Public Folder Replication

Posted on 2006-03-20
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I recently added a new back-end Exchange 2000 server to our Exchange 2000 environment.  I have successfully moved over several test mailboxes and can perform all normal Exchange activities on the server, except for being able to view the Public Folders and the Free/Busy information.

Exchange environment is one (1) site.
No Routing Connector is configured.
One Public Folder replica is contained on a Exchange cluster.
The other Public Folder replica is contained on a stand alone Exchange server.
All Exchange servers are visible within the Exchange System Manager.

The issue is that, I have been attempting to setup Public Folder replication between the current, active Exchange server and the newly added server.  I have modified all the current Public Folders so that the new Exchange server has been listed for "content" replication.  But I have been unsuccessful to this point in forcing "hierarchy" replication.  I cannot view the Public Folder structure within Outlook or while viewing Public Folders on the new Exchange server.

When I attempt to "Add Replica" within Public Folder Instance, I see no results of the new replica.  Is the "add replica" function working properly?  Should I see immediate results, but wait for the "content" to replicate?  Is there anyway I can be assured that replication is working, even though it hasn't completed yet.  From other articles I've read, I've seen that replication can take several days to a week.  I do not have the luxury to wait that long, just to find out that replication hasn't been working properly.

Thank you for your assistance.  
Question by:mdailey060898
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    While you may not have that luxury, you don't really have much choice.

    Exchange 2000 replication is notorious for being slow. When I am doing a migration between Exchange 2000 servers I will leave it a week to get on with it. That is why there were so many changes with the replication in Exchange 2003 and the additional tools to force things along a bit.

    The most common reasons for replication failure are a smart host configured directly on the SMTP virtual server, and antivirus software getting in the way. Enabling Message Tracking then leaving it for a while will show whether there is any replication traffic going across and whether it has been received correctly. You will need to enable the message tracking option on both servers. The replication traffic does stick out somewhat.


    Author Comment

    I enabled Message Tracking on Monday and let it run over Monday night and all day Tuesday.  I also increased the diagnostic logging for Public Folder replication per the Microsoft KB article,;EN-US;842273.

    As of today, it looks to be that the new Exchange server isn't receiving the replication notices sent from the primary Exchange server.  The last part of the tracking log displays "SMTP: Message submitted to Categorizer", but no other events take place.  On successful replication tracking logs to another server, the last event log displays "SMTP: message transferred to [server] through SMTP.

    I understand that there seems to be a communication breakdown with the new server and the old server in regards to replication.  Is there any specific settings to be made on the SMTP Virtual Server on the new Exchange server?
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    I outlined the most common reasons for the failure in my first response to you.
    If it is only getting as far as the categoriser, that is classic anti virus problems. That seems to be where most of them will scan the message and remove it if they don't like what they see.

    There are no settings that you need to make to either server to allow replication. If you were to take two clean Exchange installations, they would replicate once you have added the other server to the replica list - no further changes would be required as long as both servers can see each other.


    Author Comment

    Just to update anyone who would use this posting for a resource.

    The issue was due to the fact that the new Exchange server did not properly create a SMTP address stamped for Public Folder replication.  (See KB Article:;EN-US;842273.)

    Using the ADSI Edit utility, I was able to create and assign a SMTP address for the new server.  Once the address was created and both Public Folder stores were unmounted/mounted.  Hierarchy replication began and content replication slowly continues.

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