User Not Appearing in GAL 2007 Fix

I had a problem since our migration from Exchange 2003.  The problem was a handful of users were not appearing on our Global Address List.

Tracking down what was going on has taken me quite a long time despite Microsoft KB articles published on the matter.  The solution posted by Microsoft in this instance just didn’t work for me.  I ran that powershell command until I was blue in the face and it returned zero results.  To find out how this happened and why they’re not displaying, I had to dig around for many weeks and create a custom powershell scriptblock until I FINALLY found the answer.  Hopefully, passing on this info here will save readers time and effort in their search for resolution of the same thing.

Why Is It Happening?

The reason this is happening is that when you first move from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 or 2010, you have a “Default Policy” in Email Address Policy that should be automatically created (expecially if you run in tandem like I did).  This policy is carried over from Exchange 2003.  Microsoft changed the way 2007 filters work…they no longer use LDAP as they did with Exchange 2003, they now use OPATH.  For a more detailed explanation on this, see this blog post.  This default policy can be found in the Exchange Management Console >> Organization Configuration >> Hub Transport.  The default policy will place the ‘user alias’ in front of the domain that you have set for your receive connector.  When you first apply the policy, it appears like this:

default policy

Where can you view the screen pictured?  You can click edit on the default policy found in the location above and press next a couple of times and then cancel out  (you don’t want to apply the policy another time do you?).

This information lets us know that the default policy sets up our domain (edited to show in the picture) with the user network name, aka alias, so that users can immediately send and receive based on login names.  Often times, if you are in a small organization, users may login with firstname.lastname or firstinitial.lastname and this may be their email address as well.  In this case, you wouldn’t implement a secondary email address policy like I had to do.

Our organization wanted to receive email with firstname.lastname.  They’ve implemented a network name (aka alias) policy of first two initials of first and last name followed by last three of employee number.  So if my name were John Smith and my employee number were 12345, the network name would become josm345.  This is great for not having repeat names on our network but it’s bad for emailing people.  Enter my secondary email policy.

secondary policy

The secondary email address policy I created after we switched off Exchange 2003 set up the domain to be able to send and receive with  I then applied this secondary policy and the SMTP address it created as the primary SMTP address for all users and gave this policy a higher priority over the default policy noted above.  You can see from the picture the policy takes firstname and lastname in front of the domain.

I also had to update all address lists as shown in this helpful blog post at  After this, I updated the offline address book by going to Organization Configuration >> Mailbox >> Offline Address Book >> Right-click Update.  If you need to create a new global address list, you can’t do it from the EMC, you have to do it via Exchange Management Shell.

It’s a long process, but once you know that you have TWO email address policies that are applied, it makes sense that if a user doesn’t have both of the criteria to match these policies they will not appear on the Global Address List nor the Offline Address Book.  So now we have found out who this has happened to and then we’ll know why users are not showing up in these lists.  We also need to know what we need to do in order to fix it.

Finding Users Without Both SMTP Addresses

If we find users without both SMTP Addresses present on their mailbox, we will find the users who are NOT appearing in our Global Address List.  These users either didn’t have both email address policies applied to them or they had one SMTP address deleted.  Either way, if both policies (and thus both SMTP addresses) were not applied to them they will not be included.  You can fix this by adding in the SMTP address that is lacking making sure to appropriately set the one you want to be default.

I tried to use Microsoft’s KB article to find the users without both addresses but the query they wanted me to run via Exchange Management Shell returned nothing back for me.  I looked up what the query was doing and rewrote it how I thought it should be written.  Here’s the finished product and I’ll go through what it’s doing below:

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited |Select-Object DisplayName,PrimarySmtpAddress, @{Name=“EmailAddresses”;Expression={$_.EmailAddresses |Where-Object {$_.PrefixString -ceq “smtp”} | ForEach-Object {$_.SmtpAddress}}} | export-csv c:\export.csv –NoTypeInformation

First, with ‘Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited’ we are getting ALL mailboxes in the enterprise.  We’re piping the results using the ‘|’ and then selecting an object based on criteria.  The object criteria we are selecting:  DisplayName so we can tell who the person is, Primary SMTP address and then we’re creating something called a scriptblock with the third ‘Select-Object’ criteria…I’ve taken it out of the command above to help explain it below:

