Show and move “hidden” Arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server 2010

So, let’s say you have a new installation of Exchange Server and you want to move all mailboxes, including Arbitration, from the default database created during the installation to a new mailbox database. Here is how to do it…
 
First of all, if you just try to delete the default database you will get this message:
 
DatabaseRemoveError
 
Stating that the database isn’t empty, even though it does look empty if you do a get-mailbox for the specific database:
get-mailbox -Database “Mailbox Database 1905367170″
 
DatabaseRemoveError2
 
There is a switch that you should use if you want to see all mailboxes, even the “hidden” Arbitration mailboxes:
get-mailbox -Database “Mailbox Database 1905367170″ –Arbitration
 
This gives us different result then the first get-mailbox command:
 
DatabaseRemoveError3
 
As you can se the database isn’t as empty as we first thought. To move these mailboxes to the new database you can easily pipe the result of the get-mailbox command and create new move requests for all Arbitration mailboxes:
get-mailbox -Database “Mailbox Database 1905367170″ -Arbitration | New-MoveRequest –TargetDatabase “MailboxDatabase1″
 
DatabaseRemoveError4
 
So, good luck with the moves and please let me know if you bump in to any problems, thanks for reading!
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31 Responses to Show and move “hidden” Arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server 2010

  1. Jake says:

    Thank you 100 times over!

  2. Horace says:

    I could not get this to work, then I found the following from the Microsoft forums. Pointing the command to a domain controller in the hollow root domain saved the day.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sv-SE/exchange2010/thread/1ab0cb94-7f38-4d3c-bc1d-f27ab4f80129

  3. Rene says:

    Thank you, very much!!!

  4. Vlad says:

    Thanks a million for this, it really saved my bacon!

  5. leon says:

    works like a charm! thnx!!!

    regards,

    leon

    • Martin Sundström says:

      Great that it was usefull for you, thanks for commenting and reading!

  6. Steve says:

    Lifesaver!

  7. Thanks much for this! Solved my problem right away!

  8. Mike says:

    Thanks for the help with this.. Will this work if all the Exchnage services are stopped on the server i am trying to remove? If not, what services need to be running?

    • Martin Sundström says:

      Hi Mike,

      No it will not work if the services are stopped. You will at least have to start IIS and Information Store. Thanks for reading and I hope that I answered your question!

  9. Ibo says:

    Is it possible to move arbitration mailboxes to a mailbox that is part of a DAG replication?

  10. William says:

    You are the best!!! Thank you

  11. Leo says:

    Thanks….works fine.

  12. Lee says:

    How do you change the arbitration mailboxes to a another Exchange DB if the db listed in AD is no longer available?

  13. John T says:

    YOU ROCK!! thank you. I was trying to move one at a time…

  14. Pingback: Removing Mailbox Database – Error this mailbox database contains one of more mailboxes – Arbitration mailbox | Oxford SBS Guy

  15. Pingback: Removing Mailbox Database – Error this mailbox database contains one or more mailboxes – Arbitration mailbox | Oxford SBS Guy

  16. Thanks… this really saved some nails off my fingers.. :D

  17. Slavisa says:

    I get error “There are no available servers that are running the mailbox replication service…”
    Since this is one server with multiple roles, I have checked all services that are supposed to be working and they are started.
    Any help?

  18. Bikram says:

    HI, My mailbox database is corrupt and wount mount…therefore cant move the arbitration mailboxes to new DB, it gives DB is not mounted.. as the DB is corrupt its not mounting…

    How to move or recreate the Arbitration mailboxes to new DB, I have already moved all my mailboxes.. but can remove the old datastore.. any pointers…
    thanks for the help…

  19. Brad says:

    Brilliant thank you for this! :)

  20. Craig says:

    This was great. Thank you!

  21. edmckinzie says:

    Make sure there are no Public Folder or Monitoring mailboxes as well.
    get-mailbox -Database “Mailbox Database 1905367170″ -Arbitration -PublicFolder -Monitoring | New-MoveRequest –TargetDatabase “MailboxDatabase1″

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