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How do you remove user account and save exchange mailbox?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am trying to remove a user's account from the active directory, but I want to save the user's exchange mailbox.  To do so, I am going into the Server Management console, right clicking on the user, and clicking "remove user".  However, when the next dialogue box comes up giving me the options of keeping or removing the user's home folder and mailbox, the checkbox to also remove the user's Exchange mailbox is automatically checked and it is grayed out so I cannot uncheck it.  Why is this behavior happening and how can I change it?  I need to have the ability to remove a user account without deleting their exchange mailbox.  
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Question by:spideyboy
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7 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22625810
How exactly would that mailbox be accessed without the user account?

I suggest you use exmerge to export the mailbox to a PST, the remove it.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 22626007
Even if you elect to delete the mailbox it will remain in Exchange for 30 days - by default- during which time you can connect it  to another user - see http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange_Server_2003_Mailbox_Recovery.html
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:MrLonandB
ID: 22626389
Unless you have some particular reason for not wanting to do so...why not just disable the User's account instead of deleting it?
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Author Comment

by:spideyboy
ID: 22626860
Need to delete the user account due to some corruption issues with the user profile, but want to reconnect the mailbox to another account.   I guess the solution by KCTS would work in a pinch, but I really wish I could figure out why I can't just uncheck the box to delete the mailbox when deleting the account?  Active Directory in SBS2003 is designed to work this way, so why isn't it?  Does anyone have an answer to how I get it work the way it is supposed to work?
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22627046
Huh?  You're deleting the user account because of profile corruption?  That makes no sense... why not just delete the profiles?
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Author Comment

by:spideyboy
ID: 22628416
It's linked to an issue with BillQuick 2008.  The bottom line is that I'm just wondering why this feature of SBS 2003 is not working when, by design, it should be.  Can anyone answer that question?
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LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
MrLonandB earned 250 total points
ID: 22633223
Could you be more specific about which feature that is supposed to work "by design"?

From what I gather from your initial and subsequent posts, is that you are trying to delete a user but not the mailbox...is that correct? If that is the case, then the behavior you are experiencing IS by design. If you were able to delete a user account; while that account is still attached to the mailbox, the mailbox would then be orphaned. A mailbox needs to either be associated with an account, or be marked for deletion...one of the two. It can't be sitting in no-man's land...by design.

Having said that, you have a couple of options available to you to accomplish your end goal. You can (A) Disable the User Account and the mailbox will remain intact for future use, or (B) Delete the mailbox from the current user and connect another user account to the mailbox...and then delete the original user.
 
But in either case, it is not "by design" to have a mailbox orphaned.
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