Delete AD account and retain mailbox

Hello Experts

I have a user who has left the business and had a mailbox, we need to delete the AD account but retain the mailbox, can this be achieved in Exchange 2010?
Is there way to assign full ownership of the mailbox to another AD account either by sharing the mailbox or keeping it as a regular user mailbox so we can delete the original AD account linked to the mailbox.

We have attempted to share the mailbox and assign ownership to a different AD user but outlook won’t allow to attach the shared mailbox.
We need to retain the mailbox in exchange so it can be accessed if needed. We are not willing to export as PST due PSTs get corrupt.

Running exchange server 2010 SP3  (on premise)

Thank you for your expert advice.
RobKanjAsked:
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DeadmanIT ConsultantCommented:
we need to delete the AD account but retain the mailbox, can this be achieved in Exchange 2010?
Yes, we can disable (not delete) the AD account. That will still allow mailbox access and the data to flow, but prevent AD logins.

Is there way to assign full ownership of the mailbox to another AD account
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb676551(v=exchg.141).aspx
http://www.comptechdoc.org/os/windows/mailboxrights/mailaccess.html

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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
You cannot have a mailbox without a user ID, user id is required. In your case, you can create new test id and mailbox and merge the data into test mailbox. You have two option

1) Export to PST and import.
2) Connect both mailbox in your outlook and copy and paste the email from user mailbox to test mailbox.

Then goto test mailbox and give full permission user, who need access to this data.
.Commented:
As an alternative suggestion, if you don't want to export to a PST, or keep the original user you could possibly create a Public Folder, give limited permissions and copy the users mailbox content into the PF. This way if anyone needs to see the historic mail history of the user that has left you can give them temporary access to the PF.
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
IMO exporting would be the best method because you remove this mailbox from Exchange and allow the user to manage this.

However if you need to remove the AD Account but keep the mailbox then all you need to do is create a new AD Account and re-attach it to the mailbox. Then provide the user full access to this mailbox so that they can attach it to their Outlook session.

Will.
RobKanjAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the suggestions, yet to decide what is the best way to do as we can't export the mailboxes in any other formats apart from pst and at the moment not willing to import all the mailbox content to one account.

Are there any cost effective mail archiving solution you would recommend?

thanks
RobKanjAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all the valuable suggestions and confirmation that the AD account can't be deleted to retain the mailbox unless exporting the mailbox.
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