Moving Public folders from one Exchange 2007 server to another 2007 server

maxwebster used Ask the Experts™

I will be moving all public folders to a new server and decommissioning the old one. I have a process worked out that moves the public folders using the Moveallreplicas.ps1 script. I confirmed that it works in my lab, it creates the folder hierarchy on the new server, moves all content, and then removes all content from the original public folders. I can then delete the public folders on the old server and all is good.
Almost. I noticed that all of my mail-enabled public folders are no longer mail enabled in the new database. Not a problem for my test environment, but in production where we have many mail enabled folders, and I would not want to have to manually copy and reapply those settings. Is there a way that I can move all public folders and ensure all settings (ie, mail-enable,  folder permissions, etc) are carried over in the move?  
Also, at which point would you recommend I start pointing the mailbox databases to the new public folders? Since it looks like the whole process might take up to a week or longer, I'm concerned that if I point them too soon, the new folders will not have all their content updated, and of course if I wait too long then they will be pointing to folders that have had their content deleted. Or is their a referral list in which I can point to more than one during the move?
I've still yet to find a comprehensive How-to that takes into consideration all the steps involved moving public folders.


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ckeshavSr. Infrastructure Specialist


There are two methods in th KB article:

Method 1: Use the MoveAllReplicas.ps1 script
You can use the MoveAllReplicas.ps1 script to change the server in the replica list for all public folders to another server. Move to the command prompt at the Exchange Command Shell, and then use the script. To do this, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Exchange Server 2007, and then click Exchange Management Shell.
2. At the MSH prompt, change to the following folder:
Drive_Letter:\Program Files\Microsoft Exchange Server\Scripts
3. Run the following command:
MoveAllReplicas.ps1 -Server Source_Server_Name NewServer Target_Server_Name
Note The source server must be an Exchange 2007 mailbox server that contains a public folder store. The target server must be an Exchange server that contains a public folder store.

Method 2: Use Exchange System Manager in Exchange 2003
If you are running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 in the organization, you can move the replicas from the Exchange System Manager in Exchange 2003. To do this, follow these steps:1. Start Exchange System Manager.
2. Expand Administrative Groups, expand First Administrative Group, expand Servers, and then expand the Exchange Server 2007 object.
3. Expand First Storage Group, right-click the appropriate public folder store, and then click Move All Replicas.
4. In the Move All Replicas dialog box, click the Exchange server to which you want to move the replicas, and then click OK.
IT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017
I suggest, rather using Move replica script. In Production, always add the replica for new server. Below are the benefit

1) No downtime for users.
2) You still have old server intact. In case of any issue, you can easily revert back. Try below solution

1) Add the replica for new server to all folder.
2) Leave it for a week to finish the replication.
Note: Add too many replica at same time can affect the mailflow. So you can do it after production hours
3) Once replica is added for all folder. Verify on the new server that all contents are replicate properly.
4) Change the PF path to new server. Leave the old server for atleast 2 weeks.
5) If no issue reported after 2 weeks. Proceed with removing the old PF server.


Hi Amit,

Thanks for the info. Are you suggesting I manually add replicas to all the folders? And stagger when I add the replicas so to avoid mail flow issues?
Note that I tried a similar procedure in my lab before, but when I went to delete the older public folders, it also deleted my news ones as the replica was still in the list.
If I tried your process, how would I go about deleting the old public folders without affecting the new ones?
And will I still have to manually copy over the settings like mail-enabled?
Since we have hundreds of public folders, I would like to automate the process as much as possible.
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AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

I don't think, you need to copy any email settings, as they are stored in AD. Secondly, before delete old need to point the Mailbox db's to the new PF db.

You can test this in your lab also.


Amit, I need to bother you one more time.

I my lab I did what you suggested, added replicas to all folders, waited for all content to be replicated over, removed the replicas pointing to the old server, and then removed the original public folder database.
When I first tried this procedure, I removed the old database right after I removed the replicas, and by doing this it also removed all folders/content from my newer public folder. I was able to recover them using pfdavadmin.
When I tried it the second time, I removed all replicas pointing to old db, waited 24 hours, then removed the old db.
This time my new public folder db folder structure remained and I didn't lose any content.
I was just wondering, after I remove the replicas pointing to the old server, do I need to wait for that change to be replicated over before actually removing the old db altogether?
It looks like when I remove the old db right after removing the replicas, the new public folder still thinks there are replicas and then removes all the content from the newer public folder database.
Thanks again,
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

After you point the Mailbox DB to new PF db, i don't think you need to wait for more, until you have WAN AD structure. Secondly, keep the old server for a week or more. Then shutdown it and keep it for a week more. If no issue reported by the users. Start the decom process.


Thanks Amit,
Yes I did that before removing the old db...point the mailbox db's to the new public folder. But if I immediately remove the old public folder db after removing the replicas, it also removes my new Public Folder content. Not sure why though.
I like your procedure and plan to use it in production. Thanks for your help.
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

Thanks for your comments. Secondly, Public folder replica take times to complete the process. Keep it online for few days or week will not going to harm and will keep admin safe, in case of any issue.

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