Monday, August 16, 2010

Error occurred in the step. Approving object (Exchange 2010 RTM)

I recently came across a scenario where I needed to bulk import PST's into various user's mailboxes. Since the client wasn't running Exchange 2010 SP1 I had to run through the typical hoops of installing Outlook 2010 on one of the servers.

I was able to import PST's into most of the user's mailboxes except a few. The error was:

"An error occurred in the step. Approving object".

This error coincided with the "Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication" service crashing over and over again. I tried one of the two paths below to resolve it however in some cases the error came back.

First, I found out that if the active copy of the database wasn't on the server that had Outlook 2010 installed it didn't work. Quickly moving the active copy to the server hosting Outlook resolved the issue.

Secondly I ran the command "FIXMAPI" which resolved it in one case too.

Sadly this didn't resolve the issue for many of my customer's PST files. A call to Microsoft revealed a private hotfix which was installed on one of the Exchange 2010 RTM servers. The mailbox import command was issued again but this time with the "-MRSServer" switch which pointed at the server which had the hotfix installed. This prevented the MRS service from crashing on the import but resulted in a failure to import the data.

Even with SP1 on the Exchange 2010 servers we've encountered many issues with PST files. Here are some examples of the methods used:

  1. Tried native "Import-Mailbox" cmdlet.
  2. Ran a "SCANPST.EXE" to repair any corruption and try step 1 again.
  3. Use the "Import-Mailbox" cmdlet and use the "-MRSServer" switch to point it at a CAS server with the mailbox server role which is also hosting an active copy of the mailbox and try again.
  4. Run the "FIXMAPI" command at the command prompt on the CAS/MB server hosting the active copy of the mailbox and try again.
  5. If all the above fails, try to open the PST in Outlook 2003 or 2010 and grant yourself full access to the mailbox. Importing the PST file into the mailbox this way can often result in success.
  6. We used Lucid8's "DigiScope" product if step 5 didn't work.
  7. If all else failed we gave up on the effort and informed the user their data wasn't importable.


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