At Exchange Support one of the most common support issue that we see is Exchange 2007 uninstall failing due to presence of Public folder replicas. When you try to Remove Exchange 2007 using the "Add/Remove Programs" from control Panel you would get an error:
The public folder database Database_Name cannot be deleted.
The public folder database specified contains folder replicas. Before deleting the public folder database, remove the folders or move the replicas to another public folder database.
You get this error because you cannot delete a public folder database that contains data. To remove data from a public folder database, delete any unnecessary public folders, and then move the remaining folder replicas in that database to a public folder database on another server. If this is the last public folder database in your Exchange organization then you should remove all public folder instances before you can remove the public folder database.
So how do we remove public folder replicas from the database? We have documented steps and the links to those are below:
How to Remove a Public Folder Database
How to Remove the Last Public Folder Database in the Organization
KB 927464 How to remove Exchange 2007 from a computer
We still receive several support calls in execution of these steps. This 2 part blog series provides you detailed steps on how to remove public folder replicas. In this blog we will consider a coexistence environment with Exchange 2003. The step by step instructions are provided to remove public folder replicas using graphical user interface (GUI) as well as using Exchange Management Shell. This scenario is also applicable in coexistence environment where you have an additional public folder database on Exchange 2007 server to move your replicas. In pure Exchange 2007 environments with multiple public folder databases you will have to use Exchange Management Shell to perform all the tasks. These steps are also discussed in detail. In the next blog we will discuss how to remove the last public folder database from the organization.
To perform the tasks, the account you use must be delegated Exchange Organization Administrator role.
To remove a public folder database we have 3 main steps: