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Unable to purge or reconnect mailbox. Phantom/Ghost Mailbox

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
We had a problem during a mailbox move process (from Exchange 5.5 to 2003) as one mailbox seems to have been created on the destination server but still exists on the source
server.  
The destination server indicates that the mailbox has all it's items in (as it's 250mb in sioze), whereas the source server states that it's mailbox is 1K in size and has 2 items in it.

This is a phantom/ghost mailbox that I cannot get removed from exchange 5.5 as attempts to delete the mailbox using Exchange Admin on the source server fail.

If I stop the information store on the exchange 5.5 server, the user cannot access her mailbox.

I get the following error when trying to access the source mailbox from Exchange 5.5 admin:  
The object cannot be found in the directory.  This may be because replication has not completed.

Microsoft Exchange Directory
ID No: c1010aae


Nothing is logged on the Exchange Server event logs.  
Any idea how I can remove the mailbox from the source (exchange 5.5 server).  I've already tried the DS/IS consistency adjuster, and I don't know if removing and rectreating the user's account in active directory would get rid of this mailbox as it's exchange 5.5.


cheers,
Mike

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Question by:gei0089l
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by:The_Kirschi
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I think I had this problem once before but unfortunately I can't remember how it was solved.

Two suggestions:

- Have you tried to move the mailbox back to 5.5 again and then back to the new server?
- Have you tried to change the server name in the users Outlook profile to the new server? Normally this happens when a mailbox is moved successfully. But in this case it might not have worked. If the user can access his mail then it should be ok as only those 2 items are still on the 5.5

HTH. Good luck.
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by:gei0089l
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Hi there,
I've moved the mailbox back to the original server, but the ghost mailbox still exists on the original server alongside the mailbox I've moved.
The server name in the User's outlook did get changed to the new server's name.
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by:gei0089l
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Hi All,

I'm going to have to close this question down.  I basically gave up and did the following:

1. Made a PST backup of the user's mailbox.
2. Deleted the User's Mailbox in Exchange 2003
3. Ran the DS/IS Consistency adjuster on the private information store in Exchange 5.5
4. Renamed the mailbox in Exhange 5.5
5. Moved the mailbox from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 using Exchange system manager
6. Deleted the Mailbox in Exchange system manager
7. Created a new mailbox in Exchange 2003
8 Reimported the PST

This ensured that there was no phantom mailbox left in the Exchange 5.5 server.

all the best,
Mike
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by:The_Kirschi
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Nice workaround!
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