@{Name=“EmailAddresses”;Expression={$_.EmailAddresses |Where-Object {$_.PrefixString -ceq “smtp”} | ForEach-Object {$_.SmtpAddress}}} | export-csv c:\export.csv –NoTypeInformation

This command grabs the email address and matches it to the DisplayName we selected previously.  It then searches through each Object and ‘Where-Object’ matches the string “smtp” it displays that information.  Notice it is in lowercase.  The primary SMTP address are stored in AD as capital letters and the secondary SMTP address (or third or fourth, etc) are stored in lower case…so we’re matching ANY other SMTP address (lowercase) that appears for DisplayName.  The results should display similar to the following:

DisplayName    ServerName    PrimarySmtpAddress                EmailAddresses
Nologist, Tek  ExchServer

The last portion of the code, ‘export-csv c:\export.csv‘, exports the report to the C: drive as a CSV so we can manipulate it in Excel.  The -NoTypeInformation removes the type information line from the top of our results…mainly because it’s not needed.

Using this query to find the users that are not appearing on your GAL is now as easy as finding blank entries in a CSV 🙂  Scan that CSV and where an SMTP address cell is missing (primary as noted in ‘PrimarySmtpAddrss’ or secondary as noted under ‘EmailAddresses’) you can note the DisplayName as a user who is not appearing in the GAL.

After you’re done with the list, you will need to add in the missing SMTP information on each of the users that you noted.  If you’re wondering WHERE to add it in, open the Exchange Management Console >>Recipient Configuration >> Mailbox >> Right-click user >> Properties >> Email Addresses Tab.  From there, you should only see one SMTP address…if you have two policies, you’ll need to add in another SMTP address that matches said policy.  As you can see displayed in the picture, some of my users had only my secondary policy applied.  So when I went to the Email Addresses Tab, some users appeared to only have I needed them to also have to match the default policy I carried over from 2003.  To do this, just click the “Add” button and create another SMTP address that matches the user  Make sure the checkbox at the bottom is checked so that any lists containing this user are updated.

When I first discovered the solution to this, I thought “Why do I need that default policy after I’ve powered down my Exchange 2003 server?”  Then it hit me!  Users probably still receive mail sent to their alias!  Some of the employees have been here for 30+ years and their alias is still a first initial and last name…who’s to say they don’t still give that out as their email address?  So I had to keep this policy in play whether I wanted to or not.

After you have found all the users that needed another SMTP server added to their Email Addresses area, you’ll need to go back and update the Offline Address Book again (shown above when I spoke about address lists).  The change should be instantaneous for all your OWA users but Outlook users may have to wait for a day before they appear depending on how you have Outlook 2007 setup.  If you’d like your Outlook users to immediately have the change, click on the “Send/Receive” arrow and choose “Download address Book”.  Select the appropriate address book and click “Ok”  Allow it to update and then check to make sure the users that did NOT appear before are actually appearing now.  Congratulations!  You’ve fixed the problem!

I hope that this post does a good job explaining WHY this occurs and how you can find those users and how you can get them to appear in the GAL and OAB again.

ActiveSync Device Report

Brian Desmond’s blog has an excellent tip on how to create an ActiveSync Device Report.  I’ve been looking for a way to do this and hacked together a long powershell command and then found his tip via my feedreader.  I’m going to include it here in case the permalink changes but credit goes to Brian Desmond for posting it.  Thanks Brian!

Exchange 2007

$devices = @()
$mailboxes = Get-CASMailbox -ResultSize:Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership -eq $true -and $_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild -ilike "8*"}

foreach ($m in $mailboxes)
 $devices += Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics -Mailbox $m.Identity

$devices | Export-Csv DeviceStats.csv

Exchange 2010

$devices = @()
$mailboxes = Get-CASMailbox -ResultSize:Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership -eq $true -and $_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild -ilike "14*"}

foreach ($m in $mailboxes)
 $devices += Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics -Mailbox $m.Identity

$devices | Export-Csv DeviceStats.csv

To use the above info, copy the code into a text file on one of your exchange servers and rename that file with the .ps1 extension.  Next, open up the Exhcange Management Shell and use the ‘cd’ command to change directories until you are in the directory where the .ps1 file is located.  Type ./Filename.ps1 and hit enter to run the script.  The outputted CSV file will be located in the same directory that the file was run from.

