Exchange missing public folder database after adsiedit changes

I had to use Adsiedit.msc to manually remove the Public folder database on an Exchange 2007 i was trying to uninstall. I already had a new public folder database with all replica’s present on my Exchange 2010 server, so i was confident in removing the older Exchange 2007 PF database through Adsiedit. In the meantime I also removed the “First Administrative group” since this was left from Exchange 2003.

I then proceeded to uninstall Exchange 2007 without further issues.
I was surprised and horrified to find the Exchange 2010 Public Folder database missing in the “Database management tab” on “Organization – Mailbox” in the Exchange 2010 Management console. I tried various things, such as:
1) Restart information store
2) Recreate PF DB with exact same name, but this error saying it already had a DB with that name.

I ran the Best Practices Analyzer and it told me “Site folder server deleted”. I clicked on the help and it showed me how to fix this.

Open an Active Directory editor, such as ADSI Edit.
Locate the public folder information store that you want to designate as the Site Folder Server. For Exchange Server 2000 through Exchange Server 2007, expand the following nodes in the Configuration container:
CN=Configuration,DC=,DC=com, CN=Services, CN=Microsoft Exchange, CN=, CN=Administrative Groups, CN= CN=Servers, CN=, CN=InformationStore, CN=
For Exchange Server 2010, expand the following nodes in the Configuration container:
CN=Configuration,DC=,DC=com, CN=Services, CN=Microsoft Exchange, CN=, CN=Administrative Groups, CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT), CN=Databases
In the right pane, right-click CN=, and then click Properties.
In the Attributes field, scroll down and select the distinguishedName attribute.
Click Edit, and then copy the entire attribute to the Clipboard.
Expand the Configuration container, and then expand CN=Configuration,CN=,CN=com, CN=Services, CN=Microsoft Exchange, CN=, CN=Administrative Groups
Right-click the administrative group you want to modify, and then click Properties.
In the Attributes field, scroll down and select the siteFolderServer attribute.
Click Edit, and then paste the value for the distinguishedName attribute into the Value field.
Double-check the contents of the Value field to ensure the paste was performed correctly, and then click OK to save the change.
Click OK to close the Administrative Group properties.
Exit the Active Directory editor and restart the Microsoft Exchange Server Information Store service on all Exchange Server computers in the site for the change to take effect.

I reran the BPA and the error was gone, but my PF database was still missing.
After some research on the internet I came by the solution thanks to “BFTech Impressions”.
Specifically in my case the “msExchOwningPFTree” attribute was empty on my PF database container and needed to be filled with the value from the “distinguishedName” attribute from the Public Folder container uner “Folder Hierarchies”, the first 2 steps in my case were not needed, these were still present.

Here is the link to the article:
http://blog.bruteforcetech.com/archives/766
Please click on the links for detailed instructions and screenshots.

These are his instructions I quote here so that in the case the original disappears the information is not lost.

Here are the instructions to fix it:
Open ADSI Edit, connect to a Domain Controller, change the context to Configuration.

Create the Folder Hierarchies under the Exchange Administrative Group
Navigate to Configuration ⇒ Services ⇒ Microsoft Exchange ⇒ [your organization] ⇒Administrative Groups ⇒ [your administrative group]
Right click on your administrative group and select New Object
Select msExchContainer as class and click Next
Enter the following as value: Folder Hierarchies, click Next, Finish

Create the Public Folders Tree Object
Right click Folder Hierarchies and select New Object
Select msExchPFTree as class, click Next
Enter the following as value: Public Folders, click Next
Click on More Attributes button, drop down the “select a property to view” list, select msExchPFTreeType and set the attribute to 1 (it should populate into the value field).
Click OK, Finish

Populate the msExchOwningPFTreeBL attribute object of the PF Store
(Tell the Public Folder database where to find the new folder hierarchy you just created)
Double click the newly created “Public Folders” object
Double click distinguishedName, copy the value to the clipboard, click Cancel
Exchange 2007: open properties of Configuration ⇒ Services ⇒ Microsoft Exchange ⇒ [your organization] ⇒ Administrative Groups ⇒ [your administrative group]⇒ Servers ⇒ [your server] ⇒ Information Store
Exchange 2010: open properties of Configuration ⇒ Services ⇒ Microsoft Exchange ⇒ [your organization] ⇒ Administrative Groups ⇒ [your administrative group] ⇒ Databases ⇒ [your Public Folder database]
Double click the msExchOwningPFTree attribute, paste the value that was copied to the clipboard in step 2
Click OK twice

  1. This helped greatly, thanks! However, I was not able to email any existing Public Folders. Then I created a brand new Public folder and noticed that it had a value in the homeMDB attribute that the migrated Public Folders did not. I copied the value to the existing folders and this resolved the issue.

  2. I think the homeMDB value allow to mark a the public folder database as default for a specific mailbox database. This can also be done in the GUI console. I’m just speculating, could be something else 😉

  3. This is super helpful and saved my day! Thanks for the article!

Leave a Reply