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Mailbox Permissions in Exchange 5.5

Posted on 2001-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a small Exchange 5.5 environment - single site, single server.  I'm trying to give User_A the ability to open User_B's mailbox from Outlook (98 and 2000). Using Exchange Administrator, I've added User_A to the Permissions for User_B's mailbox with a "User" role.  I've also configured the Exchange service in User_A's mail profile to open an additional mailbox (i.e. User_B).

When User_A starts Outlook, either 98 or 2000, the mailbox for User_B is listed in the folder view but when clicking on it or trying to expand it, Outlook says "Unable to display folder".

The real puzzling part is that if I wait long enough - I haven't timed it yet but it is at least 1/2 hr - User_A will eventually be able to open the additional mailbox.  Same thing in reverse - Once User_A has access to User_B's mailbox, removing User_A from the permissions list will take a while to go into effect.  

I've tried restarting Outlook, restarting the workstation etc.  The network this is running on is sound and Exchange appears to be operating normal in all other respects.

Environment:
NT Domain
NT 4 SP6a
Exchange 5.5 SP4
Outlook 98 / 2000

Thanks for you help,
Dave
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Question by:davebrock
18 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6458237
It's name resolution.

You either need a DNS entry for your Exchange server or an entry for your Exchange server in each client's HOSTS file.

Or you can change the binding order on the clients.
Many client systems have multiple protocols installed, and Exchange will attempt to communicate over each available protocol in sequence until a connection is established. By altering the default order in which RPC tries these protocols to match the protocols as they're used on your network, you can significantly increase an Exchange client's access speed. Although this doesn't technically increase the performance of your Exchange Server, it can increase the system performance from the user's perspective.

To make these changes, you have to dive into the Windows Registry (or the Exchange.ini file if you're using Win-dows 3.x-based clients), but this change isn't too difficult. Back up your system files and stick to the changes I'll describe, and you'll do just fine.

First, open the Registry Editor and find the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider. Next, open the Rpc_Bind-ing_Order value. In the value's data, each protocol listed is separated by a comma. You can rearrange or delete protocols, as necessary. The default protocol connection order for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT-based clients and the protocol synonym used in the Registry is:

1. Local RPC (ncalrpc)
2. TCP/IP (ncacn_ip_tcp)
3. IPX/SPX (ncacn_spx)
4. Named Pipes (ncacn_np)
5. NetBIOS (netbios)
6. Banyan Vines IP (ncacn_vns_spp)

In Windows 3.x, you must modify the Rpc_Binding_Order entry in the Exchange.ini file on the client, because Windows 3.x doesn't use a Registry. The format and protocol synonyms used are the same as in Windows 95/98 and NT. Windows 3.x-based clients use this default connection order:

1. Named Pipes
2. IPX/SPX
3. TCP/IP
4. NetBIOS
5. Banyan Vines IP

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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6458562
I do have a DNS entry for the server.  It doesn't appear to be a communication problem as response from the server in all other respects is OK.  I ran an RPING test to be sure.  Communication between client and server is OK.
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6458603
To test DNS resoluction go to command prompt and...

ping yourserver.yourdomain.com

This test bypasses WINS resolution and verifies that DNS is functioning for you.

"responding in all other respects" might be that the server is responding fine when the name is resolved through WINS.

Outlook is one of the very few applications that uses DNS before WINS in its name resolution. When you are using any other tool to get some kind of response from the server you are almost always resolving the name with WINS--therefore Outlook is the first place that "broken" DNS resolution shows up.
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Expert Comment

by:slang9
ID: 6458622
You need to give permissions to the mailbox from User_B's Outlook Today as well as to the folders.
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6459237
Doesn't sound like permissions...

***** Quote  **************

...if I wait long enough - I haven't timed it yet but it is at least 1/2 hr - User_A will eventually be able to open the additional mailbox...

