Saturday, March 23, 2013

Exchange Server 2010 mail enabled Public Folders no longer receives email from internal recipients


You notice that your Exchange Server 2010 mail enabled public folders no longer receive mail emails from internal users and when mail is sent to the public folder’s email address, a bounce back with the following message is returned:

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

~ Submissions (
There's a problem with the recipient's mailbox. Please try resending the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server: SVREXHT12.domain.internal
#554 5.2.0 STOREDRV.Deliver.Exception:ObjectNotFoundException; Failed to process message due to a permanent exception with message The Active Directory user wasn't found. ObjectNotFoundException: The Active Directory user wasn't found. ##

Original message headers:

Received: from SVREXMB11.domain.internal ([fe80::e8f0:569d:b40e:dc8]) by
svrexht12.domain.internal ([fe80::3065:992f:8e93:6541%16]) with mapi id
14.01.0339.001; Wed, 20 Mar 2013 10:02:40 -0300
Content-Type: application/ms-tnef; name="winmail.dat"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
From: "Luk, Terence" <>
To: ~ Submissions <>
Subject: Test #4
Thread-Topic: Test #4
Thread-Index: Ac4lapdUx2SA9foMS5OUUeZMur3Jvw==
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:59:08 -0300
Message-ID: <6FFE876C24BAF5428BD9C31E6A5D5ADB6084A17A@svrexmb11.domain.internal>
Accept-Language: en-US
Content-Language: en-US
X-MS-TNEF-Correlator: <6FFE876C24BAF5428BD9C31E6A5D5ADB6084A17A@svrexmb11.domain.internal>
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Originating-IP: []



A quick search on the internet will show that every solution points to deleting the empty CN=Servers container in your legacy Exchange 2000 or 2003 organization that’s usually named First Administrative Group by default:

Configuration –> Services –> Microsoft Exchange –> Exchange Organization –> Administrative Groups –> First Administrative Group –> Servers:


What was confusing was that the environment I was troubleshooting has had Exchange Server 2010 installed for over 2 years and the client wasn’t all too enthusiastic about deleting the Servers container seeing how it has been working for all this time so I was asked to open up a ticket with Microsoft. As much as I would like to have gotten more information from the support engineer, I was told that they only handle break fix and would not be able to look at the root cause so not surprisingly, the engineer had me perform a manual backup of Active Directory and then proceed to delete the Servers container:


Once the container was deleted, the mail enabled public folders began receiving emails again. 


Paul Scott said...

Thanks you saved my bacon this morning !! Due to a dc reboot the servers folder came back last night in a maintenace window. All mail enabled public folders stopped recieving email. We migrated to exchange 2010 a couple months ago and a MS tech also had me delete that folder. I deleted it again this morning and all email enabled folders are back working again. Thanks !!

Stefan Bader said...

Thanks for the post! I had the same issue here, after removing the last Exchange 2003 server in my organization.

David said...

Thank you for this blog. Is was exactly what I needed, to fix an issue after we removed an old 2003 Exchange server from the organization.

Unknown said...

I removed the entire container of "Servers" and now no one in the organization can log into Outlook anymore. How do I get the container back?

Sean said...

Same issue here; Exchange 2003 to 2010 Migration completed. Exchange 2003 was completely removed.

This issue came up a few weeks after though when we removed an old Server 2003 Global Catalog server.

Fix worked.

Anonymous said...

Had the same problem today after removing the last exchange 2003 server and rebooting the exchange 2010 CAS server. We have hundreds of mail-enabled PF's so very glad I found this solution.

Anonymous said...

This solution worked for me. Just be safe I used the ldifde utility to backup the Exchange Configuration.

Anonymous said...

This didn't solve it for me but then I created a brand new Public folder and noticed that it had a value in the homeMDB attribute that the migrated Public Folders did not. I copied the value to the existing folders and this resolved the issue.