Public Folder Migrations to Exchange 2013

By |2017-12-11T15:55:31+00:00July 13th, 2015|Exchange|0 Comments

Hi All,

So this is my first blog post…bit late to the game but never mind 🙂 After much umming and arring over what to write I though I’d share some experiences around Public Folder Migrations to Exchange 2013.

I found my first public folder migration to be quite daunting, there’s a lot of data to move and not much in the way of roll back if you find an issue after it’s been live for a day or so. There are already some good posts online around the steps required to migrate the public folders on TechNet and so I will not go in to detail on that here. Instead I’ll share a couple of my experiences that caught me off guard.

Legacy Public Folder Aliases

The first annoyance that I encountered was when actually starting the migration of the public folders. Seconds after I had hit enter, the migration failed. The error received was Fatal error DataValidationException has occurred. After some initial head scratching I did some digging and found an excellent post by VSPBreda that explained why this was occurring.

Basically some legacy Public Folders had illegal characters in their alias field causing the migration to fail. These public folders had all been migrated from Exchange 2003 in my customers case, some may have been even older. Using VSPBreda’s post we were able to identify the offending public folders by running the below and then manually fixing them. This was the preferred method by the customer although this could also have been fixed in PowerShell.

Get-publicfolder “” -Resultsize Unlimited -recurse | where {$_.alias -like ‘* *’ -or $_.alias -like ‘*,*’} > C:PFMigrationalias.txt

Once all the Public Folders were amended (luckily there wasn’t too many) the migration flew through to the auto suspend stage.

Public Folder Structure

I’m not going to lie here, I had a mild moment of panic when this happened to me. Upon completing the migration we took a look at the Public Folder Structure and it was completely flat. As in that Public Folder that was absolutely necessary to be hidden under four different levels of folders was now sitting at the root…it looked a mess compared and I immediately thought I was in for a looong night.

It must have been because I sat there staring at the screen for a few minutes that I then noticed the structure update itself. Then slowly but surely the structure started to form and after some time it was back to how it was before the migration.

My advise here would be to not panic and to be patient. I have only seen this happen once before but it was a bit of a shocker. Give Exchange time to restructure the Public Folders to how they were before the migration.


And there you have it, just a few of my experiences that caught me out during a Public Folder migration from Exchange 2007 to 2013. Let me know of any strange experiences you may of had in the comments.


See you next time!



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