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Arbitration mailboxes and Discovery do not show up using PowerShell Get command

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-02-04
We have been running Exchange SP1 Update Rollup 6 now for some time. I was doing some reading in my Exchange book and came across a section on System and Discovery Mailboxes. There are 4 mailboxes and the user accounts get created in the root Domain. I did check and the accounts are there and disabled like they should be. However, when I try to display the mailboxes using PowerShell on Exchange, nothing comes back. A get-mailbox -Arbitration produces nothing. The Discovery Search Mailbox shows up in the GUI just like any other recipient but I can't display it in PowerShell using the Display name or alias. I just get an error saying the mailbox is not found.

I will tell you that I can and have been doing Discovery searches right along with no issues. I don't think these mailboxes were deleted because we have been running like this for at least a year with no issues at all. Is there a situation where these mailboxes just won't display to keep you from deleting them? I know you can recreate the arbitration mailboxes but I don't want to do that if they are already there and I am just not viewing them correctly.
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Question by:osiexchange
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Accepted Solution

by:
Amit earned 275 total points
ID: 38815524
Try this
Get-Mailbox -Database "DB Name" -Arbitration | fl name, alias
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38815577
That did not work either. After I posted the above, I did using ADSIEdit to view the accounts and look at the attributes for all 4. They all have a value in HomeMDB and HomeMTA so it looks like these accounts do have mailboxes but I can't display them in PowerShell and only the DiscoverySearchMailbox shows up in the GUI.
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38815639
Update:

When I dump the mailboxes to a .csv file using the get-mailbox -database command and open in Excel, I do see the mailboxes. A few show up with the Display Name

Micrsoft Exchange - One of the System Mailboxes
Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant - FederatedEmail mailbox

So it looks like the mailboxes are there. Shouldn't they show up with the -arbitration switch?

I can't get them to display even with the display name using PowerShell.
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38819513
I escalated this to MSPS.
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Assisted Solution

by:osiexchange
osiexchange earned 0 total points
ID: 38819671
The problem was I was not specifying a Domain Controller in the Forest root where the accounts live when I ran the get-mailbox command. Exchange is installed in a child Domain but the accounts live in the Forest Root. I ran the command below which found the mailboxes

Get-mailbox -arbitration -DomainController "Root DC name"
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38819690
Thanks for sharing.
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38819700
Even MS was confused on that one. It took them about 15 minutes to figure it out.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38819721
It's strange that these mailboxes reside at forest level.
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Author Closing Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38850506
I escalted to Microsoft for conclusion.
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