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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
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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
Sender =SERVERNAME-IS@domain.com
server = your server name

give appropriate date range and find now

See what messages pop-up

Also check this guide

Please post back.

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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.

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