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I need to re-create a previously-deleted user in Active Directory (Windows Server 2003) and Exchange Server 2007. I have a few questions:

  1. Is there a way to "un-delete" a user in either AD or Exchange?
  2. Is there a way to find out which email addresses had been assigned to her in the past?
  3. Is there anything else of which I should be aware or cautious if I have to manually create the old user? I've heard some folks say that Active Directory acts weird if a user is a new user is created with the exact credentials of a previously deleted user.

Thanks, in advance, for all your help! I greatly appreciate it. - Charles

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Exchange 2003 has the ability to preserve deleted mailboxes for a certain period. It varies by system, and may not be enabled on yours. I no longer have the 2003 tools in front of me so this is somewhat from memory, but you can get a list of the deleted mailboxes by going to the Mailbox database object in System Manager and enumerating the mailboxes. The deleted ones have a red arrow on them. If I'm remembering right, you can right-click on these mailboxes and connect them to any AD user that doesn't already have an attached mailbox. This will allow you to look at the mailbox and figure out what email addresses were being used. It will also allow you to reconnect this mailbox to a new AD user object with the same account data as the deleted AD user object.

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Microsoft has a program called AdRestore. "This simple command-line utility enumerates the deleted objects in a domain and gives you the option of restoring each one."

I am not sure about Exchange.

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If you do it quick enough (before the tombstone date or something or other) then this technique should work.

Re-creating the user wont work because they will have a different SID. Although you can probably hack AD some more & re-create the user & then change the SID to the one that was deleted (never done this, but sounds possible!)

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I would seriously recommend NOT trying to hack AD - even if by some fluke you manage to get it to work, there's no doubt you will put yourself in a configuration not supported by Microsoft. – Ben Pilbrow Jul 6 '10 at 17:06

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