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exchange 2003 public folder - need to move, how?


unlike moving mailboxes, this is a bit different.  I'm consolidating 2 older exchange servers and want to make sure the public store is properly moved to the new server.

I already have replication going to the new server, but there are some differences between the older server public folder and the new one.

I need to ensure our public folders are ok and properly copied &/or moved to the new server.


Avatar of Sembee
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Replication is really the best way to do it.
However if you are coming off Exchange 2000 then replication is very slow. It can take weeks for all the content to replicate across.
As for verifying the replication, I use item count. If the item count is within 10 then I consider the folder to be replicated. Loss of a few items is not unusual, through corrupt items or deleted items that don't come across.
Once you are happy that all content has been replicated AND there are not user mailboxes on the server, simply remove the old server from the list of replicas. Exchange will do the rest and within a couple of hours the public folder on the old server will have gone.

Avatar of BogdanBadoi

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BogdanBadoi - I have to disagree. Have you ever seen the mess that an manual import/export makes? Replication is far safer and less problematic. I have cleaned up so many migrations where people have tried to do that and just ended up with data everywhere.
It usually ends up with all the permissions being recorded, then the public folders deleted on all servers and manually recreated.

Avatar of BogdanBadoi

I migrate some public folders realy huge ( >5GB ). You right. But I tried to do with a tool...Ontrack Power Controls 4.0 (just the import part) and it is really working to do his job.
Nah, replication is the way to go here.

I also understand your concerns... I've migrated ten thousands offolders, and maybe a few dozens were just empty, not only missing some corrupted or deleted items. Now this shouldn't happen, but it does.

1. To make sure everything is replicated I recommend the "pfmigrate" tool from Microsoft; if you have many folders in can run for hours, but at least it will make sure that really every folder has a replica on the destination server.
2. To check the contents I use a quite simple approach: I exported the PF list (folder path and item count) of both stores (source and destination) from Exchange System Manager to a CSV or text file and used WinDiff to compare the contents. This requires manual efforts, but even on servers hosting several thousand folders this wasn't too bad. If the item count is different (as Simon said, a couple of items are probably OK) I removed the replica and replicated it again later.
3. When all contents have been replicated, make a full backup of your source servers and remove all PF replicas from them. This is a clean way to remove PFs and in case something is missing you still have it in your backup.
4. Don't forget about the systems folders before shutting down the old boxes, e.g. Scheduled+Free/Busy-Info
Avatar of CGtech58


k, just to confirm, all exchange servers are on win 2003.  we are consolidating two older/retired servers onto a newer and more powerful unit.

I've cked the item count, it's substantially within 98-99%

will de-install exch from the old box, unjoin fm domain - ...

Exchange 2003 is easy to do. You simply use the Send Content now feature. The content will go across in a couple of hours.

Sembee, sorry for great delay in response - your input was the most valid in resolution (we discovered a couple of wrinkles in old DNS records and logon server - also lost our FSMO during this period) - 250 points coming your way.

many thanks for the assist,

CGTech58 // Semper Paratus