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Moving Exchange Server mailboxes and public folders problem

Posted on 2010-08-27
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I have just completed the migration form sbs2003 to sbs2008 and am now trying to migrate the public folders and mailboxes to the new server. The first problem I have come up against is that when I try to move the public folders, I get a message that tells me that the ssl server certificate is not correct.

Now I know that the old server used owamail.domainname.co.uk and I have always used remote.domainname.co.uk for the sbs2008 servers, so how can we resolve this issue.

Having looked at the sbs BPA it tells me that there is problem and has a certificate principal miss match and the name shown is https://domainname.co.uk. now this looks wrong, as I would have thought is should be https://remote.domainname.co.uk - however this would still not be the same as the old server.

Maybe I just need to correct the current name, but where do I do this? OI cant find where the name is held. Could anyone please advise me?

In addition, I am progressing throgh the migration wizard, and marked a job completed by mistake. I cannot seem to get back to this. Is there a way to do this? I just presumed I would be able to uncheck the completed option just like we do on the getting started tasks.

Any suggestions would be greratfully accepted.
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Question by:nigelbeatson
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Author Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33541961
I Just checked the certificate installed and it says remote.domainname.co.uk so where does the reported error of https://domainname.co.uk come from. I feel I need to add the www but where do I do this?
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Author Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33542064
OK I have seen an incident that says that I can ignore this, but why can I not move my public folders
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Expert Comment

by:BLangers
ID: 33542539
It will not actually be a certificate problem I presume.
Have you removed the SMTP connector from the old server? If not, it will try to replicate the public folders over this connecter which will not work. The SMTP connector needs to be deleted from the old server AFTER you run the internet name wizard on the new box, but BEFORE you try to rehome the public folders.
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Author Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33542887
Yes, following the instructions provided by microsoft, I was instructed to remove the smtp connector and this has already been done.

Any other thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:BLangers
ID: 33543378
Thanks for the fast feedback :)
Have you changed the SSL settings on the public folder of exadmin Virtual Directories in IIS? Those should not be set to require SSL in Directory Security page of the properties.

Public folders is the one thing during SBS2003-2008 migrations (or exchange migrations) which often fail and take up more than their fair share or attention. An often-used shortcut is to export them to PST files, delete them, recreate them om the new server and import the exported data. This off course only works well if you use them primarily for data storage...

About the mistakingly completed job: most jobs are just help-files outlining the steps to be taken; you can also find those in the migration guide. Which job do you need to re-run?
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Author Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33552404
I did install an ssl certificate in the sbs2003 server which was for owamail.domainname.co.uk, but as far as I know I have not changed the settings suggested. I dont think this client is using public folders, so it would not be disaster if we could not migrate them. The new server will be remote.domainname.co.uk, so not sure if this would cause any problems, as we have not got to the stage of installing an SSL cert yet.

One other thing I noticed is that when I run Exchange BPA it shows a First Storage Group as being on the SBS2003 server. Is this just because it can still see a First Storage Group on their still, as we have not yet removed the old server from the domain? Or could it be related to the Public Folders not being moved?

To be honest, this has been a really bad experince for us, and if anyone else is reading this, I would strongly advise them to consider very carefully before going down the road of migration. The whole process is fraut with problems and very fragmented.

For a single server with less than 20 users, it would have been much quicker just to build a new server and copy everything accross manually!
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Expert Comment

by:BLangers
ID: 33554027
The First Storage group will be the storage group on the old server indeed. As long as you have not removed the the Information Store on the old server, it will remain active there. If all data is migrated, it should be empty though.
You cannot just delete the public folders until the contents are rehomed. Even if not used, the public folders will still hold eg free/busy info and some more system information. There are several procedures out there to forcefully delete them, and this will not really cause any problems if your customer is not relying heavily on free-busy information in the past (new data will be built up in the PF on the new server anyway. You will have to doublecheck that all system folders are set to be used on the new server!
If you want to give the migration another try, I would suggest setting diagnostics logging to maximum for all services related to the information store and message transport in the server properties of the source server, rehome the public folders and check for related messages. This could shed some light on the issue at hand.

For your certificate on the new server, you can have a self-signed certificate created on the SBS console with the correct name, or you can create a CSR to have one signed from a trusted authority. Since the hostname will not be the same as on your old server, there is no point in moving the old certificate.

I must say, we have very good experience with the SBS2003 to 2008 migration. We've done many in the mean time, and there are very little issues to be expected if your source environment is in good shape.
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Author Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33565750
Unfortunately, our source server had been hacked into and we are unsure as to any underlying issues.

Incoorect information in the Microsoft Migration Document did not help.

I can confirm that we do not use public folders or free / busy info at all, so if we need to forcibly remove them first, can you advise how we go about doing this? I hoped that once we had migrated all of the users, mailboxes and data that we could just remove the old server from the domain, and start using the new server.

Please advise.
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Accepted Solution

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BLangers earned 500 total points
ID: 33609741
If you have no valuable information in the public folders at alle, you can simply stop the information store service, and delete (rename...) the database files (EDT and STM) of the public folder store. When you start the Information store services again, those files will be recreated, making up a completely blanc public folder store. they WILL contain system folders again though, which you will have to rehome to be able to remove the public folder store in Exhange System Manager...

If this fails, you can delete the public folder store information in Active Directory with ADSI Edit. That is a rather forcible way to go about it, and not to be recommended since it holds some risk for your Active Directory health as well...
For the same reason, I would not recommend just switching off the old server. Without uninstalling Exchange (which will only work after removing all database stores) and demoting the server, you will have a lot more work cleaning up Active Directory than when the correct procedure is followed.

I would recommend trying to get the public folders rehomed after letting Exchange create a blanc database.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nigelbeatson
ID: 33789192
many thanks
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Expert Comment

by:BLangers
ID: 33789214
Happy it helped :)
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