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Public Folders DO NOT Replicate

We have been following Microsoft KB 822931 and have successfully carried out these procedures twice before on other systems. This time, the scenariois the same, we have MS Exchange 2003 currently on a Domain Controller and want to remove Exchange from it. We have installed a new Exchange Server as a Member Server, installed MS Exchange 2003 Standard on that server and are going through the processes of replicating the pulbic folders and system folders over to the new Exchange Server, with a view  to eventually moving the mail boxes plus Master Exchange Server over, to allow  us to uninstall the original Exchange from the Domain Controller.

We have set up Public Folder Replication on All Public Folders and System Folders, but it looks like the System Folders have partly come across and the Public Folders have not done so at all! We have changed replication to ALWAYS RUN and URGENT,  but that made no difference, then we resent the Hierarchy and that did not work. We have also Resent Contents Now  and that has not worked either. The original server 1 (DC) states "IN SYNC" but the new Exchanger server 2 always states "Local Modified" We have also disabled our Anti-Virus, just in case that may be an issue (McAfee GroupShield)
Both Servers are updated indentically for MS Updates and are both on the SP2 Build for Exchange 2003
Any ideas what we might be doing wrong or how can we make these Public Folders Replicate ??

Until we succeed with replication, we are a bit stuck here!!

Many Thanks

1 Solution
1. public folder replication is done via messages, can you send/receive emails between two servers?
2. do your public folder stores have their mailboxes respectively?
3. what logs do you see in application log?
4. kb 842273 is very good for you to get started
Have you got message tracking enabled?
If not, enable it on both servers. That will show you if the content is going across.
Are you running VirusScan on the servers as well Groupshield? If so, make sure that the port 25 block is turned off. That can get in the way.
The sync status cannot be relied upon - you must use item count to see if the content is replicating.

StevenMooreSmartsoftAuthor Commented:
First of all, let me apologise as the author - I am not  guru standard - I was looking for the assistance of a guru or higher ? I misunderstood the question at that time!!

We did also have VirusScan on the DC, as this is also the File Server, thus the reason for getting Exchange onto the separate Member Server.

I have disabled the VirusScan on the DC now and enabled Message Tracking on both Servers.

I have then tried to resend Contents - to no effect !

However, I have created a new Mailbox on the new Exchange Server - All the existing LIVE mailboxes are currently on the DC awaiting a move over, but I have not done this task until I resolved the public folder issue.

I can send both internal & external e-mail from this new mailbox on the new exchange server.

I do not expect to be able to receive external e-mail to this mailbox, as we have not reconfigured the Checkpoint Firewall to accept port 25 e-mail on the new Exchange Server Name - The firewall rule points port 25 to the current DC/Exchange where the live mail is working fine at present.

That aside, I did expect the new mailbox on the new exchange server to receive e-mail INTERNALLY, from the current DC/Exchange, but it receives no e-mail internally. This internal mail is in the queue awaiting delivery to the new exchange - I suspect the public folder replication may be stuck in a similar queue.

That may be the main reason, why the public folders are not communicating from the original exchange over to the new exchange, if the new exchange cannot even receive internal e-mail from the other exchange. Both Exchange servers are on a simple Domain, one subnet, nothing complicated.

Do you have any further ideas how to troubleshoot what might be wrong ?

I have read about moving replicas - is that an option perhaps for later ?


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Have you looked in message tracking to see what is happening to the messages?

The other main reason for public folder replication failing is a smart host on the SMTP Virtual server. ESM, Servers, <your server>, Protocols, SMTP. Right click on the default SMTP VS and choose Properties. Click on the Delivery tab and then Advanced. Ensure that smart host is clear. If you have one listed there then it need to be put on to an SMTP connector. http://www.amset.info/exchange/smtp-connector.asp

StevenMooreSmartsoftAuthor Commented:

Thank you for your latest suggestion regarding Smarthosts - You were right on the money.

We had a Smarthost for MessageLabs e-mail filtering on the SMTP virtual server. I have moved the Smarthost over to a separate SMTP Connector and restarted the services.

The Public Folders then started to replicate to the 2nd Exchange Server and within 2 hours the Public Folder Content had completed.

Again, thank you for your assistance.

Much appreciated

StevenMooreSmartsoftAuthor Commented:
You answer was accurate and once the SMTP connector was created the Public Folder Replication issue was resolved.

Very Much Appreciated
This worked for me as well. Thanks Simon! You are always a good help.
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