Tip of The Day: System Attendant Mailbox and Exchange 2013


I thought that system attendant is part of the past till today when I had a call with one customer.

He was trying to move a mailbox between two exchange 2013 servers and the move request fails immediately with error

"Cannot open mailbox /o=Test Lab/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=MY2013Server/cn=Microsoft System Attendant"

If you look at any exchange 2013 mailbox server you won’t find the famous “Microsoft Exchange System Attendant” service.

In the past this service used to handle many tasks, for example, it used to handle the offline address book generation and the mailbox move.

The new architecture for exchange 2013 depends  in a new arbitration mailbox “Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136” for mailbox move.

Knowing the architecture changes I decided to consider this error misleading and investigate the migration mailbox issue.

I found that the Migration mailbox is hosted in an offline database which is no more available due to a server crash

The solution was to recreate the mailbox again, so I first started to delete the AD object and run Setup.exe/PrepareAD to recreate the AD object again.

I’ve to run two more commands to mailbox enable the new AD object and to set the parameter management equal $true

Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration -Identity "Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136"


Set-Mailbox "Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136" -Arbitration Management:$true


Move started to work and we are all happy Smile

Comments (7)
  1. M. Tanios says:

    Excellent Article

  2. Hein says:

    Good morning,

    When i run the first command i get this:

    This task does not support recipients of this type. The specified recipient everest.nl/Users/Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43

    e4-96b1-aba62d229136 is of type UserMailbox. Please make sure that this recipient matches the required recipient type f

    or this task.

    And that is after we did the setup /preparead command ofcourse.

    We accidentally deleted the mailbox database on our passive server. The database which gets created during the install of exchange.

    Any hints?

  3. A.Ashour says:


    might be AD replication, try to steps again but against a certain DC with -domaincontroller

  4. Chandan says:

    I created mailbox as suggested,but it did not solve the problem.



  5. re says:

    There is an error that comes from the shell, that tells, that there is no valid mailbox store found, when i set up the new migration object.

    What you have to do is simply specify the mailbox database like this:

    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration -Identity "Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136" -database "Mailbox Database 2002191920"

    Set-Mailbox "Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136" -Arbitration –Management:$true -database "Mailbox Database 2002191920"

  6. Jeff Lew says:

    This worked where the previous articles on this did not. They were missing the Set-Mailbox “Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136” -Arbitration –Management:$true part

  7. Amr Moselhy says:

    Very useful , thanks brother

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