Exchange 2013 Content Index failure causes stalled Mailbox Migration

Been trying to migrate some mailboxes to from 2010 to 2013 for testing, and some small/empty ones move fine, but larger mailboxes fail to move, showing long “Stalled duration” in the Migration Batch details.

Queued duration: 00:00:08 
In-progress duration: 00:11:51 
Synced duration: 
Stalled duration: 03:16:33

The issue is caused by a Content Indexing failure on the target database, caused by what is apparently a missing element of the AD Prep portion of setup.

The problem is documented at

I’m running CU1 (released April 2013) and the KB article was posted in January. so it’s not clear why this still wasn’t addressed.

Of the 2 fixes listed in the KB, I chose Method 1 because it felt like a more reliable, permanent fix.  I didn’t want to run into this again when adding a new mailbox server.

The KB directs you to add a ContentSubmitters group to AD, set permissions on it, and restart Exchange search services.  It took a few more steps in my case to actually solve the issue.  I also had to stop the services, remove the current content index and start services again.

The steps all together were:

  1. Add a ContentSubmitters group to AD.
    I did this manually, creating it as a Security enabled Universal group.
  2. Assign Network Service and Administrators groups the “Full Access” permission (I think they mean “Full Control” permission).
    Ended up using the PowerShell commands
    Add-ADPermission -Id ContentSubmitters -User “Network Service” -Access Rights GenericAll
    Add-ADPermission -Id ContentSubmitters -User “Administrators” -Access Rights GenericAll
  3. Stop the Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller services
  4. Delete the Content Index data for the affected database(s)
    This is the folder with a GUID name inside the folder where the mailbox database lives.
  5. Start the  Microsoft Exchange Search and Microsoft Exchange Search Host Controller services.

After a few minutes, the status of the content index went from FailedAndSuspended to Crawling, at which point the mailbox move resumed.


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2 responses to “Exchange 2013 Content Index failure causes stalled Mailbox Migration”

  1. Stan Burton says :

    THANK YOU! Fixing my Failed and Suspended index state now.

  2. Glen Moore says :

    This post has save my life. I can now migrate mailboxes without stalling.

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