Remove "ghosted" public folders in Exchange

How to remove these mysterious folders.

Public folders in Exchange can be vulnerable to a peculiar "ghosting" phenomenon. Under certain circumstances, if the public folders are restored from a backup or a secondary server, users and administrators alike may see two sets of the same folders, one with the original name and the other with a "1" appended to the name of each folder. The original folder set cannot be browsed, nor can it be deleted using ordinary means.

To get rid of the ghost copy of the folders:

  1. Open Exchange Admin and go to the Public Information Store that contains the ghosted folders.

  2. In the Store, look in File | Properties | Instances, and remove any folders that do not physically exist on this server.

  3. If you have any organizational forms, they should also be removed, since they can also be ghosted during the replication process.

  4. Close the Public Information Store Properties window. Open the Properties for the server itself.

  5. Go to the Advanced tab in the server Properties window and select Consistency Adjuster.

  6. Uncheck all options in the Consistency Adjuster except "Synchronize with the directory and reset the home server value," and set the filter to All Inconsistencies. Click OK and agree to any warnings that are displayed.

  7. Delete the ghosted folders normally. You may need to stop and restart Exchange for the above to take effect.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

Thanks to Patrick Reed, a user of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter, for originating this tip.


This was first published in October 2002

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