Exchange Public folders Tombstones are evil!!

Posted on 2007-10-12
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a bit of a problem.
We are performing a domain migration.  And it all went a big wrong.
We are using th Quest Migration tools to Migrate our 160Gb of Public folder data.
On the day of the migration we noticed that some of the folders had not been synced accross.  So we decided to stop and figure out why not all of our 30,000 Public folders were being synced. and it turns out that becsue we had used some live folders during the test phase they were now not syncing.  At this point we did something we have beenregretting ever since.  We all the public folders in the Target domain.
Now we cant sync because the Server cant create items with the same Unique ID.  We have to wait untill the Tombstone clears.  we have already changed the following key to start aging the Tombstones over 1 day old.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\ParametersPublic\Replication Folder Tombstone Age Limit
Trouble is the Server can only clear 500 a day.
We have 20 or so Public folders store globally.
We have 30,000 folders. At this rate it will take nearly 3 months to clear.
I need to find a way of doing this faster.

Any Ideas?
Any help at all will be most welcome.
Question by:Adam_james_Stockton
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I do have a solution for this provided by Quest, it for EMW, I guess it may work with MME if thats what your using..  I'll dig it out and post when I get back to my flat tonight... sorry it's on a pst.

    In a nut shell... if I remember correctly to re-sync folders that were previously sync'd ..... it a process of the deleting the Target folder and creating a new one, and moving the source folder into and out the
    Aelita EMW Recycle Bin.

    Author Comment

    It would be good to shee the solution you were given..
    We have the problem that the ID;'s of all the folders exist already in both domains,  And MME tried to create items folders and items in the traget domain with the same ID.
    However, the target domain already has used these ID's and they exist as tombstones now.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    lets have alook to see if the EMW solution eases your issue... if not.... the fastest thing would be is to create a new folder tree and migrate into that.... EMW and MME are pretty similar but that cannot be said for Exchange 5.5 and 2003....

    what have Quests eastern european support team come back with???
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    also have you put this on the Quest Exchange forum..... alot of us Quest consultants check that forum

    Author Comment

    To be fair I have not been dealing with Quest.
    The Migration Project was handled by different people.
    They have not got a solution, so i have started looking around for my self.
    The following Technote is a fairly Resonable description about what was done and the issues we are now having.

    Currently I suspect I am going to have to Make a new copy of the source Tree and then delete the original.
    Obvious problems with this are Mail Enabled Public folders, and Time taken to actually copy 30,000 Folders.
    I have about 500 Mail Enabled Public folders.  my concern is that that would take more than a weekend ( the longest time I can keep the users out of email).

    With the New Copy at Least I would get new Unique ID's and therefore be able to Sync using the tools as originally planned.
    But thanks for any help you can give.
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Apologies for the delay

    This is the process.

    Stop the PF sync.
    Delete the troubled folders in the target.
    Take a backup of the troubled folders in source (PST)
    Move the troubled folders (in source) to emw recycle bin
    Delete sync job relating to those folders
    Do pf sync.
    Stop pf sync.
    Recreate troubled folders in the target
    Move the folders (in source) out of emw recycle bin
    Create sync job relating to those folders

    Job done

    The best quest documentation I can find on it is;
    Exchange 2003 Public Folder Tombstone Cleanup


    Author Comment

    Thanks u have been a big help

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