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Migrating exchange public folders SBS 2003 to 2011 Beware!

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  • Migrating exchange public folders SBS 2003 to 2011 Beware!


    I have been bashing my head against the wall around the public folder "migration", I wanted to tell others about my expericance maybe it will help.

    Microsoft tells you to go to the souce server (SBS 2003) and replicate the public folders to the destination server (SBS 2011) so I did. My destination pub.edb file grew to 136kb instantly then never moved beyond that. I later found that my exchange site replication service was disabled on the source server not sure if that was related or not.

    My source and destination servers were both showing the folder structure, my outlook users could see the public folders but they had an error message that there is a network issue and they cannot be opened.

    Also it will replicate a folder called "internet newsgroups" from your 2003 install which you cannot get rid as far as I have found. Most people seem to accept removing permissions from the "internet newsgroups" and allow it to be "hidden"
    from users.

    If I had it to do again I would of exported the public folders to .pst and skipped the replication peice. Currently I am restoring from backup to a .pst file and attempting to import that in to the new server.

    Maybe somebody can give feedback if this could be a recommended workaround instead of using the replication that Microsoft recommends, I do not want to turn back time (from Tape) to find out at this point.

  • #2
    Re: Migrating exchange public folders SBS 2003 to 2011 Beware!

    Can't say I've ever had major issues with this and I've done something like 20 migrations from SBS 2003 to 2008 or 2011. The only issue I've found is that anti-spam software that tags messages must be disabled.

    The Exchange Site Replication Service is for legacy Exchange 5.5 coexistence so not relevant to this issue.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
    Cruachan's Blog


    • #3
      Re: Migrating exchange public folders SBS 2003 to 2011 Beware!

      AFAIK you cannot just export PFs to a pst and reimport. You have to replicate them to the new server and make sure that it knows that it is the server responsible for PFs in the organisation. Whatismore, there are many system folders like Free/Busy and offline address books stored in the public folder structure.
      See the KB about removing the first server in an Exchange org since SBS will always be that "first" server.

      Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
      Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

      We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


      • #4
        Re: Migrating exchange public folders SBS 2003 to 2011 Beware!

        I created a new default offline address book because the old one didn't replicate correctly.

        I created a new public store in EX 2010 and updated the mailbox store to point to it. Then imported the pst files through my workstation.

        I know that when I am in OWA and look at a username it shows their free/busy information from their calanders so I think my free/busy info is working correctly. I was really amazed when I found that feature.

        I guess I don't want to tell people to ignore Microsoft or the wisdom of other people that have done multiple migrations. Maybe I just ran into trouble for that partucular step.

        Maybe I should just say have a good backup before proceeding, also I took backups after some of the major steps during the migration.