Microsoft Please, Smarter Not Harder

My grandfather always says to work “smarter and not harder” which is 1930’s speak for be more efficient.

Why couldn’t Microsoft have listened to him (and all the other grandpa’s of the world who say the same aphorism)?

I had a user come in the other day with a Windows Mobile HTC Touch Pro 2.  They wanted to hook up to EAS and have all the whiz bang features that my Palm Pre and all the whiz bang features that iPhones are able to have…synchronizing calendar, contacts, and email.  This user is by no means very technical.  They need a way to plug in their email address and server name and have it just work…much in the way that it does for the Palm Pre and iPhone.

The user dropped off the phone to me to handle this for them of course so I entered in all the information and went to connect it.  Promptly, I received the following message:

“your exchange server requires a personal certificate for authorization”

I anticipate this for some phones…on some phones you have to copy across a root certificate in order to have them connect to a SSL enabled CAS from the internet.  This would be my first phone that I’ve run across that didn’t automatically import the certificate.  Now, let me begin by saying this is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of before (not automatically importing the certificate) because if you’re connecting to the exchange server and authenticating…you should trust whatever certificate is setup by your administrator automatically.  Locally here on our PC’s in the enterprise, we’ve automatically trusted the certificate from servers we can authenticate with passwords to.

As an example, if Microsoft treated their Domain Controllers in an AD Forest the same way…we’d be getting pop-ups anytime I regenerated a certificate on a DC.  We don’t get those because if a computer is authenticated and the server changes, we don’t want our users getting popups they can’t explain or understand.  We used group policy to silently negotiate the certificate exchange in the background.  We did the same for OWA when it is accessed internally.

But a smart phone running Windows Mobile?  Heck NO!  You have to manually copy the certificate over and import it manually…you’re not given the opportunity to authenticate and import automatically.  Nothing takes place in the background…even if you are ON THE DOMAIN.  The behavior gives you no other alternative.

I thought this would be fine…but it’s not.  There isn’t a way for me to get access to the filesystem of the phone.  I plug it in via USB.  It can’t install it because it can’t find drivers.  I use the software included with the phone and it wants to synchronize locally with Outlook…but the user that is using this phone DOESN’T HAVE OUTLOOK nor do they have their own PC, so why would they want to install software just to be able to get files onto their phone?  Why would I?

In this instance, this phone is locked down…which is fine in a corporate environment.  But this is a personal phone and there is no corporate Windows Mobile plan we have here.  I need it to be as easy as an iPhone.  I need it to be as easy as my Palm Pre.  I need to type in the information and have it connect and start working immediately.  It doesn’t.  Microsoft needs to work smarter and not harder on this.

I wasted 2 hours yesterday trying to get a certificate copied over to the device and I still can’t do it.  I pretty much gave up in frustration and figured I’d file an issue and see what someone can tell me…there comes a point though where security and usability collide in an awesome display of stupidity…and I think this is the case here.

I’m sure everyone is saying “You’re a dummy then!  It’s easy, you just perform action X and they Y and it works!”  and to that I ask that you leave a comment on how you get it working…remember, I can’t copy files to this device…it won’t let me.  So tell me how to get it done without copying files to the device or how to hack the device so I can copy files to it and I’ll agree with you by saying “yes, I am a dummy”.  Documentation on this problem and solution are non-existent…google and live were not my friends on this topic.  So please tell me how wrong I am…I want to be proved wrong and fix this.

In the meantime, please Microsoft, work smarter and NOT harder.  Making things this difficult to do simple things is dumb.  My boss doesn’t care about all the technical details.  She just knows that she took her iPhone in and I had it up and running in about 10 minutes.  And now she knows that one of her directors asked for the same functionality in a Windows Mobile phone and 2 hours later I told him I couldn’t get it to work.  Here it is 2 days later and I still can’t get it to work.  Making it so competitors systems work better on your own product is comparable to shooting yourself in the foot with a canon.

