I have a number of public folders on our Exchange 2003 server.
The server is the only Exchange server in the organisation, it's Exchange 2003 standard SP2.
I have configured four of the public folders with an age limit of 14 days, two of the folders enforce the age limit, whereas the other two folders have items that are over a year old.
I have maintenance scheduled to run for 4 hours every day, at a time when the server is pretty much idle.
The event log shows that the process runs, but there is no evidence of any problems.
I don't have a default age limit on the public folder store, and I've configured the age limit via storage Group > Public Folder Store > Public Folder Instances.
I've searched for configuration differences between the folders that work, and those that don't and haven't managed to find anything.
Edit: Further info
When you click on 'public folder instances' in ESM, the right hand pane shows the correct 'Removed older than' date for all the folders (i.e. 14 days before today's date), but the messages in the public folders don't get purged.
Some logs from the server:
Event Type: Information Event Source: MSExchangeIS Public Store Event Category: General Event ID: 1206 Date: 23/07/2009 Time: 02:15:00 User: N/A Computer: STUMBLE Description: Starting cleanup of items past retention date for Item Recovery on database "First Storage Group\Acme Co Public Folders".
Event Type: Information Event Source: MSExchangeIS Public Store Event Category: General Event ID: 1207 Date: 23/07/2009 Time: 02:15:00 User: N/A Computer: STUMBLE Description: Cleanup of items past retention date for Item Recovery is complete for database "First Storage Group\Acme Co Public Folders". Start: 3 items; 14 Kbytes End: 1 items; 2 Kbytes