Hybrid Exchange mailbox On-boarding : Target user already has a primary mailbox – Fix

During an Office 365 migration on a Hybrid environment with AAD Connectran into the following scenario:

  • Hybrid Co-Existence Environment with AAD-Sync
  • User [email protected] has a mailbox on-premises. Jon is represented as a Mail User in the cloud with an office 365 license
  • [email protected] had a cloud-only mailbox prior to the initial AD-sync was run
  • A user account is registered as a mail-user and has a valid license attached
  • During the office 365 Remote mailbox move, we end up with the following error during validation and removing the immutable ID and remapping to on-premise account won’t fix the issue
Target user 'Sam fisher' already has a primary mailbox.
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (tsu:MailboxOrMailUserIdParameter) [New-MoveRequest], RecipientTaskException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : [Server=Pl-EX001,RequestId=19e90208-e39d-42bc-bde3-ee0db6375b8a,TimeStamp=11/6/2019 4:10:43 PM] [FailureCategory=Cmdlet-RecipientTaskException] 9418C1E1,Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Migration.MailboxRep
+ PSComputerName : Pl-ex001.Paladin.org

It turns out this happens due to an unclean cloud object on MSOL, This is because Exchange online keeps pointers that indicate that there used to be a mailbox in the cloud for this user

Option 1 (nuclear option)

to fix this problem was to delete *MSOL User Object* for Sam and re-sync it from on-premises. This would delete [email protected] from the cloud – but it will delete him/her from all workloads, not only Exchange. This is problematic because Sam is already using Teams, One-drive, SharePoint.

Option 2

Clean up only the office 365 mailbox pointer information

PS C:\> Set-User [email protected] -PermanentlyClearPreviousMailboxInfo 
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Delete all existing information about user "[email protected]"?. This operation will clear existing values from
Previous home MDB and Previous Mailbox GUID of the user. After deletion, reconnecting to the previous mailbox that
existed in the cloud will not be possible and any content it had will be unrecoverable PERMANENTLY. Do you want to
[Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [?] Help (default is "Y"): a

Executing this leaves you with a clean object without the duplicate-mailbox problem,

in some cases when you run this command you will get the following output 

 “Command completed successfully, but no user settings were changed.”

If this happens

Remove the license from the user temporarily and run the command to remove previous mailbox data

then you can re-add the license 


MS Exchange 2016 [ERROR] Cannot find path ‘..\Exchange_Server_V15\UnifiedMessaging\grammars’ because it does not exist.

So recently I ran into this annoying error message with Exchange 2016 CU11 Update.

Environment info-

  • Exchange 2016 upgrade from CU8 to CU11
  • Exchange binaries are installed under D:\Microsoft\Exchange_Server_V15\..
Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetItemCommand.ProcessRecord()". [12/04/2018 16:41:43.0233] [1] [ERROR] Cannot find path 'D:\Microsoft\Exchange_Server_V15\UnifiedMessaging\grammars' because it does not exist. 
[12/04/2018 16:41:43.0233] [1] [ERROR-REFERENCE] Id=UnifiedMessagingComponent___99d8be02cb8d413eafc6ff15e437e13d Component=EXCHANGE14:\Current\Release\Shared\Datacenter\Setup
[12/04/2018 16:41:43.0234] [1] Setup is stopping now because of one or more critical errors. [12/04/2018 16:41:43.0234] [1] Finished executing component tasks.
[12/04/2018 16:41:43.0318] [1] Ending processing Install-UnifiedMessagingRole
[12/04/2018 16:44:51.0116] [0] CurrentResult setupbase.maincore:396: 0 [12/04/2018 16:44:51.0118] [0] End of Setup
[12/04/2018 16:44:51.0118] [0] **********************************************

Root Cause

Ran the Setup again and it failed with the same error
while going though the log files i notice that the setup looks for this file path while configuring the "Mailbox role: Unified Messaging service" (Stage 6 on the GUI installer)

$grammarPath = join-path $RoleInstallPath "UnifiedMessaging\grammars\*";

There was no folder present with the name grammars under the Path specified on the error

just to confirm, i checked another server on CU8 and the grammars folder is there.

Not sure why the folder got removed, it may have happened during the first run of the CU11 setup that failed,


My first thought was to copy the folder from an existing CU8 server. but just to avoid any issues (since exchange is sensitive to file versions)
I created an empty folder with the name "grammars" under D:\Microsoft\Exchange_Server_V15\UnifiedMessaging\

Ran the setup again and it continued the upgrade process and completed without any issues...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0416] [2] Ending processing Set-ServerComponentState
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0417] [2] Beginning processing Write-ExchangeSetupLog
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0420] [2] Install is complete. Server state has been set to Active.
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0421] [2] Ending processing Write-ExchangeSetupLog
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0422] [1] Finished executing component tasks.
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0429] [1] Ending processing Start-PostSetup
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0524] [0] CurrentResult setupbase.maincore:396: 0
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0525] [0] End of Setup
[12/04/2018 18:07:50.0525] [0] **********************************************

Considering cost of this software M$ really have to be better about error handling IMO, i have run in to silly issues like this way too many times since Exchange 2010.

Exchange 2010 Mailbox PST export – New-MailboxExportRequest

Remember the Export-Mailbox command on exchange 2007??? The main problem I personally had was the annoying outlook requirement. 
With the exchange server 2010 service pack 1 release, M$ introduced a new Cmdlet to export mailboxes on the server. And it does not require outlook.

