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Public Folder Replication Exchange 2003 Not Working [update: Routing Group Connectors Not Working, either]

spaltd asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I just recently installed Exchange 2003 in our home office, then in our two branch offices connected by VPN connections, same Exchange Organizations.  Each site has at least one S2k3 DC, and Exchange is installed on a 2003 member server.

I am trying to duplicate our home office Public Folder store on each of the branch office Exchange Servers, but it's not working.  The Public Folders hierarchy says it's replicated and in synch, but the folders do no appear in the ESM's on the two branch office Exchange Servers.

I have been reading everything I can find here (lots by Sembee) and comparing against what I have, but nothing fixes the problem.  I'm new to Exchange, and not quite sure what to do next.

Any ideas as to why these things aren't replicating?

My Exchange Servers route mail to each other over Routing Group Connectors, not over SMTP Connectors.

Servers are Running in Native-Mode.
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Also, I am able to connect to each of the other Exchange Servers' Public Folder stores successfully through ESM.


I found out shortly after switching to Native-mode that my Routing Groups were no longer working, either, so inter-site messaging was down, which was an even bigger problem.

Everything appeared to be working fine; I could route properly from anywhere else on the network -- seeing remote shares, printers, etc., and external messaging was working correctly.  Even in ESM, I could browse and manipulate the remote servers, however, under Tools, Monitoring & Status, Status, my Routing Group Connectors showed Available status, but the remote servers showed Unavailable status.

I tried deleting the Routing Group Connectors and recreating them both with the same names and new names, and nothing was working.  Even tried rebooting all the servers after all these changes, etc., as I thought at this point I'd screwed something in AD since in my quest for working public folder replication; I switched to Native-mode & even Raised my Domain & Forest Functional levels, which I erroneously thought at the time introduced more problems.  I was wondering if I'd somehow incorrectly removed the SRS and ADC leaving something something attached to my server names that no longer exists buried somewhere deep in AD.  I just couldn't figure out what was happening.

Anyway, I finally had to call Microsoft to get this Routing Groups problem sorted out.  It had nothing to do with Native-mode or AD -- It turns out it was a problem with my PIX firewalls!!! which I was using for Site to Site VPN at each location.  It was a pretty quick fix.  Just had to disable the Mailguard feature (which I didn't know I had) for the connectors to operate properly by issuing the command [b]no fixup protocol smtp 25[/b]

What I don't understand though, is how the Routing Group Connectors were working fine prior to removing the SRS & ADC.  Anyway, mot only did it resolve the Routing Groups problem, but my Public Folder Hierarchy began replicating between sites immediately after the fix was issued to each PIX.

Here is the link to Microsoft for proper reading on the matter.

Hope this helps someone else.

Because you have presented a solution to your own problem which may be helpful to future searches, this question is now PAQed and your points have been refunded.


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