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Step 1 – Ensure User Mailboxes are Empty

Quite an obvious step, but make sure all user mailboxes across all Public Folder servers are indeed empty. If they aren’t move them to another server.

Step 2 – Change/Clear the Default PF Mailboxes

Each mailbox database will likely have a Default Public Folder database allocated to it. If you are decommissioning your on-prem Public Folder estate (as we are), you can just clear these values.

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Before…
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After…

Step 3 – Address Book Public Folder Replication

If you have migrated to Exchange Online this is likely already sorted, but just double check your Offline Address Book creation that you don’t have Public Folder Replication enabled. If you do, disable this.

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OAB with Public Folder Distribution disabled

Step 4 – Clear the siteFolderSever Value in ADSIEdit for your Exchange Site

It was recommended to us to clear this value as it ensures a cleaner removal of Public Folders. This value is the default Public Folder database for all user databases that created under that Exchange site. As Public Folders are being decommissioned from on-prem, then there is no longer any requirement to have this value set.

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Event ID 2937
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Clear the value out of the siteFolderServer attribute. If you aren’t decommissioning Public Foders, you need to move this to a new PF server and database

Step 5 – Power down all Public Folder servers for one week

To ensure you have no unforeseen problems, like replication issues, it’s best to turn off the targeted servers for a period of time. If there are issues, your users will shout or you will see them in the event viewer or messaging queues.

Step 6 – Deletion from ADSIEdit

Once you’ve confirmed there are no issues you can proceed in deleting the Public Folder databases from ADSIEdit. You only need to delete the PF databases, as once they are gone you can delete the user databases and then uninstall Exchange cleanly.

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Step 7 – Delete User Databases

You can now power on the servers and process to decommission the Exchange servers as per normal. First job delete the empty user databases.

Step 8 – Uninstall Exchange 2010

Quite simple… Control Panel… Uninstall Exchange Server 2010.

365 UC

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