery)

The last one doesn't look right?

Can
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Ok all looks like it is working fine now.

With our configuration here, its unlikely I can swing exchange across.

Thanks for all your help so far Simon.

I'll continue with my other thread I guess where I will try to disconnect SERVER 1. Install Windows 2000 server on the new hardware, domain prep, make DC, Check DNS, install Exchange, setup the connectors and such like, create the same 20 users as what I have now in AD and create new mailboxes. Then try and find a way to restore the mail that each user had on the original server.

Then when I plug the new server in (still called SERVER1) the Outlook clients will not notice any difference.

Is this possible?

Thanks,

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
Is that possible?
No it isn't.

The problem is that you have mentioned the machine being a domain controller.
 
You cannot have two domain controllers with the same name. In fact, unless you remove the domain controller from the domain beforehand, you cannot even bring the replacement server up in to the domain - as Active Directory will think it is a domain controller.

You would have to shutdown the old machine, then remove it from the domain. Only then can you start building the new machine.

Remember that you cannot change either the name or the role of the server once Exchange is installed. If it was a member server at the point of installation then it must stay a member server. (Cannot is a bit strong for the server role change - you can do it, but it isn't supported by Microsoft and it was cause a mess that will stop OWA and other components from working until you reset everything by hand).

If you can't use swing, then you are left with very little choice. It will have to be the very slow method...

Exmerge all the mailboxes out.
Copy all public folder content out.

Remove all mailboxes, mail enabled groups etc, so that there is nothing left on the server.

Uninstall Exchange from the server.
DCPROMO the server out
Drop out of the domain in to a workgroup and shutdown.

Install new machine, DCPROMO etc.
Create mailboxes, groups etc.
EXMERGE content back in again.

Exmerge is available as a download from Microsoft.

You could attempt to move the databases across to the new machine, but I would be surprised if that worked. Before doing so, I would make sure that you have a good backup, and exmerge the mailboxes out so that you have a backup plan if it doesn't mount correctly (remember the old server is no longer there to bring back up again).

If the client wants to work in a non-standard way then you have to do things in a non-standard method. If you are out of your depth then either call Microsoft or get a consultant in. A good quality Exchange consultant could probably look at the entire site and do the migration for you very quickly.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Hi Simon,

I now have replication working properly! At time of writing I have OAB and public folders in sync.

After OAB, public folders, Schedule+ and EFORMs are in sync. Can I do the mailbox move with the users using Outlook now?

BTW: I removed our STMP connector which didn't seem to need to be there really. Looks like the replication messages were going to our ISP's SMTP server. Not good!

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
Do an item count verification first - the "In sync" message can be inaccurate. If the items are within one or two items then you should be fine to move the mailboxes.

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
I'm at the point now where I can uninstall Exchange from the original server (followed the MS article and all users are working with their mailboxes on the new server, mail is flowing perfectly :-)

However, I have 3 mailboxes left. Do I purge these as uninstall won't work until they are gone according to the uninstall program:

SMTP (SERVER1--{etc, etc})
System Attendant
SystemMailbox{3DE7.....}

Thanks,

Lee.
SembeeCommented:
I would be surprised if they were the ones causing the uninstall to fail as they are system mailboxes - which are unique to the server.

Right at the bottom of my migration page there is a technique for finding hidden mailboxes and mailboxes that are still located on the old server. I would do that first before you try anything else.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/migration.asp

Simon.
LeeGoldingAuthor Commented:
Will do :-)

Lee.
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