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After Moving Mailbox, Type is Set to "Linked"

During a recent mass migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010, I had a large number of mailboxes that appeared on the new server as the type "Linked".

Now while you can change the mailbox type between normal, shared and resource, it isn't supported to change it from Linked. The only fix is to disconnect the mailbox from the user and reconnect it. This of course has other consequences if not done with care, including breaking internal email replies to old messages that user sent.

I therefore went looking for the actual cause.

The most common cause is another account having the permission "Associated External Account". That is an Exchange 2003 permission, which I cannot find the equivalent of in Exchange 2007/2010. Therefore the only way I found to remove that permission was to move the mailbox back to the Exchange 2003 server. This allowed me to look at the mailbox permissions through ADUC and remove the permission. It should only be on the "Self". In this client's case I found it was allocated to a SID, so a broken account.

If you attempt to modify the permission while the mailbox is on Exchange 2007/2010 you will be unable to and will simply get an error message instead. 

After removing the permission, you can move the mailbox back and it shouldn't be linked.

Very occasionally you will get a mailbox where this does not work, when the drop and reconnect method needs to be used, or you might have a large number of mailboxes that are linked where moving them back is impractical. For those occasions, a script may well be more appropriate.

Fellow Exchange MVP Tony Murray has a PowerShell script to automate this, and it is available from this location:

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