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When I was migrating users from a Microsoft Mail (MS Mail) post office to a new Exchange Server site, the migration failed and generated the following event:
Event ID 283. Could not remove object <UserID> because the directory service reported the following error: Changes cannot be written to this directory object. Try connecting to a Microsoft Exchange Server computer in the same site as this object.
The issue is that by default, Exchange creates MS Mail recipients as custom recipients on the server or site that is the directory server in the dir sync configuration on the MS Mail post office. The migration utility can't migrate these accounts to the new site, because it detects the accounts as existing on another site.
To resolve the problem, you must delete the custom recipients from the site that is performing directory synchronization--in this example, the home site. Then, force replication on the home site bridgehead server where the custom recipients reside: Click Update Now on the local bridgehead server's Directory Service Properties page. Next, perform a manual update on the bridgehead server of the new site: Select Request Now on the Directory Replication Connector Properties page for the site that requests the updates of selected inbound sites from the remote bridgehead server.
When replication completes, the migration utility will run successfully. Please note that you must run the migration utility immediately after replication before another directory synchronization cycle completes, because this will place the custom recipients (MS Mail users) back into the directory. Also, delete or modify the recipients on the MS Mail post office so they are not included in directory synchronization after you have migrated their accounts to the new Exchange site.
Oops: Update on Restoring Exchange
Many readers wrote with regard to my article "Restoring an Exchange Server Computer" (November 1998). As you pointed out, if you use the /r switch when you use the Setup command, you won't be able to install Exchange Server 5.5, Service Pack 1. When I wrote the article, I was still using Exchange Server 5.0, and the switch was valid.
Other readers noted that a RAID 5 unit can make restoring the server unnecessary. With a fault-tolerant disk subsystem, a failure on one disk won't crash the server. To find out more about disaster recovery, read the article "Full Server Recovery" in the Exchange Server 5.5 Resource Guide on TechNet.
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