Remove Public Folder from ADSIEdit

by Chris Crandall

One of the worst things about Exchange is dealing with public folders. Has many of you know sometimes you will come into a situation where you need to delete a Public Folder from ADSIEdit. I have been working with Exchange for a long time and have had the opportunity to work in some large and very complex environments and situations but, to this day nothing gets my heart racing like messing around with Public Folders in ADSIEdit. I have put together a lab to show you some of the steps needed to make sure you remove the public folder from you environment successfully using ADSIEdit and what to monitor on the server to ensure if something does go wrong you are aware of the problem
Test Lab for public folder replication
1 – Domain Controller
3 – Exchange Servers (EX1, EX2, EX3)
The Exchange servers EX1 and EX3 are in the same administrative group “First Storage Group”
The Exchange server EX2 is in administrative group “CLT”
EX2 holds the public folder content for all users
We will be using EX as our test server to remove the public folder data. We will EX1 to re-import the public folder data
There is a Routing Group between the two administative groups called test

As you can tell the public folder information is stored on the EX2 public folder database

Here is a screenshot of the public folder tree

All public folders only have one replica of the public folder data

The mailbox store on EX2 is using the EX2 public folder database as the default

This is a screenshot of the public folder tree within Outlook

The connection status shows that we are connect to both EX1 and EX2. This is because the free/busy data for the mailbox users are located on EX1

I copied the data from the public folder database on EX2 to a PST on the local client

I removed the routing group connector to segregate the two administrative groups

Dismounted and deleted the public folder database on EX2

Screenshot from Outlook

Mounted a blank public folder database on EX2

I lost my public folder instances

Pointed the users on EX2 to EX1 public folder database

Changed the replicas from EX2 to EX1

Outlook can see the folder but there is not content

You can also tell the public folder data is coming from EX1

I imported the data copied over by the PST file

I removed the public folder database from ADSIEdit

Monitored the queues
Before removing database via ADSIEdit

After removing the database (I cleared the queue)
ON EX1 after the removal I get some wacky email messages
Envelope Recipients:

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