Errors in Moving Exchange Archive Mailboxes to Office 365

Posted on Posted in 2010, 2013, archive, cloud, exchange, exchange online, Office 365, Outlook

I was trying to move an Archive mailbox to the Office 365 service from my demo environment the other day when I came across an error I thought I would note down here for completion. I could not find the error elsewhere on the internet

An archive mailbox must be enabled before it can be moved

Now this sounds a stupid sort of error, because if I am moving an archive mailbox then it must already be enabled or the move mailbox wizard will not let me move it. But the mailbox does have an archive on the Exchange organization on-premises, but when the move has completed it has errors reported.

The reason for the error is all down, in my case, to two things.

  1. Its a demo environment and I am doing things too quickly
  2. DirSync is not working at the moment.

In my scenario the DirSync services on my server had stopped a few weeks ago and I had not started them – ensure that DirSync is running. And secondly, as it was a demo I was doing I was creating an archive mailbox and then moving it to the cloud shortly afterwards. Even if DirSync was running, the chances are that it would not have had a chance to sync the existence of the archive mailbox associated with the user account to Office 365’s directory. Archive mailboxes can only be moved from on-premises to the cloud if the cloud service knows about the mailbox archive to move.

To fix my issue I restarted DirSync services and forced a full sync with the cmdlet Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync –FullSync. See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj151771.aspx#BKMK_SynchronizeDirectories on the steps to force a directory sync for running this cmdlet.

Once the sync was completed and Office 365 directory is aware that my user has an on-premises archive I was able to move the archive to Office 365 and keep the mailbox on-premises.

Of course, if I want to create an archive in the cloud with a mailbox on premises for real (not a demo) then I would just create the archive straight in the cloud. My scenario and the three hour DirSync delay (or forcing DirSync) was only needed as I had created an archive and then moved it.

2 thoughts on “Errors in Moving Exchange Archive Mailboxes to Office 365

  1. Great information Brian, thank you for sharing. What is the command syntax for the new remote move request that you used to move your on premise archive to the cloud?

  2. I found that the archive did not have any messages so that was why the error “must be enabled” I just removed the archive when I found it did not have any items and completed the migration.

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