Troubleshooting Removing Public Folder Replicas

The last few weeks have been challenging for me because of Public Folders.  In my environment I have a site in Tempe, AZ that has two exchange servers (let’s call them server1 and server2).  Server1 is an old box and we want to decomission it.  It was only hosting a few small resource mailboxes and replicas of public folders relevant to that site.

Removing the resource mailboxes was easy – I just used the Move Mailbox function in ESM.  Public folders hasn’t been so easy – though it should have been.

To move all the replicas hosted on Server1, i opened ESM, navigated down to the public folder store node, right-clicked and chose Move All Replicas, then selected Server2 from the list.

Now, Server2 already had replicas of most of these same public folders so all i was really interested in was making sure the hierarchy was updated to show that Server1 was no longer hosting replicas.  I could test this by looking in the Public Folder Instances node on Server1 and looking for it to reveal empty white space.  It worked great except for a few hundred folders that just wouldn’t seem to disappear.

I began to troubleshoot this issue by viewing the public folder replicaion events that are generated when you turn up logging.  To see these events, enable the following options on the Diagnostic Logging tab of each exchange server involved in replicaion:

  • MSExchangeIS
    •  Public Folder
      • Replication AD Updates – Maximum 
      • Replication Incoming Messages – Maximum
      • Replication Outgoing Messages – Maximum
      • Non-delivery Reports – Maximum
      • Replication Backfill – Maximum
      • Replication General – Maximum

There’s a really great article on The Microsoft Exchange Team Blog by Bill Long that goes into great detail about how to troubleshoot Public Folder Replication with these events.

I noticed on my servers that I was still getting 3030 events with a Type of 0x4 which reflects incoming content from Server2.  How could this be when the folder in question no longer shows Server1 as hosting a replica of that folder?

Event Type: Information
Event Source: MSExchangeIS Public Store
Event Category: Replication Incoming Messages
Event ID: 3030
Date:  8/15/2008
Time:  2:13:20 PM
User:  N/A
Computer: SERVER1
Description:
An incoming replication message was processed.

 Type: 0x4
 Message ID: <7008810A891D6A4E8825B538ED1BA9AB063B4BEE@server2.company.us>
 Folder: (1b-79DC) IPM_SUBTREECompanyLead ManagementPoint Of Sale

 Database “PUBPublic Folder”.
 CN min: 6c-626B02B
 CN max: 6c-626B02B
 MIDs: 1
1: 6c-5C382BE

 MIDSET deleted: {0}

 Server: /O=Company/OU=TEMPE/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=Server2/cn=Microsoft Public MDB

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