NDRs after a migration?

After completing a migration you may note that replying to emails will cause an NDR.  Although sending an email directly to the person works without an NDR.  This is most likely caused by the X500 DN changing during the migration.  To illustrate this, I will set up a scenario.

     You have an Exchange 5.5 environment and it has an Org name of COMPANY and a Site name of DALLAS.
     You created an Exchange 200x environment with an Org name of COMPANY and the AG is called First Administrative Group.

     You migrated the Exchange 5.5 environment using ExMerge or some equivalent method.

If you open one of the email messages it will look normal.  If you get the outlook properties of one of the senders of an old message you’ll note that all of the fields are blank except the Display Name.  It will have an X500 address in it, which looks like:

/O=COMPANY/OU=DALLAS/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=TESTUSER.  If you open a new message and type in TESTUSER or grab test user from the address book and look at the outlook properties you will see the fields populated and the Display Name will look normal.

The reason for this is that the message is stored with the X500 address at the time it was processed.  The migration wizard should adjust this on the fly for you but ExMerge and some other operations will not (you also could find yourself in this type of situation in some single mailbox recovery or other disaster recovery scenarios).  The way to fix this is to add an X500 address to the user object in AD that matches their old LegacyDN. 

This can be painful to do by hand.  There is a tool available to help do this in bulk to selected users.  The tool is called ADModify and is available at:

The tool has a help file to guide you through its usage.  Once you have your users selected, the X500 address option is on the Email Addresses Continued tab.

One thing to note here - the above should not be a problem if you are using the Exchange 2003 SP1 cross-site move procedures.

- Dan Winter

Comments (2)
  1. Peter Nield says:

    Also, the "Active Directory Clean-up Wizard" adds the old X500 address to the merged user object.

    (For those who have not used the ADCW, ADCW merges the Active Directory Connector-created disabled user accounts or contacts that correspond to an Exchange 5.5 mailbox with the AD user that owns the Ex5.5 mailbox.)

  2. Dan Winter says:

    Thats an excellent point Peter. I was thinking more in the mindset that the ADC wasn’t used–but thanks for the addition.

Comments are closed.

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