Migration Tip – XML Logs

When migrating from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007, I had problems with disk space on one of our network drives.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until we had about 100MB left.  Then I realized that every single mailbox move was being logged!  Try running a script that moves hundreds over at a time and then think of the log files!

I ran across a blog post that details just this and what to do about it.  Hopefully you won’t end up like me finding out after the fact!

AllOutlookUsers Distribution List

One of the challenges at the hospital where I work is to duplicate the old mailing lists they’ve had around since Exchange came out.  Through each subsequent version the lists have been passed…and in some cases, they just won’t migrate or update and have to be recreated.

I found this specifically true for the “All Users” dynamic distribution list when migrating to Exchange 2007 from 2003.

Dynamic distribution lists just did not work when moved.  Period.  Luckily, there were only a handful of those in existence in our enterprise.  The most important of course is used daily to get announcements out to everyone.  When we migrated and things didn’t work, a major stick in the spokes of our hospital bike wheel was present.  Weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued.

There are two steps to get this resolved…one takes place on the Exchange front and the other takes place on the Client side of things.  It’s rather difficult on the client side of things because you’ll need to purge data from a cache file locally on each computer if it runs Outlook in cached mode.

First, we’ll go over how to recreate a dynamic distribution list to fit various needs and then we’ll go over what needs to happen client side to make sure the list works properly.

Server Side

On the server side of things, creation of dynamic distribution lists with variables for exclusion or inclusion are much easier using the Exchange Management Shell.  Using the console can be done in smaller environments where you might have mostly standard mailboxes, few contacts, and limited security groups, etc.  In my case however, we have over 50 contacts and around 100 system mailboxes that are not checked regularly for mail.  To limit these boxes from receiving mail, I used the Custom Attributes setting available to each mailbox when right clicking and selecting properties.  Rather than try and exclude by OU (which is possible…but since 2007 switches to OPATH from LDAP…it’s a bit more difficult to master the right query) I elected to exclude by this set attribute.  I’ve outlined the custom attribute button below on the right click properties of a mailbox in the Exchange Management Console.

After setting the customattribute1 to ‘exclude’ I can then create an exclusion rule for the Exchange Management Shell when creating a distribution list.  It could be anything recorded in the custom attribute…it doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘exclude’…it could be ‘hide’ or just an asterisk.  Determine what is best for you and use the shell command below to exclude those with the customattribute1 that you have set.

New-DynamicDistributionGroup -Name "AllOutlookUsers" -Recipientcontainer -RecipientFilter {((WindowsEmailAddress  -like '*') -and -not(CustomAttribute1 -eq "exclude") -and -not(Name -like 'SystemMailbox{*') -and -not(Name -like 'CAS{*') -and (RecipientType -eq "UserMailbox"))}
  • -Recipientcontainer: tells us that the is the AD container where all users are found.  If yours differs, enclose it in quotes, i.e., “” .  Make sure you change it to your domain and don’t leave it as
  • -RecipientFilter: is our criteria for filtering out information in AD.  In our instance above:
    • we match only email addresses
    • we exclude system mailboxes
    • we exclude our customattribute1 = exclude
    • we exclude CAS system mailboxes
    • we match only UserMailboxes so that we don’t mail contacts on this list

You could change things up a bit and perhaps add -and -not(department -eq ‘specialString’)) somewhere in which special string might be a department you want to exclude.  For more information, open the exchange shell up and type get-help New-DynamicDistributionGroup | more (the more command appended to the end allows you to read one page at a time…spacebar moves forward a page) for more criteria you can add to the command.

Now that you’ve added in the distribution group, you’ll need to publish it and make it available to the masses.  You can wait until Exchange does this automatically the next maintenance window or you can push it out the the OAB (Offline Addressbook) manually.  In the Exchange Management Console, go to Organization Configuration >> Mailbox >> Offline Address Book tab.  Right click the OAB and choose “update”

Client Side

Here comes the difficult part. There are 2 parts to making this play nicely with clients.

