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Cannot delete public folder database from old Exchange 2007 server

Posted on 2015-01-28
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Last Modified: 2015-03-24
We are migrating from Exchange 2007 to the new Exchange 2013 email server. New Exchange server 2013 was successfully installed and configured for coexistence with our old Exchange 2007 server. Inbound and outbound mail flow moved to new Exchange 2013 server. All mailboxes have been migrated to Exchange 2013 as well.

To ensure that mail flow no longer go through the Exchange 2007 and should anything have else been missed we shut down old Exchange 2007 for a week. All good..., we are ready to remove Exchange 2007 completely.

Before I was going to run Exchange 2007 uninstall program I decided to remove unused Offline Address Books, empty mailbox databases and finally Storage groups from old Exchange 2007 as recommended by Steve Goodman from:
http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/migration-deployment/planning-and-migrating-small-organization-exchange-2007-2013-part17.html

At the moment I am having difficulties to delete public folder database from our Exchange 2007 server. Error message is saying that: “… public folder database cannot be deleted because it contains folder replicas. Before deleting the public folder database, remove the folder or move the replicas to another public folder database…”

This public folder database was setup as a test on Exchange 2007 server long time ago and we never used it for anything! We don’t have any interest to keep it or move it to the new Exchange 2013 server. Now, I realized that, it would be much more advisable to deleted unused public folder databases before installing new Exchange 2013.

What should I do now? How do I delete this public folder database and folder replicas? Does it mean that in my particular situation I have to migrate Public Folders to Exchange 2013?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Olevo
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by:VB ITS
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The recommended path here is to properly migrate the Public Folders to Exchange 2013, however if you feel you don't want/need to transfer them over you try these commands:

Get-PublicFolder -Server YOURSERVERNAME "\NON_IPM_SUBTREE" -Recurse -ResultSize Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server YOURSERVERNAME -Recurse  -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue
Get-PublicFolder -Server YOURSERVERNAME "\" -Recurse -ResultSize Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server YOURSERVERNAME -Recurse  -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue

Open in new window


Set the PF migration complete flag to true (disregard the warning) then remove the database through the Exchange 2007 GUI:
Get-OrganizationConfig | Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True

Open in new window


Let me know how you go.
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by:suriyaehnop
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by:Minecraft_ Enderman
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by:Hello World
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Hi,

Before we remove Public folder, we have to consider some conditions as below:
1. Any user uses Outlook 2003 clients.
2. Any user is still on the Exchange 2007 mailbox.

If you want to decommission Exchange 2007 and use Exchange 2013, we can completely remove Public folder from Exchange 2007. More details to this step, please refer to:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc164367(v=exchg.80).aspx

For your error message, please run following command to double check replication of PF:
Get-publicfolder \ -recurse |ft Name,Replicas
Get-publicfolder \NON_IPM_SUBTREE -recurse |ft Name,Replicas
More details, please refer to: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2007/07/09/3403373.aspx
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by:Olevo
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Thanks guys with your help.

As per article: “How to Delete Multiple Public Folders from Your Organization” https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201664(v=exchg.80).aspx

After running the following command (see below) all user public folders are deleted.

Get-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> "\" -Recurse -ResultSize:Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> -Recurse -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue

After running the following command (see below) not all system public folders are deleted.

Get-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> "\Non_Ipm_Subtree" -Recurse -ResultSize:Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> -Recurse -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue

Now, when I try to remove Public Folder database with the following command:

Get-PublicFolderDatabase -Server <ServerName> | Remove-PublicFolderDatabase

I can see the warning that this is the last public folder database in the organization… Confirming with “Y” to delete gives me this red color error:

Remove-PublicFolderDatabase : Object is read only because it was created by a future version of Exchange: 0.10 (14.0.100.0). Current supported version is 0.1(8.0.535.0).

I thought that running Get-PublicFolderDatabase -Server <ServerName> | Remove-PublicFolderDatabase
On Exchange 2013 will do the trick, but Exchange 2013 doesn’t recognize the term “Remove-PublicFolderDatabase”

I’m stack. As I said we don’t want to migrate public folders from old Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013. We just want to get rid of it.
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by:VB ITS
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Did you run the command Get-OrganizationConfig | Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True (on your Exchange 2013 server) before trying to remove the public folder database?
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by:Olevo
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To VB ITS: No I didn't. Running following command gives me an error ;-(

Get-OrganizationConfig | Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True

"The input object cannot be bound to any parameters for the command either because the command does not take pipeline input or the input and its properties do not match any of the parameters that take pipeline input."

Perhaps i need to run it as follow:

Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True
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by:suriyaehnop
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In order to finalize the migration, we need to log users off from the PFs on Exchange 2010 and lock these PFs so they cannot be used while the migration completes its final synchronization

On your Exchange 2007, launch Exchange Management Shell and run cmdlet:

Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersLockedForMigration $true

Open in new window


In order to complete the migration process we now need to set the PublicFolderMigrationComplete property to True, as shown below, which might be a little misleading as the migration does not get completed with just this cmdlet.

On your Exchange 2013, launch Exchange Management Shell and run cmdlet:

Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True

Open in new window


However, in order to complete the migration we still need to remove the PreventCompletion flag from the PF migration request and then resume it:

You have to get the public folder migration job name by:

Get-PublicFolderMigrationRequest, once you have the name then,

Set-PublicFolderMigrationRequest \<migration name> -PreventCompletion $false

Resume-PublicFolderMigrationRequest \migration name>

I would like suggest to read below article:

http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/migration-deployment/migrating-public-folders-exchange-2013-part2.html
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by:Olevo
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Thanks suriyaehnop
In the msexchange.org tutorial article they talk about migrating PF from Ex2007/2010 onto Ex2013. Since I don't want to move old PF onto new Ex2013 I haven't created any migration request you are referring in your post.

To accomplish my task (remove old Ex2007 from AD domain) could you please check my steps below and let me know if that is the way to do it.

1. On old Ex2007 we will lock PF for migration
Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersLockedForMigration $true

2. On new Ex2013 we will set "true" for PF migration complited
Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMigrationComplete $True

3. Deleting all user public folders on Ex2007, by running the following command:
Get-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> "\" -Recurse -ResultSize:Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> -Recurse -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue

4. Deleting all system public folders, run the following command:
Get-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> "\Non_Ipm_Subtree" -Recurse -ResultSize:Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Server <server containing the public folder database> -Recurse -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue

5. Remove the underlying Public Folder database with the following command:
Get-PublicFolderDatabase -Server <ServerName> | Remove-PublicFolderDatabase

6.  Remove Storage Group (where PF were hosted) using the following command:
Get-StorageGroup | Remove-StorageGroup

7. Uninstall Exchange 2007
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by:VB ITS
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Sorry Olevo, just saw your reply. Have you managed to get rid of the PF database yet?
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by:Olevo
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still fighting ;-)  could you please check my previous post (7 steps) and let me know what do you think ....
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by:suriyaehnop
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For me after step 2.. I would dismount the public folder on Exchange 2007 or totally shutdown Exchange 2007.

Then let user to access the public folder on Exchange 2013. Make sure they able access fine and also able to:

1. view other free/busy.
2. Able to on and off OOF
3. Able to update the address book.

If everthing fine for 2-3months, then i will continue with step 3 onward
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by:Olevo
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Thanks suriyaehnop for your help.

Sorry for repeating myself again and again. I don’t want to migrate old public folder from Ex2007 to Ex2013 at all! We never used PF with Ex2007. Back in that time, we created PF as a test and we forgot to delete it just before introducing new Ex2013 server in our domain.

Now, in your last post you are telling me to dismount the public folder on Exchange 2007 or totally shutdown Exchange 2007. Then let users to access PF on Ex2013... but, how users will have access to the public folders on Ex2013 if we didn't migrated anything there?! Also, we haven't created any PF on new Ex2013.

From my understanding (correct me if I wrong) offline address book is web based on new Ex2013 server. Does free/busy required to have public folders in Ex2013 to operate?

I’m sorry but I have already mentioned multiple times that we don’t want to keep old Ex2007 public folder. What I what here is a clear statement from someone that I can or cannot delete old PF from Ex2007 without migrating it first to the new Ex2013 server. If you say that the only way to get rid of PF from old Ex2007 is to by migrating it to the new Ex2013 server I will stop asking the same question over and over again?
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by:VB ITS
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Olevo, I have to rush off to a client site but I will post a reply when I get home.

In short, no you do not need to migrate the PFs to Exchange 2013 in order to delete the PF database from 2007. We can remove the database through ADSI Edit as a last resort but I really dislike this method as it leaves a lot of orphaned objects behind compared to removing the database through supported methods.
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Olevo earned 0 total points
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I thought that removing public folder from old Ex2007 wouldn't be such a big deal. Anyway, I ended up on restoring public folder database (since I was messing with it around a lot) on old Ex2007 server. Only after following “Use serial migration to migrate public folders to Exchange 2013 from previous versions” https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj150486(v=exchg.150).aspx I was able to properly remove public folder from old Ex2007. After removing public folder database, storage groups etc. I was able to successfully uninstall our old Ex2007 from our domain.
Thanks guys for your help ;-)
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by:VB ITS
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Sorry Olevo, I completely forgot about this! I've been so busy with my upcoming MS exams and whatnot, I didn't even get a chance to look at this for you.

Glad you were able to resolve the issue on your end. I did originally say that the recommended path was to properly migrate the Public Folders to Exchange 2013 so it's good you eventually opted for this method.
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by:Olevo
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Thanks VB ITS for your help. I think it was a good exercise for me to go through PF migration. Sorry for the off-topic question. May I ask you for which MS exams are you after? I'm thinking on pursuing MCSE: Messaging but a bit concern if I should do it? I mean time and money spending on it is huge...
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by:VB ITS
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Not a problem Olevo, and I agree that it's a good exercise to get the PF migration to Exchange 2013 under your belt. Count yourself lucky as many others have had countless issues trying to migrate their Public Folders from previous versions of Exchange to Exchange 2013, mainly due to the new PF architecture.

I'm aiming to get my MCSA for Server 2012, of which I've already completed one of the required exams. I have another exam booked in for next week.

MS exams are always good to have, just depends if you have the time! You don't necessarily have to spend too much money on study materials as there's a LOT of free material out there which can help you get prepared. With that being said, my workplace is paying for both my exam and study materials so I've never had to trek down that route.

I'll have to say though that the one-week training course I did take on Exchange definitely helped me improve my understanding ten-fold. They're not cheap though! Shoot me a PM if you want to discuss this further :)
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by:Olevo
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Unfortunately expert solutions didn't resolved in fixing my problem.  Ended up fixing problem myself by following Microsoft article.
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