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Public Folder Replication and Recovery

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Recently, I migrated from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007.  Everything went smoothly, but then when I went to remove the legacy server, I wasn't able to delete the public folder store and stated there was still replicas present.  I had already added the new Exchange 2007 server as a replica to each default and system public folder and removed the old server, so when I couldn't find any public folders with replication pointing to the old server, I looked elsewhere for answers and I tried the "move all replicas" option.  This resolved my issue, however it conflicted (I did receive conflict messages) with the public folders I already had replicated over to the new Exchange server and took precedence with the items in each folder (I thought it would merge the items), so now I need to restore the items in each folder prior to my stupid move here -- ideally merge all items.  I just setup my backups, so I do not have a full backup yet, but when I look at the public folder database's size, it appears to be intact.  I've tried using pfdadmin with no luck becuse it doesn't consider the items deleted and only sees my current replica.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
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Question by:guiness74
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by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 500 total points
ID: 24756805
Several third party tools could be used here, all costing a littl emoney I am afraid, but I don't know of any other method - sorry.
http://www.filesland.com/companies/Nucleus-Data-Recovery/Exchange-EDB-Recovery.html- $299 - Not used - not sure if it works.
http://www.stellarinfo.com/edb-exchange-server-recovery.htm $599 - Not used - not sure if it works.
http://www.ontrackpowercontrols.com/ - $900 from memory - Have my own copy and it works well.  No price mentioned on site, which suggests it is not cheap.
Not sure if Exmerge would be able to accomplish this for you:
http://www.ontrackpowercontrols.com/
I cannot offer much more assistance than this and I don't see anyone else jumping in to help you in over 14 hours, so fingers crossed that Exmerge works, failing that, the $299 software.
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by:guiness74
ID: 24778746
Thank you.  I've been on vacation for a few days, but I'll try these suggestions and see what I can get -- I'll post the results.  I'm surprised others haven't run into this problem as well . . .
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by:guiness74
ID: 24794722
I've tried the first two suggestions, but it appears to be looking for user mailboxes and isn't reading the database (edb file) as I had hoped.  I'm starting to wonder if my assumptions are wrong because initially I had added the new Exchange 2007 server to each folder's replication.  It was in place for about a month and I didn't have any problems until I went to remove the legacy server.  I had read to remove the public store on the old server in properly removing 2003, but it wouldn't let me because it stated there was replicas.  After going through each folder and verifying the replication was in place, I was at a loss and went with the "move all replicas" option from the legacy server.  This resolved my issue and I was able to gracefully remove the legacy server, but then I was seeing some folders containing all of the messages I expected them to and some only displaying new messages (from the date I performed moved all replicas).  All the permissions and mail enabled features stayed in place and are working fine, so I don't know if I'm way off on my assumption in thinking the old messages are still present in the new public folder database, but when performed the "move all replicas," some folders perceived this as taking precedence over the existing content?  I'm starting to wonder if replication was truly working like I had thought or if something was corrupted.  I did backup the old public store, but it's about a third of the size of my new public folder database.  
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by:Subsun
ID: 24795004
You can recover the old public folder data to alternate server (Preferably separate forest) and export the required data to PST or get some third-party tool which exports public folder EDB file to PST.

Once the export complete, import the required data back to current public folder using outlook.

Note: Public folder databases often contain replicas of folders on other public folder stores. Restoring an older version of a public folder database to an alternative server in same forest can cause replica issues
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by:guiness74
ID: 24796029
Darn . . . I wish there was a way I could convert the EDB right into a PST and then pull from there because setting up a new forest and exchange server is a couple days work and I'm not 100% the old store has the messages, so it could all be for nothing.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24796147
I gave you the links for the software that would do this for you in my first post - the cheapest is $299.
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by:Subsun
ID: 24796937
I am not aware of any free tool. I am afraid, you may have to use a paid tool.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24797140
I have a copy of the Ontrack Software and I have used it many times to do just what you are trying to do successfully.
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by:guiness74
ID: 24797708
Yeah, it looks like I may have to go with Ontrack because the first two solutions work much like ExMerge and are looking for user mailboxes.  I didn't try Ontrack yet because they don't let you download it and preview what it can restore before they say pay up.  Kernal and Steller just stated no user mailboxes were found even though I dismounted the public folder database and pointed it to the proper path.  Thanks for all the help.  Let me see if I can get the company credit card:-)  
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guiness74 earned 0 total points
ID: 24828845
Ontrack did the trick!  Thank you very much.  
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