Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Posts Tagged ‘Active Directory’

Who’s got that e-mail address?!

Posted by graycat on 9 September 2008

Don’t you just hate it when you go to add a custom e-mail address to either an account or public folder only to find out that it’s already in use and not in your documentation?! You go to add this new custom requested address (usually requested by a marketing department for some reason or other that must make sense during a long liquid lunch) but are confronted with a lovely pop-up error message like this:

This email address aready exists in this organization.

ID no: XXXXXXX Exchange System Manager

Indeed that’s not the most useful of error messages I’ve ever run across …. can you actually run over error messages? Interesting thought but I digress!

Being the concentious admin cat that you are, you’ll not let the rest there but will want to know how to find where it is in use. Doing this manually in your average SME will mean checking hundreds off user accounts and god forbid you are using mail enable public folders! You could be there until the end of time and still not find the darn thing.

Well here’s how to track down who’d in possession of that address in a nice and easy step by step guide:

  • Open the Active Directory Users and Computers Management Console
  • Right Click on the domain > Select Find
  • Select Custom Search in the Find field
  • Select the Advanced tab
  • To find the entity with the email address whatever@yourdomain.com for example, enter the following in the LDAP query field:
  • (proxyAddresses=smtp:whatever@yourdomain.com)
  • This will list the entity containing the email address entered.

If you’re lucky and it is assigned to a user account then this will display clearly in the bottom box of the search and  you’ll be able to open its properties from there. If you can’t find where is hidden in your millions of user accounts, try using a dsquery to produce the info you need as to OU location.

Mail enabled public folders make things a little bit more interesting as is their usual method. Unfortunately the folder will be displayed in the bottom windows as per previously, however if you double click on it you will not get much useful information as to it’s location. There should be enough info for you to apply some logic and knowledge of your own systems to find it but if you have thousands of public folders you may well be in for a long search.

As a bonus, I thought I’d mention that wild cards can be used within the email address (*) to return multiple matches. So if you want to view all the email addresses within the results list, select View > Choose Columns… and select Proxy Address – doing this in association with the query (proxyAddresses=smtp:*@yourdomain.com) will give you a list of all entities within the organisation that have an email address, together with all the email addresses they have.

Posted in IT | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »