Remove orphaned Exchange 5.5 objects

This tip helps you stay on top of directory replication problems and shows you how to remove orphaned objects.

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If you're not staying on top of your Exchange 5.5 organization's directory replication, you can end up with orphaned objects. Orphaned objects remain in a remote site even after you've deleted the object from the original site.

Orphaned objects typically occur when directory replication breaks down, someone deletes objects from a site, and the deleted objects don't get the chance to replicate. Once the tombstone period expires on the deleted objects, replication no longer occurs even after directory replication starts working again.

The best way to prevent this problem is to check for proper directory replication on a regular basis. But if you do encounter an orphaned object, it's possible to remove it from the directory. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Exchange 5.5 Administrator program in Raw mode (Admin.exe /r).
  2. Select the orphaned object, open its raw properties, and make note of the Obj-Dist-Name and Object Version attributes.
  3. Using the Obj-Dist-Name attribute from the orphaned object, re-create the object in the original site.
  4. Make changes to the object, and apply the changes until the Object Version value of the re-created object exceeds that of the object in the remote site.
  5. Either wait for the newly re-created object to replicate throughout the organization, or force replication. To make sure replication has occurred to the remote site, check the Object Version value.
  6. Delete the object from the original site, and replicate the change.

The deletion will now replicate to the remote site and remove the formerly orphaned object.

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