Removing SMTP Addresses from orphaned Exchange 2010 Mailboxes - AD Server Is Gone

Posted on 2013-01-10
Last Modified: 2013-01-16
Hello, we are trying to remove the SMTP addresses (or ideally the entire mailboxes) from a few accounts on an Exchange 2010 server.  The catch is that the domain controller (it was a child domain) for those users accounts is gone and is not recoverable.  We've recreated the user accounts on the master domain (we will not be rebuilding the child domain, but rather recreating the users on the master domain), but when we create the mailboxes for them in Exchange, we can't use the original SMTPs for them because they still exist in those orphaned mailboxes that were associated with the child domain.  

Trying to remove the mailboxes results in the following error:  

-------------------------------------------------------- Microsoft Exchange Error -----------------------------------
Action 'Remove' could not be performed on object 'Amanda Smitch'. Amanda Smitch Failed Error:
The operation couldn't be performed because object 'company.Inc/To Be Removed/username' couldn't be found on ''.

Is there any way to forcibly remove those orphaned SMTPs or mailboxes so we can add them to the new accounts?
Question by:hachemp
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38765291
Start down the path of ADSI edit and see if that works.  Not exactly what you're doing, but it helps get you on the right path:
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38765987
Is the AD account still working or deleted ?

As if the AD account is there we need to understand why Exchange cannot see it if not Mailbox should be in Disconnected Mailbox container anyways

- Rancy

Author Comment

ID: 38767575
Rancy, basically what happened is that they had a child domain that held the AD accounts for these 10 or so users.  The only DC for that child domain crashed and is unrecoverable.  So those AD accounts are gone and not recoverable.

The mailboxes are not in disconnected, but still listed with all of the other mailboxes from the parent domain.  If I could get them into disconnected, then I believe I could remove them or reattach them to another AD account.  Any attempts to remove them, look at the properties of those mailboxes, etc, returns an error because it can't contact the DC for those accounts.

xBouchardx, I know that as a last resort we can probably go into ADSI edit and painfully carve out that child domain, but I'm doing my best to avoid that if possible.  BTW your link doesn't work.

We've already recovered the mailbox contents for the users, so the primary goal here is just to remove those SMTP address from the orphaned mailboxes so we can use them for the new mailboxes that we created for these users on the parent domain.  Of course, Exchange won't let us use those SMTPs since they're already listed on the orphaned mailboxes.  

Thanks to both of you for chiming in.
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38767621
The mailboxes are not in disconnected, but still listed with all of the other mailboxes from the parent domain - Do a Clean-MailboxDatabase and check

- Rancy

Author Comment

ID: 38767743
Rancy, we have actually already tried Clean-MailboxDatabase, and then gave it another 24 hours after running that to see if they would be placed in disconnected, but they are still listed in with the other mailboxes.
LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 500 total points
ID: 38768122
If they list try to access using OWA if so AD accounts are my assumption

- Rancy

Accepted Solution

hachemp earned 0 total points
ID: 38768365
Finally got it figured out....we had to use ntdsutil to remove the old DC and then the child domain, in that order...once that was done, the mailboxes were just gone from Exchange...not in disconnected or anything, just nowhere to be found.  Luckily, we had already used a tool to extract the mail from those beforehand.  Now we can reassign those SMTPs to the new accounts and everything is peachy.  

For anyone else that has this problem and runs across this thread, here's loosely what we did:

1) Remove the old DC as described here:
2) Remove the child domain from AD as described here:

On part 2, we got an error when doing that and had to do this first:

If you do this, make sure you back up the edb from Exchange or somehow get your data out from those mailboxes first (we used Krill Ontrack PowerControls, worked great), because once you are done, any mailboxes from that old domain are GONE, at least as far as I can tell.
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38768388
Awesome .... was there a Exchange in DC ? When was the Domain\DC lost ?

- Rancy

Author Comment

ID: 38768420
Yeah, basically they had their Exchange server hosting email for both the parent and the child domains.  They only had 1 DC for their child domain (was very old, probably set up in early 2000s) and it went down hard about two weeks ago.  They had backed up the system state and related but without a comparable server to restore to, we couldn't really do anything with it.  

They really had no need for a child domain so now everything's running on their parent domain with TWO DCs.  Thanks again for the help.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38782004
Rancy, giving you the points for your continued participation.

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