How To: Move System Attendant Mailbox – Exchange 2003
This is commonly asked question, “I want to delete my first mailbox database but System Attendant mailbox is staying in it so how to move System Attendant Mailbox from one mailbox database to another on the same server?”
I think procedure is known to move SA mailbox but not documented anywhere so I thought let’s document it with an example.
Scenario in our example: I have an Exchange 2003 server ESS-EXCH301 with two databases ESS301SG1DB1 & ESS301SG1DB2 in ESS301SG1 storage group and this server is in ESS-Test.com domain. I want to move SA mailbox from ESS301SG1DB1 to ESS301SG1DB2 database.
By default System Attendant mailbox is created in the first database configured on the server during installation in our case it is renamed to ESS301SG1DB1.
When you try to move the System Attendant mailbox with exchange task then you don’t see any task available.
When you try to delete first database which contain SA mailbox then you get following warning.
Procedure To Move SA:
- Make sure that all the user mailboxes are moved to other database ESS301SG1DB2.
- Open ADSIEdit.msc and change the homeMDB attribute of the Microsoft System Attendant object to point new database.
Path of SA object: Configuration context -> CN=Services -> CN=Microsoft Exchange -> CN=(Your Exchange Org Name) -> CN=Administrative Groups -> CN=(Your Admin Group Name) -> CN=Servers -> CN=Microsoft System Attendant
Current homeMDB attribute:
CN=ESS301SG1DB1,CN=ESS301SG1,CN=InformationStore,CN=ESS-EXCH301,CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=Exchange Share,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=ESS-Test,DC=com
New homeMDB attribute:
CN=ESS301SG1DB2,CN=ESS301SG1,CN=InformationStore,CN=ESS-EXCH301,CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=Exchange Share,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=ESS-Test,DC=com
New homeMDB attribute is the distinguishedName value of your new database. You can get from below location.
ADSIEdit.msc -> Configuration context -> CN=Services -> CN=Microsoft Exchange -> CN=(Your Exchange Org Name) -> CN=Administrative Groups -> CN=(Your Admin Group Name) -> CN=Servers -> CN=(Your Server Name) -> CN=InformationStore -> Click on CN=(Storage Group Name) -> In Right Pane you can see list of all mailbox database -> Right click on New Database & Click Properties -> Double Click on distinguishedName and copy the value of it.
Note: Make sure that you enter correct DN of mailbox database into homeMDB attribute otherwise you may get below error.
- Restart all Exchange services.
- Run the Mailbox Cleanup Agent on your original database ESS301SG1DB1 which will mark your System Attendant mailbox as a disconnected.
- Right click on System Attendant mailbox and purge it (delete it permanently).
Note: You can not move System Attendant Mailbox back to this physical database in future, if you want to move it back then you need to delete the database and need to recreate new edb & stm file then only you can move it back.
- Refresh the mailboxes on new database ESS301SG1DB2 and you can see System Attendant mailbox on it. If still not able to see new SA mailbox then you need to run the mailbox Cleanup Agent on the new database.
- However, still you can not see new SA mailbox in new DB then you need to send a mail to System Attendant mailbox from your mailbox with delivery receipt and make sure that you receive delivery receipt back which creates SA mailbox in new database.
Email address of System Attendant is SERVERNAME-SA@DomainName.com
Well, that’s all. But make sure that there isn’t any error in your event logs if so then you need to address it accordingly.
Overview of Exchange 2000/2003 Mailboxes: Overview of Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 Special Mailboxes
Some of the circumstances under which the system attendant mailbox can and cannot be generated in a database explained here: Issues with the System Attendant Mailbox When Moving an Exchange Mailbox Database