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Strange issues after shutting down troubled Exch 2k3 box

Posted on 2012-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-04

In response to some hardware stability issues, we've shutdown an Exchange 2003 box.  Prior to the shutdown, we moved all of the users located on that server to a newly stood up identical server in the same site.  The new server was transfered to be the primary bridgehead in the routing group, etc.  Everything was actually pretty smooth.

The plan in shutting everything down, was to keep the server "commissioned" for a bit before we uninstall Exchange completely from it.  - So, we shut the server down, and started monitoring everything to be 100% certain that removing that server from our Org wouldn't do any real harm.

- And that's when we started noticing some of "strangeness".

1.  On the new server, there's a queue building for items destined to the old server.  Messages in this queue appear to be public folder updates, I'd imagine that this will go away once the server has been "cleanly uninstalled" from the Exchange org.  Is this the case?

2.  There are now a few "mail enabled" public folders that no longer receive E-mail.  Users have been receiving "Delayed" failures when they attempt to send a message to the address that previously used to work with the old server turned on.

Would anybody happen to have any hints on whether or not these issues would be resolved by a clean uninstall on the old box.  One thing I am a bit worried on, is that there have been many changes to the public folder replication points / routing group connectors / etc since we shut down the original server about two weeks ago.  It shouldn't be a problem, as I'd image that it's initial replication would fix this - but the messages in the queue destined for that server have already started expiring...  It could be fun.
Question by:usslindstrom
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Malli Boppe
Malli Boppe earned 2000 total points
ID: 37804663
1.) I think you still have Public folder replicas on your old exchange server. You should have moved them before shutting down the server.
2.)With the bounce back messages because outlook is still using the x500 address which has the server name in it. If you manually pick it from the GAL it should be fine.or they need to clear the outlook cache.

Author Comment

ID: 37804903
Understood.  -  Thank you very much for assisting me with the problem.

Let me see if I can't respond to each bullet...

1.  Prior to shutting down the server, we kept it running for about a week after all the mailboxes had been moved.  The old server was a public folder replication point (we have 2 in our org).
I went through ESM and at the root of the public folder tree, I updated the replication by removing the original server and adding the new one.  (Exchange ESM --> Administrative Groups --> %OurAdminGroup% --> Folders --> Right click on the public folder tree root, select properties, then the replication tab.)
Once the replication server was updated at the root, I used the wizard to force the replication settings on all child objects.  (Right click --> Manage Settings --> Overwrite Settings --> Replicas, Replication message priority, replication schedule)

This went very smoothly, and after waiting for AD replication to take place I looked at this on different Exchange servers in our domain.  Everything looked great on the random public folder points I looked at.  *Once we knew that the public folder wasn't being referenced anymore (at least with these steps) - we powered down the old Exchange server.

Did I miss something, or is there a way to figure out where the reference to the public folder tree being attached on the old Exchange server still?

2.  You're probably right on the mark that this is outlook cache, with users attempting to send public folder messages via a cached address on their local clients.  I'll test this theory out with some users and see if it helps them out.

Author Comment

ID: 37804921
I guess the next two questions would also be...

Is there any harm in powering on the old Exchange server again, just to clear the queues of public folder messages heading its way...  Of course, I'm going to need to do this to "cleanly" uninstall Exchange, but I'm worried that if some Public folder points really are using that server, than the fact that the queued messages have been expiring, there could be some ~issues~ that show up in the form of bad replication data.

- Or would it be safe to just try and remove messages all together in the queue heading out to the old server?  - Don't know if this is entirely possible though.
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Malli Boppe earned 2000 total points
ID: 37809064
There won't be any problem, just power up the server. I think you probably didn't remove the public folder replicas of your old exchange server. Don't try deleting any thing.
You need make sure that systemfolders are replicated to the new server as well. . Also with public folder once you add replicas you need to force the replication by right clicking each folder and send changes for last 2000days . Make sure that he folder sizes are same on both the servers.

This a guide for you about how to remove the exchange server

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37809672
Understood.  Thank you very much for the assistance here.  It's greatly appreciated.

It looks like I missed the "Offline Address Book" - got the others though.  I fired up the old Exchange box to clear the queues and made sure everything was looking fine.  I'll let the old box sit for a second still powered on before I hammer it down again.

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