Empty ‘CN=Servers’ Container Causing Issues with Public Folders on Small Business Server 2011

Empty ‘CN=Servers’ Container Causing Issues with Public Folders on Small Business Server 2011

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[Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Mohammed Sabir and Shammi Dua from Commercial Technical Support]

When migrating to Small Business Server 2011, you may experience Public Folder Replication failures and users unable to send mail to mail enabled Public Folders.

In an environment where Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 previously existed, and all those servers have been removed during migration, there is a chance that an Administrative Group (First Administrative Group or another custom Administrative Group) remains with a Servers container, but no servers inside it.

image

During Public Folder replication, when the Exchange 2010 Store Driver sees the empty Servers container in Active Directory, it expects a System Attendant object inside the container and when it is not found, the following error is logged in the events:

Source: MSExchange Store Driver
Event ID: 1020
Level: Error
Description:
The store driver couldn’t deliver the public folder replication message "Hierarchy (PublicFolder@contoso.com)" because the following error occurred: The Active Directory user wasn't found.

In addition to above behavior, you may experience issue wherein you cannot send email to mail enabled public folders and receive an NDR as follows:

“#554 5.2.0 STOREDRV.Deliver.Exception:ObjectNotFoundException; Failed to process message due to a permanent exception with message The Active Directory user wasn't found. ObjectNotFoundException: The Active Directory user wasn't found. ##”

Scenarios in which above behaviors can be seen:

  1. You migrated from Small Business Server 2003 to Small Business Server 2011. After completing migration you uninstalled Exchange 2003 on Small Business Server 2003 and demoted the source Small Business Server 2003.
  2. You have a Small Business Server 2008 environment which was initially migrated from Small Business Server 2003. This Small Business Server 2008 server is now used as a source for migrating to Small Business Server 2011. After completion of migration you uninstall Exchange 2007 and demote Small Business Server 2008.
  3. You are migrating from Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 standard domain which has Exchange 2003 installed, to Small Business Server 2011. After completing migration you uninstall Exchange 2003.

In above scenarios, the Servers Container in Administrative Group (First Administrative Group or another custom Administrative Group from Exchange 2003) is left empty.

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

Warning: If you use the ADSI Edit snap-in, the LDP utility, or any other LDAP version 3 client, and you incorrectly modify the attributes of Active Directory objects, you can cause serious problems. These problems may require you to reinstall the Windows Server Operating System or Microsoft Exchange or both. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that occur if you incorrectly modify Active Directory object attributes can be solved. Modify these attributes at your own risk.

  1. Start the ADSI Edit tool. To do this, click Start , click Run , type adsiedit.msc , and then click OK
  2. Expand Configuration Container [servername.domainname.com] , and then expand CN=Configuration,DC=CPANDL,DC=local
    (where CPANDL.local is your domain name) 
  3. Expand CN=Services, expand CN=Microsoft Exchange, and then expand CN=CPANDL
    (where CPANDL is the name of your Exchange organization)
  4. Expand CN=Administrative Groups, and then expand CN=first administrative group
    (where first administrative group belongs to Exchange 2003)
  5. Expand CN=Servers
  6. Verify there are no server objects listed under the Servers container
  7. Right click on the empty CN=Servers Container and choose Delete, as represented in the screenshot.

image

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Comments
  • Thanks Guys. Awesome to know.

  • Under Step 6, what if you DO have an old E2003 server listed under Servers container, and you have uninstalled Exchange 2003 long ago?

  • Hi Indy,

    If Exchange 2003 is removed and that server is not present in domain anymore, then it should also be deleted. Please take a backup before doing this.

    Thanks.

  • I wrote a small PowerShell script to do this for you :)

    gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ADSI-Edit-Exchange-Mail-da735c16

  • Thanks Robert.