Step 01 – Mailbox Import Export Role Assignment
Grant the user account permissions to export mailboxes (By default no account has the privileges to export mailboxes)
New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export” -User administrator

Step 02 – Setup the Export File Location
We need a network share to export files. (Eg – \Exch01PST_export)
The Cmdlet gives an error if you point to a directory directly on the Hardisk (Eg – F:PST_export)
Create a Shared folder on a serverNAS and grant Exchange Trusted Subsystem user account read/write permissions to the folder
Exporting Mailbox Items with “New-MailboxExportRequest”

Supporting Cmdlets that can be used with MailboxExportRequest
Start the process of exporting a mailbox or personal archive to a .pst file. You can create more than one export request per mailbox. Each request must have a unique name.
Change export request options after the request is created or recover from a failed request.
Suspend an export request any time after the request is created but before the request reaches the status of Completed.
Resume an export request that’s suspended or failed.
Remove fully or partially completed export requests. Completed export requests aren’t automatically cleared. You must use this cmdlet to remove them.
View general information about an export request.
View detailed information about an export request.
In this example
Shared folder name-  PST_export
server name- EXCH01
Share Path –  \Exch01PST_export
Mailbox – amy.webber

Folder permissions – 

For this example we are going to use New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlet with the following parameters :

-baditemlimit 200 -AcceptLargeDataLoss
The AcceptLargeDataLoss parameter specifies that a large amount of data loss is acceptable if the BadItemLimit is set to 51 or higher. Items are considered corrupted if the item can’t be read from the source database or can’t be written to the target database. Corrupted items won’t be available in the destination mailbox or .pst file.
The BadItemLimit parameter specifies the number of bad items to skip if the request encounters corruption in the mailbox. Use 0 to not skip bad items. The valid input range for this parameter is from 0 through 2147483647. The default value is 0.
Exporting the Whole Mailbox
Run the following Cmdlet to initiate the mailbox move request:  New-MailboxExportRequest
New-MailboxExportRequest -baditemlimit 200 -AcceptLargeDataLoss -Mailbox amy.webber -FilePath \Exch01PST_exportamy.webber.pst

Exporting the User’s Online Archive
If you want to export the user’s online archive to .pst, use the –IsArchive parameter.

New-MailboxExportRequest -baditemlimit 200 -AcceptLargeDataLoss -Mailbox amy.webber  -IsArchive -FilePath \Exch01PST_exportamy.webber-Archive.pst

Exporting a Specific Folder
You can export a folder from the users mailbox using the -IncludeFolders parameter
Eg: inbox folder layout-
To export the inbox folder
New-MailboxExportRequest -baditemlimit 200 -AcceptLargeDataLoss -Mailbox amy.webber -IncludeFolders #Inbox# -FilePath \Exch01PST_exportamy.webber.pst
Checking the Progress of the Mailbox Export Request

To check the current statues of the mailbox export request use the following cmdlet:
Get-MailboxExportRequest | Get-MailboxExportRequestStatistics
People do crazy stuff scripting with this Cmdlet. Look around in the interwebs for some scripts.
Useful links:
Until next time…

Managing calendar permissions in Exchange Server 2010

Admin may get asked to set and add / Edit permissions for shared Calendars.
these Sharing options are not available in EMC, so we have to use exchange power shell on the server to manipulate them.
View existing Calendar permissions
Get-MailboxFolderPermission -identity "Networking Calendar:Calendar"
There are 4 MailboxFolderPermission cmdlets in Exchange Server 2010:
Each cmdlet have different syntax, follow the links for more information..
In this scenario we need to set following permissions to the Calendar Resource named “Networking Calendar.

user – “Nyckie” – full permissions

all users – permissions to add events without the delete permission

  • To assign calendar permissions to new users  “Add-MailboxFolderPermission”
Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity "Networking Calendar:Calendar" -User [email protected] -AccessRights Owner
  • To Change existing calendar permissions  “set-MailboxFolderPermission”
set-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity "Networking Calendar:Calendar" -User default -AccessRights NonEditingAuthor
This assigns the owner righs to the user “nyckig” for the calendar of the “Networking Calendar” resource.and sets NonEditingAuthor permissions as the default permission for the calendar for all other users
Here are the other permission levels you can assign:-
None – FolderVisible
Owner – CreateItems, ReadItems, CreateSubfolders, FolderOwner, FolderContact, FolderVisible, EditOwnedItems, EditAllItems, DeleteOwnedItems, DeleteAllItems
PublishingEditor – CreateItems, ReadItems, CreateSubfolders, FolderVisible, EditOwnedItems, EditAllItems, DeleteOwnedItems, DeleteAllItems
Editor – CreateItems, ReadItems, FolderVisible, EditOwnedItems, EditAllItems, DeleteOwnedItems, DeleteAllItems
PublishingAuthor – CreateItems, ReadItems, CreateSubfolders, FolderVisible, EditOwnedItems, DeleteOwnedItems
Author – CreateItems, ReadItems, FolderVisible, EditOwnedItems, DeleteOwnedItems NonEditingAuthor – CreateItems, ReadItems, FolderVisible
Reviewer – ReadItems, FolderVisible
Contributor – CreateItems, FolderVisible
The following roles apply specifically to calendar folders:
AvailabilityOnly – View only availability data

LimitedDetails – View availability data with subject and location

source –