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Unable to connect to Public folder after Database portability in Exchange 2013

We recently worked on a case where one of the exchange server faced irreparable damage and had to build a new server to get the production up and running.

So we decided to go for database portability feature in exchange 2013. After database portability, we found that all the mailboxes database portability we found that all the mailboxes got connected except Public folder

How to perform database portability in Exchange 2013:

For this Blog my old server name is E2013 and the new server name is E2013-2

Step 1: New server with the same configuration as of the old was built

Step2: We created a new Database on the new server and copied the .edb file to the new server

Note: We checked the health of the database by running eseutil /mh and confirmed that the database is in clean shut down

New-MailboxDatabase -Name Portability -Server E21032 -EdbFilePath C:databaseMailbox Database 0100342462.edb -LogFolderPath C:logs

Step3:Set Allowfilerestore on the new database

Set-MailboxDatabase portability -AllowFileRestore $true

Step4: Mounted the database with the Edb copied from the old server

Step5: Ran the below command to move the mailboxes over to the new database

Get-Mailbox -Database Mailbox Database 0100342462 |where {$_.ObjectClass -NotMatch ‘(SystemAttendantMailbox|ExOleDbSystemMailbox)’}| Set-Mailbox -Database portability

The below screen shot shows I have mailboxes on my Old server E2013


The below screen shot to show I have Public folder MBX on E2013 (old server)


Also this shows I have Public folder on the old server


Now we have copied the EDB file to the new server E2013-2 and followed the steps mentioned above

See the below screenshots to confirm that the mailboxes have moved over to E2013-2

The first command in the figure shows that there is no mailboxes on the server E2013 and we see the same list of mailboxes that was on E2013 to be on E20132


The below figure shows that the Public folder is still on E2013 and its not moved to E20132

How to move Public folder mailbox to a new server after disaster recovery in Exchange 2013

When we run Get-PublicFolder -Recurse we get the below error

[PS] C:Windowssystem32>Get-PublicFolder -Recurse

Cannot open mailbox /o=msexchangeguru/ou=Exchange Administrative Group(FYDIBOHF45FPDLT)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=E2013/cn=Microsoft System Attendant.+ CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PublicFolder], MailboxOfflineException+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : [Server=E2013,RequestId=62d6ba50-608a-42c1-822b-0d11b8b089ad,TimeStamp=11/24/2016 3:15:11 AM] [FailureCategory=Cmdlet-MailboxOfflineException] D882356A,Microsoft.Exchange.Management.MapiTasks.GetPublicFolder+ PSComputerName : e2013.msexchangeguru.com

[PS] C:Windowssystem32>

This error was thought the database in which the PF mailbox is present Is moved to a new server the configuration for the PF mailbox is still pointing to the old server

We have two options

  1. Run get-mailbox -publicfolder | set-mailbox -publicfolder -database portability

This option gave me the following error and we might lose data

Since we didn’t have a backup of the PF data decided to perform option two:

2. Delete the user account and connect the mailbox to the new AD account created with the same name

  1. We will have an AD account connected to PF mailbox that is on old server E2013

    Delete the AD account from AD and create a new AD account with the same name
    1. Search for the AD account name E2013PF, delete the AD account
    2. Create a new AD account E2013PF
  • On the new server E20132 we need to go to EAC and connect the mailbox from EAC or by running the command

Connect-mailbox -identity E2013PF -database Portability -user <new user acc with the same name>

I did the second option because I do not have a backup of the PF data and when I do the first option I got an error that said I might loss data 🙂

After reconnecting the mailbox, waited for AD replication for the outlook to take up the new PF.

Also note that you need to move the Arbitration mailboxes to the new server:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | Set-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database “NewDatabaseName”

Then run:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration |ft Name, Servername

And make sure it is setup correctly.

Ratish Nair

Microsoft MVP | Exchange Server

Team @ MSExchangeGuru

One Response to “Unable to connect to Public folder after Database portability in Exchange 2013”

  1. Monthly IT Newsletter – December 2016 – Guy UC World Says:

    […] Unable to connect to Public folder after Database portability in Exchange 2013 […]

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