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Recover deleted SystemMailbox from Active Directory

Posted on 2013-05-21
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Last Modified: 2013-05-26
I've accidentally deleted the System Mailbox for Exchange 2010 via Active Directory, and I did not have the Recycle Bin option enabled (Server 2012 Essentials).

I've attempted to use the ADRestore.NET tool, which enumerated 39 tombstones, but the SystemMailbox was not listed.

I used the LDI console displaying items reported as deleted and DO see the user listed. However, when I attempt to Modify the item (per the instructions here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd379509%28v=ws.10%29.aspx) I receive:

"Error 0x2089 The operation could not be performed because the object's parent is either uninstantiated or deleted".


This is deleting the "isDeleted" key and replacing the distinguishedName with "CN=SystemMailbox{d75e970c-f0da-4eee-bd51-586675bfeb07},OU=Users,DC=[domain],DC=local".

I'm running Exchange 2010 SP3, and have tried running "setup /prepareschema" and "setup /preparead" using the same Exchange 2010 SP3 installer files that I used originally, but I receive the following error:

Organization Checks                                       FAILED

Setup encountered a problem while validating the state of Active Directory:
The Active Directory schema version (15254) is higher than Setup's version (147
34). Therefore, PrepareSchema can't be executed.


I even went so far as to download the standalone SP3 package and use the setup from that, but continue to receive the above error. Yes, I am SURE I am using the same version of the installer that is currently installed.

The Mailbox, Client Access and Hub Transport roles are installed, as are the management tools. Exchange is installed on a hyperV VM running Server 2012. The DC is running Server 2012 Essentials in migration mode, with the source server (SBS 2008) still active. I checked AD on the source server for the user, but the change had already replicated back.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:goodie069
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Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 39185568
Perhaps this article will help - it describes how to recreate the system mailboxes:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg588318(v=exchg.141).aspx
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Author Comment

by:goodie069
ID: 39185586
That solution requires you to run the Exchange setup /preparead and setup /prepareschema to recreate those accounts... As I stated in my original post, I have already tried that and was unsuccessful. Please see the original post for the exact error message received in that effort.
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Author Comment

by:goodie069
ID: 39185714
I believe the schema version incompatibility problem stems from Exchange 2013 -- Up until recently we were using 2013 in production, but encountered issues with some user devices. As such, we went back to Exchange 2010 SP3.

Obviously Exchange 2013 updated the AD schema during install, and now I am unable to get Exchange 2010 to prepareAD because of it.

I suppose running that command from the Exchange 2013 installer would probably work, but I don't see how that would help with the Exchange 2010 accounts since they do differ.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Accepted Solution

by:
goodie069 earned 0 total points
ID: 39186082
I was able to use the ADRestore.NET tool to restore 3 of the 4 system accounts. Upon restart, the remaining missing system account was recreated automatically.

The problem has been resolved.
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Author Closing Comment

by:goodie069
ID: 39197456
I was able to use the ADRestore.NET tool to restore 3 of the 4 system accounts. Upon restart, the remaining missing system account was recreated automatically.

The problem has been resolved.
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