Learning new tricks

This morning we got a standard form for an account status change, moving from Employee to Student. We do these all the time, though usually it's the other direction. We processed it like we always do, and moved it on.

Three hours pass, and the user goes to the ATUS helpdesk. They can't get into email, and would like to know why.

The reason is because we remove the Exchange mailbox when moving to Student. The Student email system is different. So far, perfectly normal.

It turns out that what they really wanted was an account on the shell-server, which they didn't already have. They were a staff member taking some classes, and needed the account. Not an ex-employee now taking classes. Someone, somewhere, filled out the wrong form and sent it along to us. So we needed to put their accounts back where they were.

We moved the account back to the Employee side of the virtual fence, but couldn't get the mailbox back. The mailbox wasn't showing in the Disconnected Mailboxes list like it should. Under Exchange 2003 the fix for that was pretty simple, right-click on the Mail-store and select, "Run Clean up process." That would force any recently deleted mailboxes to show up in the disconnected list.

Thing is, that isn't there in Exchange 2007. I went on up to the Mailstores in Exchange Console, and there was no option to force the clean-up process to run. I suspected this was one of those things consigned to the command-line thanks to Microsoft's 80/20 rule for Exchange management utilities (the 80% of the things you do every day and don't think about are in the GUI, the 20% you do once a month and need RIGHT NOW has to be googled and run through the powershell cmd).

I was right. It took some googling, but I found it.

Clean-MailboxDatabase -Identity "exchmailboxsrv1\First Storage Group\TwinklyVampireDatabase"
(Not real names)

That will force the clean-up process. After running this, the missing mailbox showed up, and we were able to reconnect it to their user object with no loss of mail.