Part 1: The first part is that if you want people to immediately be able to use the new distribution group you just updated, you’ll need them to click on the small arrow beside send/receive:

From there choose “Download Address Book” and select the address book you want to download and click “OK”.  This should be enabled for you but if it is grayed out, it may be prevented by group policy and thus you’ll need to see your group policy manager to re-enable.  When the progress window disappears (if it doesn’t, just click close) that client now has the most recent version of the address book you updated and this should include the new dynamic distribution list you just created.  However, there still can be problems as you’ll see in Part 2.

Part 2: Inside of Outlook, when you create a new email, there is an autocomplete history that is saved.  Inside this .n2k file is cached addresses that you’ve sent to before that will fill in when you begin to type a few letters.  While this saves time and effort…it wreaks havoc with the list you just created.  Why?

In Exchange 2003, I had a dynamic distribution list named “AllOutlookUsers(New)” that everyone used.  When updating to 2007 it was broke.  Now that we’ve created a new dynamic distribution list named “AllOutlookUsers” guess what everyone will choose to mail to?  That’s right, they’ll be getting “AllOutlookUsers(New)” from their Outlook client autocomplete history cache…which will completely bomb if they try to email to it.

How does one fix this?  You can do one of two things.  You can visit each client machine and delete the entry OR you can attempt to use group policy to delete the entire cache the next time they login.  The second option you’ll find many people don’t like because ALL of their autocomplete stuff will be erased.  The first option requires that you visit each individual outlook client…and of course, that’s going to give Administrators a horrible time.

To delete an entry, open up a new email and begin typing “all” in the address To: field.  When the autocomplete selection pops below, use the arrow keys to highlight the old address…in my case “AllOutlookUsers(New)”…and then press the delete key.  You’re done!  That entry has been removed from the autocomplete cache for that individual user.

For those wanting to manage this via group policy, the file is named Outlook.NK2 by default and is located in the %APPDATAA\Microsoft\Outlook folder.  Scripting it wouldn’t be too difficult.  If you’re like me though you have your AllUsers distribution list controlled by a security group so that only a few people can email to it…which means I didn’t have to visit too many desktops to make sure they weren’t using the old address.

Hopefully, this helps a few of you out there to stomp out problems that might pop up when you go to create new dynamic distribution lists after migrating from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007.

Moving Mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007

During a migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 many find that having 4 maximum thread transactions happening simultaneously is a bottleneck. Using powershell, one can increase the maximum number above 4 and save time and effort in the process.

During a migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 many find that having 4 maximum thread transactions (default in using the Exchange Management Console) happening simultaneously is a bottleneck.  Using powershell, one can increase the maximum number above 4 and save time and effort in the process.

Some things to keep in mind during the migration:

  1. Tons of transaction logs will be generated and won’t be wiped until a backup happens…make sure you have space on your transaction log disks.
  2. Make sure your Mailbox Server has plenty of physical resources available to use during the move…RAM is a specific concern.  Always overshoot your estimates on how much RAM you need.
  3. Error reporting in the shell isn’t as intuitive as you’ll get using the EMC (Exchange Management Console)

My specific environment was moving from a single backend 2003 server to a single 2007 mailbox server.  The cmdlet that is posted can be used to move a mailbox database/storagegroup from one physical server to a another database/storagegroup on a different physical server.  I’ll go through what each section of the cmdlet means.

Get-Mailbox –Database “2003ServerName\StorageGroupName\DatabaseName” | Move-Mailbox –TargetDatabase “2007ServerName\StorageGroup\Database” –MaxThreads 10

The command above should be executed in powershell on your 2007 Mailbox Database Server.  The Get-Mailbox -Database command will tell Exchange where the mailboxes you are moving are coming from.   You then Move-Mailbox to a target database on the 2007 Mailbox Server.  The last portion of the command tells the command to increase the max threads of the command from 4 to 10.  Please make sure that you substitute in the server names, storage group names, and database names appropriately.

Remember that this will only move one database at a time…if you are like me, you like to take small steps in the process and verify that things look good after each small step.  Hopefully, this helps your migration take a little less time.

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