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Tip for Unsuccessful User Moves

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Peter Cajka

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Posted: 7 Jul 2005

unsuccessful move troubleshooting

It is one of the bad experiences each GroupWise administrator has faced in his daily tasks. A move process simply gets stuck anywhere in the middle and the moved mailbox is usually one of the VIPs - so it is necessary to have an urgent and efficient resolution. We are going to describe in this article one trick that could be helpful.

description of a typical situation

A move process starts with an admin message that is sent to the domains / post offices based upon where there is a source and target PO location. During this initial handshake all involved parties negotiate that User A shall be moved from PO1 to PO2. If all goes well in this part, PO1 no longer shows User A as its member but he is shown in the new location, PO2. User A still has his user database in PO1 which holds all email and settings, but the post office database of PO1, wphost.db, is no longer aware of User A. In the target post office, PO2, the new user database for User A is created and User A is registered in a guardian database, ngwguard.db, as well as in wphost.db. However, the new user database does not hold any the old email of User A. All new email that is addressed to user A now goes directly to the new mailbox in PO1. In a bad case scenario you can have new email for user A in PO2 plus several messages from his old mailbox from PO1, and then the move process stops and no additional email is transferred to PO2.

how to resolve it?

Now we are going to trick the GroupWise system. What you need to do is to create a restore area. On a server that has enough disk space, create a directory — keep the 8-character-long name directory — and copy from the source post office PO1, the following directories:

  • offiles
  • ofmsg
  • from ofuser directory from PO1 only the user A user database in ofuser
  • files from a root of the PO1 directory structure

Now comes the trick. Since the wphost.db of PO1 does not recognize User A, you will not be able to login into User A's old mailbox. Even if the User A database is still in the ofuser directory and also registered in the guardian database of PO1. In order to overcome this situation, copy from the target post office, PO2, its wphost.db in the restore area location, login to the User A mailbox — wphost.db of PO2 allows you to do it — and the original PO1 guardian is again aware of the user A user database, thus retrieving older email is now possible.

Once you have a mixed directory, from ConsoleOne create a new restore area. Simply go in Tools | GroupWise System Operations | Restore Area Management. Create a new area that will serve for this purpose only. Specify a UNC path to a location of your "mixed" directory. Under the Membership tab add the User A only. When finished, the user can retrieve email from his old mailbox using the GroupWise client option File | Open Backup, which brings User A into his old mailbox from the restore area. Now you can highlight all of the email messages, right-click on them and go for the Restore option. This moves selected mails from the restore area mailbox into the live one. You can also move older email for User A from ConsoleOne. Highlight User A from ConsoleOne and from Tools | GroupWise Utilities go to Backup / Restore Mailbox. This option instructs the PO2 to go in the restore area and compare User A's live mailbox with the contents of the mailbox in the restore area and move missing email into the live mailbox.

Using the second, automated option might not always work since probably one or more corrupted email messages in the old mailbox caused the move process to get stuck and can hold it again. In this case, using the GroupWise client and File | Open Backup could bring you further along with moving at least the rest of missing email whilst skipping bad ones.

You have not finished yet, although you have moved what User A was missing, we need to explain to the GroupWise system that the move needs to be finished. From ConsoleOne go into Tools | GroupWise Utilities | User Move Status and you'll find User A still listed. Highlight the listed user and click on the Force Complete button. This option sends to PO1 and PO2 a new admin message similar to a purge notification. You will not see exactly the same lines in the POA log files like when the move process ends up successfully, but it instructs PO2 not to request old items from PO1 and then for PO1 to delete User A's old user database (including, unregistering it from guardian). We would also recommend after this step going for the next option "Clear Status" to remove pending flags from the GroupWise system.


You need to take into account this method is a trick and not a regular procedure. Do not assign rights to the "tailored" restore area to other than affected user mailboxes. We have not covered here an entire plethora of possible stuck move scenarios, but it could give you a hint in bad move troubleshooting times.

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