Why can’t I see deleted mailboxes in Disconnected Mailbox?

Since the introduction of Exchange Server 2007 many things related to recipient operations have changed. One of the major changes those were made are related to the recipient management in Exchange Server 2003. It worked using ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers) console in Exchange 2003 while in Exchange Server 2007 it has changed to a sole property of EMC (Exchange Management Console) and EMS (Exchange Management Shell). Certainly, it one of the basic things that an Exchange 2007 administrator should know. You can not perform Exchange recipients related operation using ADUC anymore. It is strongly recommended to use either EMS or EMC. A known problem that E2K7 administrators come across usually is when they delete the user account from AD yet they can not see the mailbox deleted from EMC. It does not appear in Disconnected Mailbox tool either. How to resolve it?

Symptoms:

Mailbox on Exchange Server 2007 does not appear to be disconnected though it is the associated user account is deleted using Active Directory Users and Computers.

Cause:

Exchange does not enumerate the user attribute changes continuously to see the exchange attributes on the associated user account in active directory. Queries to identify the changes in attributes value for some user account are shot to AD after looking into the caches and refresh intervals which is maintained by DSAccess  (ADAccess in Exchange Server 2007). As this is a cache of ADAccess these values can not be stored in active directory hence, Windows Registry is used for it. Look at an article on Microsoft TechNet for more information: Mailbox Size Limits Are Not Enforced in a Reasonable Period of Time . It is highly recommended to adhere to the refresh interval recommendations made by Microsoft to prevent the performance implications. Under normal circumstances you don’t need to run the mailbox cleanup agent manually because the disconnected mailbox appears under Disconnected Mailbox immediately. Yet, in certain cases you have to run the mailbox cleanup agent manually. See the Resolution section to see how to run the mailbox clean up agent manually in Exchange Server 2007.

Resolution:

  1. Open Exchange Management Shell
  2. Type, Clean-MailboxDatabase –Identity <Database Name>

Values for –Identity can be defined in following ways,

  • GUID of information store.
  • Distinguished Name (DN) of information store in AD.
  • ServerNameStorageGroupDatabase
  • ServerNameDatabase
  • StorgaeGroupDatabase
  • DatabaseName

If you have multiple database with same name of the same server, you must specify the storage group name.

External Links:

Exchange Server Caches and Their Lifetimes

Managing User Mailboxes