Configure alternate recipient in Exchange 2003 for a terminated employee (disabled account).

Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Outlook
I've noticed in Exchange 2003 SP1 when a mailbox-enabled user account is disabled, an NDR that says "you do not have permission to send to this recipient" is generated when sending to this disabled account. On the Delivery Options section of the disabled account, I selected another user in our organization to receive any incoming mail directed to this terminated employee. However, even with the alternate recipient configured, I still get the NDR described above when sending to this disabled account. Any idea if it is possible to leave the terminated employee's account disabled, and still have an alternate recipient configured to receive any incoming mail? Thanks, AaronL

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Exchange 2000 behaves in the same way.

We use two methods to deal with this situation:

#1. Delete the users mailbox, and assign the users old smtp address as an additional SMTP address to the alternative recipient. Or..

#2. Delete the users mailbox. Create a ‘hidden’ distribution group that uses the SMTP address of the deleted user. Make the alternative recipient a member of this new hidden group.

Method #2 is my preferred, as when the email arrives in the alternative users mailbox the “To” field is set to the display name of the hidden group. Thus… the end recipient is able to observe that they are not the original intended recipient. If required the alternative recipient may also create Inbox Rules based on the ?To? field to file the received email as appropriate.

This is from a Ex2K perspective. I have not used Ex2K3, which will have features that I’m not yet aware of.


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  • AaronL
    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, those two methods won't work in our organization. We are not allowed to delete mailboxes of terminated employees because of record keeping policies. Any other ideas out there? Thanks again.
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  • PaulieEddie
    Off the top of my head... couldn't you use EXmerge and export the user's mailbox to a PST, back it up to tape (permenantly saved) or to a separate storage server, then assign an alternate email account to the an existing account that you can track any new email. I think this is a lot like tjhe other options. If you have the mailbox of a terminated user saved in another location, why would there be a need to keep it live in Exchange. You could always load the PST file in any Outlook installation and review, print, etc the email.
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