Joe Johnson

Remove Exchange 2007 Public Folder Database Forcibly

Joe Johnson - 06/05/2010

I’ve been beating my head against the wall for a week on trying to forcibly remove a corrupted Exchange 2007 install on one of my servers. The AD Configuration tree became corrupted and a restore did not fix it, so I rebuilt a new server and migrated the mailboxes there. Problem solved! Except, now how do I remove the old server…when I try to uninstall, I get warned that Public Folder database still has replicas. Well, the only way to get rid of that is to replicate them to another server, but that’s not possible with this crippled server.

Solution? Delete the database from the configuration partition of Active Directory manually. To do so, you need to launch an ADSI edit session in the MMC and add the ADSI snap-in. This requires the Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools or the Remote Server Admin features for AD in Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2. I usually go to a domain controller to do this, as it has the ADSI plugin already installed.

Once connected, expand the tree to your server in question. You’ll find the storage group with your public folder store listed:

There, you will find the store in the right-hand pane:

All set! I successfully uninstalled Exchange 2007 from this server as soon as that was done. Since it contained no vaild public folders, I didn’t care if any data was lost. But be careful, it will ruin your public folder stores if you have not successfully and verifiably replicated the public folders to your new server.


  • Graham 21 Aug, 2010, 19:35

    Thanks for confirming what needed to be deleted. I had a feeling that I was going to be visiting ADSIEdit again when I had problems removing Exchange. No corruption as such, just removing a backup machine which had previously had replicas on. All sorted now, at least once I’d killed the runaway powershell process at the end of the de-install so that would finish.

  • Kevin 10 Apr, 2013, 19:35

    You saved me an all nighter trying to get rid of the stupid public folder!

  • Joe 08 May, 2013, 19:35

    Any time, Kevin!

  • Reut 30 Jan, 2014, 19:35

    Thank you!!!!!!!

    I was triyng to remove this public folder over a week now!!
    I tried so many ways and your way was successful

    Thank you!!