Cannot Specify New Default Public Store in Private


I'm unfortunately stuck with Exchange 2003 SP2 until a migration to Exchange 2007 or 2010 within a few months.

I'm having a problem in attaching the correct Public Store as the Default Public Store on each of my additional Private databases - each created within their own Storage Group.

There are three total storage groups, each group having one Private and one Public store. I cannot get the Private stores in the 2nd and 3rd storage groups associated with their corresponding Public stores.

I cannot associate either one of the additional Private mail stores to any other Public store except the First Storage Group (which was earlier renamed to ELCS Private Store).

The Public stores are all empty at this time so I don't have to contend with any data loss in the Public stores while attempting to resolve this. The Private stores are not empty, however.

System Manager Tree View
System Manager Tree View
First Storage Group (ELCS Mail Store)
First Storage Group (ELCS Mail Store)
First Storage Group (ELCS Public Store)
First Storage Group (ELCS Public Store)
Second Storage Group (PeopleLikeYou Mail Store)
Second Storage Group (PeopleLikeYou Mail Store)
Second Storage Group (PeopleLikeYou Public Store)
Second Storage Group (PeopleLikeYou Public Store)
Third Storage Group (WeAreChangeWichita Mail Store)
Third Storage Group (WeAreChangeWichita Mail Store)
Third Storage Group (WeAreChangeWichita Public Store)
Third Storage Group (WeAreChangeWichita Public Store)
I discovered this discrepency only upon the creation of a new public folder under the tree within Outlook - from an account that is in either the second or third mail stores, when I later noticed it was generated in the wrong Public database - placed into the First Default Public store, instead.

The public folder trees are correctly associated with the desired Public stores in their respective storage groups:

Public Folder Tree Properties for First Storage Group
Public Folder Tree Properties for First Storage Group
Public Folder Tree Properties for Second Storage Group
Public Folder Tree Properties for Second Storage Group
Public Folder Tree Properties for Third Storage Group
Public Folder Tree Properties for Third Storage Group
When attempting to specify a new default Public for one or the other Private stores - they're simply unavailable for selection, but I must find a way to rectify this.

If I've missed something obvious, please advise! And thanks in advance.

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

KKOS-KSAuthor Commented:
Why are the alternates unavailable for selection?
Only One Store for Selection
Each Exchange 2003 Back-end server already contains one Public Folder Store that was created during installation.
 To add another Public Folder Store, a new Public Folder Tree should be created, as each Public Folder Tree can be associated with only one Public Folder Store from each Back-end server.
 However, some Exchange 2003 clients (for example, Outlook, OWA) do not support multiple Public Folder Trees. Therefore, to increase the public folders' capacity in Exchange 2003, a new Back-end server must be added.
KKOS-KSAuthor Commented:
A Public Folder Tree was created for each, as seen in the first image example, System Manager Tree View.

The first Public Folder Tree that was created by default is simply named Public Folders - the one created during installation, as you indicate.

The two additional Public Folder Trees are named:
PeopleLikeYou Public Store
WeAreChangeWichita Public Store

And they're associated with the their corresponding Public Folder databases.

Also note (I know, don't stone me) - that this is a solitary server, no front-end.
Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

KKOS-KSAuthor Commented:
I'm trying to determine why I cannot specify the desired [new] Default Public Store (on Properties for the Private Stores) - for each of the Private stores created.

My core issue is that the new Public Stores aren't available as a selection - even though the associations between the Public Folder Trees & the Public databases are already in place.

OWA is a concern, but not as concerning as simply getting the Public stores associated with the proper Private stores.

Only 'ELCS Public Store' is available as a selection - the only one displayed.

Considering MS's indecisiveness on the virtue of Public Folders, their mere existence & the way they mangled Public Folder support in Exchange 2007... I'm reconsidering the wisdom of utilizing them versus creation of contact lists in private mailbox & then sharing them out selectively, as I've done historically. I only wished to segregate large contact pools (250,000+ records) into dedicated databases & not within a private mail store. Also, I was toying with the prospect of linking the Public contacts to Sharepoint for a web front-end.

Still, seek a solution for this if one can be had. Thanks everyone.
KKOS-KSAuthor Commented:
Solution below...

...I also missed the need to create (for the new Public folders), corresponding Virtual Folders in Exchange HTTP Protocol properties:
Creating New Exchange Virtual Folders (HTTP Protocol)
That showed a couple indications of resolving it, but false hope didn't last for more than a few seconds...

The solution for this problem only revealed itself as I encountered the following error in attempting to delete/regenerate my Public Folder structure, databases & trees:

The public folder database specified contains folder replicas. Before deleting the public folder database, remove the folders or move the replicas to another public folder database.
When you have no other servers to replicate to, well that's a problem indeed, with this perpetual warning. Consequently that inhibits the deletion of any given Public database & associated tree without getting under the hood. Probably for the best with itchy trigging fingers, but my Public folders are brand new & completely empty during this attempt. But what if you only have a single server & cannot replicate to another?


In researching how to forcibly delete these Public stores/trees, I stumbled upon the 'msExchHomePublicMDB' attribute that had the wrong entries (since corrected):
Editing 'msExchHomePublicMDB' Attribute
Since manually editing the 'msExchHomePublicMDB' attribute to reflect the desired Public folder & parent Storage Group - it is fixed, however the Exchange System Manager GUI still fails to display the other Public Stores as an available default:
System Manager GUI Fails to Reveal Additional Public Stores
Be advised a manual edit of this attribute was required, presumably a significant 'bug' in Exchange 2003 that was never addressed & no one cares about anymore. Because it's Exchange 2003. And I'm dealing with Public Folders for which their is much disdain as well praise, even after all these years...

Long live public folders. Sharepoint - I don't like you, you break so easily & are often tough to remedy. And people use you to fill up our critical messaging databases with documents that should end up in their redirect folders, etc.

Readers disliking the above statement may commence my Public flogging.  :D



Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
KKOS-KSAuthor Commented:
Through my own investigations I discovered the solution was a manual edit of the Exchange attributes via the ADSIEdit utility. I have provided great detail to assist others in resolving this also, should they encounter the same problem with this legacy product (Exchange 2003 SP2).
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.