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Can not purge/delete mailboxes?!

Have been having space issues with Exchange, ran tons of offline utilities and at least get to the point that the deleted and requested purged mailboxes are showing in the Event Log as deleted mailboxes under retention, but also lists they will be deleted upon backup. I ran a backup and received this event log errors for the 24 deleted mailboxes:

MSExchangeIS Mailbox Store Event ID 1203
Failed to delete the mailbox of /O=COMPANYOU=FIRST ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=MAILBOX with error 0xfffffae7. For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp.

I am almost to a point that I think I should just delete and create the database and mailboxes, then restore back into the system the data, but that would not be fun with 100+ mailboxes.

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1 Solution
First, did you delete the associated user account in Active Directory? Next, on the mailbox store - mailbox folder, did you right-click and select "run cleanup agent"?
NiproDiabetesAuthor Commented:
More then one are "duplicated" mailboxes, where in at some point mailboxes had been recreated but the old one never properly purged, so they are disconnected from any assocated user account in the active directory.

On two test "X" mailboxes I reconnected them to a TEST TEST account, ExMerged Archived/Deleted the mailbox contents, logged onto the mailbox to get past any never used problems with deleting, and then deleted the active direction TEST TEST account requested the mailbox be deleted also. I then run Cleanup Agent, mailbox unconnects "X" I right click and select "PURGE" and re-run Clean-Up

Still there and I get that error.
Once you run the Clean-Up, you may have to wait for the maintenance cycle to clean up the mailboxes.  This can take quite sometime (days even) if your window is small and cache is high.  

Sometimes taking the database offline and running a defrag may resolve the issue.  This will reclaim deleted items cleaned out from user deleted items folder (not from the items the user sees, but the dumpster).

You may also want to reduce the mailbox rention time.

And occasionally this works; the trick of moving the mailbox back to the original server and waiting for a couple of maintenance cycles.

Eventually, they may go away but leave a few orphans behind.  It just may take a few days.  I move mailboxes quite a bit and this occurs on our system.

There is a hotfix -- version 6.5.7653.18 (22 Oct 2007) but your system is probably already beyond this build.
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NiproDiabetesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the comments and help, however nothing suggested fixed the file. So this weekend I fixed the problem, which I will say is hard un-repairable file corruption. I think this now because I was unable to copy the priv1.edb file using any tool, and ESEUTIL could not even copy it, perhaps being over 90GB in a single file is a limitation of 2003 Server R2? Any way here is how I fixed the problem:
1)      Prepared management for reasonable loss of data
2)      Ran all repair tools on the database possible, no change in size.
3)      Exported all mailboxes using the ExMerge tool (Total exported 30GB of 90GB)
4)      Stopped all Exchange Services.
5)      Renamed the MDBDATA folder to MDBDATA-Old
6)      Created new blank MDBDATA folder
7)      Started all Exchange Services
8)      Mounted Private, and allow it to create new clean priv1.edb files
9)      Send a mass test email to all your mailboxes (creates all the mailboxs)
10)      Use ExMerge to Import the old mailboxes into the new ones
11)      Completed server side  new fresh database file.
On the client side, they will get an error message about the mailbox being moved, because of the security key, I assume, being different between the old mailbox and new one. This was easy to fix by deleting the Mail Profile and creating a new one.
We did have a minor amount of data loss reported on some users however we encouraged them to backup to local PST important mail, so it is not a big deal.
So problem solved the hard way.
Did you consider creating another mailbox store and moving the mailboxes to the new store?  Than deleting the corrupted one?

I had the same issue at work and moved the mailboxes individually.  Just for giggles, I set the mailbox retention on the "bad" database to zero "0"  after a couple of days, all the mailboxes deleted themselves.  

I did notice a problem with some of the mailbox permissions but didn't dwell on it long enough to see if that was the problem.
BTW .. we have a couple of mailbox store at about 140GB.  No real problem other than archive files grow really big when the users try to archive.
NiproDiabetesAuthor Commented:
Exchange standard does not allow for more then one private store. We had thought of creating another server under a development license to move and move back, however since we could not remove or purge old mailboxes we assumed that the process in some way would not work.

I assume if you have a 140GB store you are using Exchange 2007 or 2003 Enterprise which permit up to a 16TB store. This server is a 2003 Standard that is rated for 75GB max before the service starts dismounting the store every other size check. Sure you could change the reg value to anything you want to prevent the store from dismounting but thats just bad administration.

The process I did blew out whatever file corruption was there, and all those dead mailboxes. I did have some data loss but using an OST to PST converter and just merged from their last offline data copies.

Everything is happy now with my server.
Yep.  We are running 2003 enterprise.  I didn't catch that you were running standard in the previous comments.  

I was hoping for a little bit of new magic myself, but it looks like we are both still searching.

Thansk for the info.  

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