Exchange 2003: Incomplete Free/Busy replication

Posted on 2010-09-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Recently, our team was forced to rebuild the Public Folder Stores on the Exchange 2003 Servers at one of our three main office locations. Since the rebuild of those Public Folder Stores, users from other sites, and in some cases other servers in the same site, cannot retreive the free/busy information for users on those servers. They only see the dreaded hash marks.

Additionally, the missing information can be sporadic for some users. They may not be able to see Person A while having visibility to Person B one day only to have it reverse the next.

I have checked the Free/Busy System Folder and ensured that all the servers are present in the replication, however, the newly-rebuilt servers do not have the same items count or size as the replicas at all other sites, lagging 20, 200 or 2000 items behind, depending on whether they are mail store servers or site bridgeheads.

I have also forced an outlook.exe /cleanfreebusy through group policy on all users in the affected site.

Any clues?
Question by:WMorgen
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Hendrik Wiese
ID: 33626606
It seems to me that there is a replication problem here.

Please confirm that you ensured that your replication has been setup correctly in "sites and services"

Author Comment

ID: 33627352
Replication is configured correctly. Each of the nine sites (not just the three Exchange data centers) is configured for two Global Catalog servers with redundant IP site links (costed as primary - 100 and secondary - 200) with 15 minute replication intervals.

All other AD replication driven by this topology (DNS, AD Accounts, DFS) appear in perfect working order.
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

sunnyc7 earned 500 total points
ID: 33627670
on your exchange server.
start > run > adsiedit.msc

Navigate to
CN=Configuration, DC=domain, DC=com
CN=Microsoft Exchange
CN=Administrative Groups

Right click on CN=Public Store
Scroll down to Proxy-Address
and click Edit

that will give you a

Open Exchange
Tools > Message Tracking
server = your server name

give appropriate date range and find now

See what messages pop-up

Also check this guide

Please post back.

Office 365 Training for Admins - 7 Day Trial

Learn how to provision tenants, synchronize on-premise Active Directory, implement Single Sign-On, customize Office deployment, and protect your organization with eDiscovery and DLP policies.  Only from Platform Scholar.

LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 33629817
Please check if there are any error events related to the free/busy.

Author Comment

ID: 33630435
I ran the Message Tracking as suggested for each of the problem servers and see two messages every fifteen minutes as scheduled. Each successfully queus for remote delivery on the respective servers.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33630604
what is your replication schedule for PF - is it 15 minutes ?
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 33632311
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 33632314

Author Comment

ID: 33659426
I have seen a few Free/Busy errors which led me to the MS Knowledge Base article about rebuilding the System Folders. I will attempt this during this week's change control window.

Our replication is set for 15 minutes and using message tracking I clearly see two messages from and going to all replication partners every 15 minutes.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33705120
The response led me to reset the system folders which resolved 99% of the issues we were having. Ther are still a handfull of corrupted free/busy accounts, but out of 1500 mailboxes, those are the exception, not the rule. Thansk for the help.

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In-place Upgrading Dirsync to Azure AD Connect
After hours on line I found a solution which pointed to the inherited Active Directory permissions . You have to give/allow permissions to the "Exchange trusted subsystem" for the user in the Active Directory...
The video tutorial explains the basics of the Exchange server Database Availability groups. The components of this video include: 1. Automatic Failover 2. Failover Clustering 3. Active Manager
Exchange organizations may use the Journaling Agent of the Transport Service to archive messages going through Exchange. However, if the Transport Service is integrated with some email content management application (such as an antispam), the adminiā€¦

696 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question