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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 

--

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If you need more info, please ask and I'll do my best to provide it. –  Bryan Aug 24 '09 at 18:32
    
One common factor that I've just realised about the problem folders is that they all pre-date the current exchange server. - i.e. all the folders that purge correctly were created after the current server was commissioned. All the problem folders were created when the now retired server (still Exchange 2003) was running. I can also see a public folder in ESM that references the old server name (tango), the folder name is EventConfig_TANGO –  Bryan Aug 25 '09 at 22:39
    
I can also see duplicates of the public folders 'internal' and 'global events', I can link each instance with the current server and previous server by the created date of these folders. I also have duplicates of 'OWAScratchPad{GUID}' and 'StoreEvents{GUID}', however the GUIDs are different for both instances but common across the pairs. Was there a problem with the server migration perhaps? Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and delete and recreate the problem folders - although I'm keen to fix/understand what is happening here if possible. –  Bryan Aug 25 '09 at 22:44

2 Answers 2

The logs you posted show that items "past retention date for Item Recovery" were purged; that's related to the "Keep deleted items" settings, not to actual item age; so I'm afraid those logs just aren't related to the issue you're experiencing.

About the actual issue: have you checked the items that are supposed to be deleted but are not? Do they actually exist, i.e. do you actually have older-than-14-days items there? Are you sure nobody touched them in the meanwhile? Last modification time is what's used to compute age, not item creation time.

And BTW, what type of public folders are those?

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The problem folders contain log files from various system we have. There any many thousand messages that date back over 20 months, despite retention being set to 14 days. It is possible that someone has touched the odd item, but not all of them, unless having items available offline constitutes 'touching' them, however I do this on all the folders. (and I've tried disabling offline mode to ensure it isn't caching). The public folders all contain mail items, some are mail enabled, some aren't. No pattern emerges. I've checked permissions and ownership of the folders, everything looks fine. –  Bryan Aug 25 '09 at 22:05
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well, in the end, I fixed the problem by deleting the folders and re-creating some new ones in their place.

I'd rather have got to the bottom of it, but in the end, this was the simplest option. Had I have had tens or hundreds of folders however, it might have been a different story.

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