Removing GroupWise undeliverables, duplicate aliases, nicknames,ambiguous users, and the like

Technical information

Products affected

Novell GroupWise 5.1, 5.2, 5.5. Possibly GroupWise 6.0 too.


  • incoming mail returns: user is ambiguous,
  • incoming mail returns: user is undeliverable and trying to add a GW account for the undeliverable user results in a Duplicate Entry message,
  • trying to add a previously existing alias to an existing account results in a Duplicate Entry message.

These usually happen :

  • after a PostOffice move, 
  • after an upgrade from 5.1.X to 5.2.x or 5.5.x,
  • when deleting mailboxes/user accounts with nicknames and aliases to them.


The GroupWise databases still include phantoms : remnants of past users,  aliases, nicknames


1. How to locate the ghost records

  • make sure your NWAdmn32 includes the Groupwise view snapins
  • set up GroupWise Diagnostics, as per TID 10007897
  • run NWAdmn32 (this is supposed to work with Nwadmn95 and nwadmnnt too)
  • select
    Tools / Groupwise Diagnostics /
        General Edit
  • examine all sections for records related to phantom data, and note down those you are interested in. 
  • Pay special attention to:
    • nicknames in DS_RECORD_OBJECT (first)
    • records in DS_RECORD_GATEWAY_ALIAS: this is usually where you will find entries for aliases that once were and are no more (SMTP aliases on a system with GWIA, for instance)
    • DS_RECORD_ADMINISTRATOR: if you migrated from 5.1.x with SMTP Gateway to 5.2.x or 5.5.x with the Internet Agent, you will probably find extinct administrator records for the SMTP administrators. You needn't worry about them, though.

You should now have a list of nicknames and aliases belonging to deleted post offices and/or gateways.

2. How to lay them to rest

Create anew any post offices and gateways for which phantoms exist. Let's say you found :

nickname "JohnDoe" for user "JDM" in PO "oldPO"
alias "JaneDoe" for user "JDF" in gateway "SMTP"
  1. Recreate PO "oldPO". We will create users in this PO to avoid name clashes with the existing PO users
  2. Nicknames
    1. Recreate user "JDM" in "oldPO"
    2. Examine his details: you should find the "JohnDoe" nickname
    3. Remove the "JohnDoe" nickname
    4. Remove the "JDM" user account
  3. Aliases
    1. Re-create a GWIA gateway, but this time with name SMTP, and in an alternate subdirectory to avoid path clashes with the existing GWIA directory
    2. Recreate user JDF in "oldPO".
    3. Examine her details: you should find the "JaneDoe" alias for SMTP
    4. Remove the "JDF" alias
    5. Remove the "JaneDoe" user account
  4. PO/GWIA
    1. Remove the alternate GWIA named SMTP
    2. Remove the "oldPO" Post Office
    3. After a reasonable synchronisation delay, all should now be cleaned.
Document ID:    200013011211
Creation Date:    30/01/2000
Modified Date:    27/06/2001
Product Class:    Groupware / Directory
Manufacturer / Publisher    Novell
Product and Version    GroupWise 5.1, 5.2, 5.5
NetWare 4.11, 4.12, 4.2
NetWare 5, 5.1


The Origin of this information may be internal or external to OSI and applies to third-party products. OSI makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information. However, the information provided in this document is for your information only. OSI makes no explicit or implied claims to the validity of this information.

Any trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. Consult your product manuals for complete trademark information. 

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