The process for moving replicas from one public folder database to another is generally the same no matter what your source and destination server versions are. They are:

  • Commission a new public folder database and wait for the hierarchy to replicate to it.
  • Change any mailbox database configurations which have the to-be-decommissioned public folder database as its “Default” public folder database to use some other database. Preferably it will be a public folder database that resides on a server you’re going to keep long-term. NOTE: If you have Exchange 2003 users that use OWA, you should not point the Exchange 2003 mailbox database to an Exchange 2007 public folder database, until you move all users that need OWA public folder access to Exchange 2007.
  • Change the replica list for all public folders which have a replica on the to-be-decommissioned public folder database to instead have some other public folder database in the replica list.
  • Wait for the replicas to be removed from the to-be-decommissioned public folder database.
  • Once empty, remove the old database.


  • You should first ensure you have the latest hotfix rollup package installed (specifically, the version of store.exe on your Exchange 2000 server should be greater than 6.0.6617.87).
  • Insure no mailbox stores are set to use the aging server for their default public store. This will ensure nobody creates new folders on the server just as you’re trying to decommission it. Changing the setting in ESM by itself is insufficient – you may need clients to log off of Outlook and log back in.
  • The next step is to use PFDavAdmin (more info) to simultaneously remove the aging server and add another existing server in the replica sets of all folders.
  • Exchange 2007 provides a PowerShell script called MoveAllReplicas.ps1 which takes as arguments the old and new servers. (More information here.)
  • The only way to tell that the database is empty is to use Exchange 2000’s System Manager and inspect the Public Folder Instances node (NOT the “Public Folders” node) under the public folder database object itself. When the right-hand side of the window lists no folders present (occasionally hit F5 to refresh), the database is empty and it’s safe to remove it.
  • You will need to dismount and remount the store (after it knows about the replica list changes). This is because the server won’t actually force already connected clients from disconnecting and possibly publishing more data.

Administration of Public Folders with the introduction of Exchange 2007

How to decommission a Public Folder server without losing any data

Moving public folder replicas from Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2007

How to remove the first Exchange 2000 Server computer from the site;en-us;307917

Scripts for Managing Public Folders in the Exchange Management Shell

How to Move Public Folder Content from one Public Folder Database to Another Public Folder Database

Public Folder Replication Troubleshooting – Part 1 and Part 2.

Transitioning from Exchange 2000/2003 to Exchange Server 2007 – Link.

Note: Users with Outlook 2003 or older client maintain their OLD PF server cache in the client even after they migrate to an E2K7 mail store, and another associated PF server. So those users would get pop ups to connect to the decommissioned PF servers. You might need to power down the PF servers that had Exchange already removed and/or change the DNS entries for the old PF servers.

– Thanks, Jinesh.