***** Quote  **************
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6459415
Ping myserver.mydomain.com works fine.  Outlook works fine in reading the user's primary mailbox, sending/receiving mail, etc.  What's troubling is that I set permissions for additional mailboxes at the server that don't immediately take effect at the client.  
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Expert Comment

by:asweinstein
ID: 6459485
I think that what you are trying to use is Delegation. To do this, go to the Tools menu in Outlook, and select Options. Then click on the Delegates tab. This will allow you to add users that will be allowed to see specific folders (i.e. Inbox, Tasks, etc...)from the user's mailbox. To view these folders from another client, select File > Open > Other User's Folder from the client who will be viewing the other user's Exchange information. You then be prompted for the username and folder that you would like to see. After you connect, it will be listed along with the other folders.
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Expert Comment

by:jccarter
ID: 6460153
I have run into this before. Go into User_B's outlook. Right-Click over the "Outlook Today..." folder and choose "properties". Click on the "permissions" tab. Click "Add" to add User_A. Give User_A the User role. Click "OK" and close the "Properties" box. Next, right-click over User_B's "Inbox" folder and repeat the above process. This fixes the issue for me.

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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 6460272
I find about a 10 minute delay sometimes when do same thing with Exchange 2000. Guess it considers updating permissions to be less important than delivering mail and leaves it to a lazy background process.
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6460901
I am aware of the other methods (delegation and folder permissions) of giving a user access to another user's folders.  The method I am talking about is a documented method to give one user access to another user's entire mailbox.  I would think that Exchange would give a high priority to mailbox permissions as this controls data security, so the fact that it takes so long for the permissions to go into effect concerns me.  Is something Microsoft put in by design?...I hope not.  Thanks for all the input so far...

Dave
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6460905
I am aware of the other methods (delegation and folder permissions) of giving a user access to another user's folders.  The method I am talking about is a documented method to give one user access to another user's entire mailbox.  I would think that Exchange would give a high priority to mailbox permissions as this controls data security, so the fact that it takes so long for the permissions to go into effect concerns me.  Is something Microsoft put in by design?...I hope not.  Thanks for all the input so far...

Dave
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6460926
Sorry about the duplicate comment...got an internal server error when trying to post.
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6460946
davebrock,

Couple more questions...

Have you rebooted the Exchange server?

What is your setting for IS Maintenance? (In Exchange Administrator drill down to "Servers", select your server by name and get properties for it. IS Maintenance is one of the tabs).

IS Maint. is the process that updates individual mailboxes with current info-- such as...Is the mailbox over it's mail limit? Have new delegates been added?, It measures the actual size of mailboxes... lots of other stuff. If your setting is not set to always try setting it to always and see if that has any effect.

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Accepted Solution

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exchadm earned 300 total points
ID: 6462294
Consider the following information ofered by Microsoft: I hope this helps


  In Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 and 5.0, the information store rereads the directory every time there is a
  change to a directory object. This process was not optimized and did not offer the best performance. In an
  effort to optimize performance, Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 caches the directory information and rereads the
  directory every two hours by default

 CAUSE

  The information store caches information contained in the directory store and, by default, it re-reads it every
  120 minutes. Therefore, any change to a directory object (for example, a primary Windows NT account change)
  is not reflected in the information store for two hours.


  WORKAROUND

  WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your
  operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor
  can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys and Values" Help topic in Registry Editor
  (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in
  Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it. If you are running Windows NT, you
  should also update your Emergency Repair Disk (ERD).


  To have changes to directory objects picked up immediately by the information store, follow these steps:

     1.Run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).

     2.Go to the following key:

            HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\Parame
            tersSystem

     3.On the Edit menu, click Add Value.

     4.Enter Mailbox Cache Age Limit for the Value name.

     5.Enter REG_DWORD for the Data type.

     6.Enter 1 for the Data of type HEX, and then click OK.

       NOTE: This registry entry is not a switch, or toggle, it is a setting. If it is set to 1 the server rereads the
       cache every minute, if it is set to 2 the server rereads the cache every 2 minutes, and so forth.

     7.Stop the information store service.

     8.Restart the information store service.

  The information store now updates its mailbox cache frequently by rereading the directory every minute.


  STATUS

  In Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 and 5.0, the information store rereads the directory every time there is a
  change to a directory object. This process was not optimized and did not offer the best performance. In an
  effort to optimize performance, Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 caches the directory information and rereads the
  directory every two hours by default.

 
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6462309
What's that Q number? That's a good one.
I'm wondering if that's been affected by any of the many service packs on 5.5.
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6462549
That looks promising...I'll try it next time I'm on-site.
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Expert Comment

by:Xeaza
ID: 6462645
Check the IS Maintenance settings too. That can have a significant impact it it's not "maintaining" often enough.
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Author Comment

by:davebrock
ID: 6487855
Thanks exchadm!  That seems to be the solution.  The article number is Q179065.
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