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Roaming profile and Outlook Express

Posted on 2003-10-23
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi there !

Has anyone got advice on how to include the settings and containerfiles of Outlook Express in a roaming profile of a W2K domain ?

OExpress has got the nasty feature to store everything locally in the ws used and I'd like to be able to offer our staff the luxury of being able to use several ws and always having full access to email etc. Currently when Outlook Express stores everything locally, the messages are stored in the computer used to read 'em and the same applies to the settings for the account itself, which has to be reentered when logging in using a ws not previously used.

I figured that creating a suitable registry patch which is loaded at login would do the trick, ie allowing me to store each users mailsettings and containerfiles on the server.

Anyone who has tried this and got it working or anyone who has a smarter solution to achieve the same thing ?

All advice appreciated !
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Question by:gstromsten
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15 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:1mak
ID: 9606419
Use a mail server that allows access with the IMAP protocol? Or Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook (not ol express)??
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:vtobusman
ID: 9607475
ok assumining that your roaming profiles are working as in the profiles are transfered and the outlookexpress settings are transfered just the messages are not...

  First What e-mail server are you running and does it support IMAP ??
if so your good just set up the accounts on the users incomming server IMAP insted of POP
and that will Store the messages on the server and work great with the roaming profiles.

IMAP Leaves the messages on the mail server simular to using an exchange server and outlook with exchange.. everything will be stored on the server allowing the users to raom freely and still access their mail with outlook express. IMAP also save all of their sent items trash ect...  

  Personally i never got the regestry thing working either and resorted to this and havnt had a problem since...
  Good Luck
0
 

Author Comment

by:gstromsten
ID: 9609376
Well, I'm using Qmail and am utilizing POP, of course I could enable IMAP support, I could as well configure the OExpress to leave the messages on the server and still be utilizing POP.

But I want also it to be possible to preserve outgoing messages, so that the user if needed can browse through them and I do not want to use Exchange with all what that implies when I've got something far better :)  Ain't neither using Outlook because I've got other stuff that does the same things, but better, thus I'm using OExpress when not relying on other applications.

----

I figure that by creating a reg-script which loads the data about the email-account into [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager\Accounts\00000001] I'd manage to set the needed parameters. Of course also setting default email account under [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager]

That would leave the containerfiles of OExpress, the location of those decided by 'Store Root' under [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{<some ID string>}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0]

In clear, the value of 'Store Root' is %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{<some ID string>}\Microsoft\Outlook Express\

The critical part seems to be %UserProfile%\Local Settings , to get that replaced by something that points to the location of the roaming profile might work.

Am I completely wrong or ??
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:drev001
ID: 9609462
What's the problem with Outlook? With Outlook you can just give each user a Personal Folder file and store them all centrally on your server. If you already have Outlook you may as well use it. Outlook Express is not really designed with roaming network use in mind, that's what Outlook's for.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:drev001
ID: 9609469
Also an easy way to backup users' mail folders.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:vtobusman
ID: 9609917
 IMAP will save all folders sent items, trash, inbox, draft, and any folder they choose to create...
to back up just back up the mail server....

  and no you not wrong on you config of the reg above...
  i went thru all of that with no luck if ou get it work good for you please let me know...
 but i resorted to the imap thing everything work great...

 
0
 

Author Comment

by:gstromsten
ID: 9612711
Hi there,

First a small explanation why I won't use Outlook, which is simple. I don't use MS Office, instead Staroffice 6.0.

Then second, I solved it. It is indeed very possible to use Outlook Express with roaming profiles the way I want, needs a little tweaking, but works nicely :D

What is needed :

You need to patch the current user settings in registry at logon with a regpatch that contains:

1. the settings of the account, targeting [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager]

2. Targeting 'Store Root' under [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{<some ID string>}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0] and replacing the default value with the address to the user's home folder in the network.

This means that the user can log in on any ws, have full access to his/hers old mails and I don't have to waste valuable diskspace on the mailserver to store their messages :)

Simple, once when I did figure it out !
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:John Gates, CISSP
ID: 9617892
Have you thought about running IMP (Webmail) for your Qmail box and killing POP3 altogether?  IMP+IMAP+Webbased = happy users (Once they get used to the interface) =-).

D
0
 

Author Comment

by:gstromsten
ID: 9619208
Yep, have tought of it and other similar solutions, too. Need POP though, because it has turned out that it's the best solution when using a GSM (7650, Communicator or other) as terminal directly connected to our server over the internet without using WAP. People can access our server from home, too, so the actual need for a webmail app isn't considered as important. And in addition, you can have an encryptation solution integrated with your email clinet, haven't yet seen a webmail app capable of that.

The very reason why I did spend time on tweaking OExpress into working as I wanted, is just the very fact that people use it at home, we have used it for quite some time now at the office, and I didn't want to force the staff to learn how to use yet another new system, there has been enough of these during the last few years :) And I didn't want to go Microsoft's way :D
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:John Gates, CISSP
ID: 9619470
I guess I understand to a degree but you could get an ssl certificate on the website to provide encryption....  I run Qmail-LDAP in this configuration and it works well...  I shut off pop3 and SMTP relay (Even for valid clients) because unfortunately spammers do everything they can to acquire valid usernames and passwords.  I think that eventually pop3 will be phased out.  I see a more web based offering (even from ISPs, I think they will be first to do it.)  And then mail can only be sent from the local server (Which means spammers are out of luck =-))  So you said you are encrypting the authentication of your users with pop3 then>?   Anyhoo back to the original problem...  Here's the deal.  The settings for a users logged in account in OE is saved in the following registry path:
\HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    \Software
        \Microsoft
            \Internet Account Manager
              \ ACCOUNTS
                 \<some number>
So I don't know how many users you have but one option would be to export this value from the users registry location and then set up a script to import this value into the users registry when they log in....  I will see if I can think of anything else that can be done...  I thought that portion of the registry went with the roaming profile but I am guessing by your problem it does not =-(

D

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Author Comment

by:gstromsten
ID: 9622677
Maybe I stated my self somewhat unclear, I wasn't talking about using SSL for logging onto the mailserver, which I do, I was talking about using encrypted email, ie the message itself being encrypted and only readable by the person posessing the correct key ( or enough computing power to break the encryptation ). If anyone can suggest a webmail solution capable of this, I'd be keen to test it :)

What I really did was simple,  infact what diamante suggested, ie patching each user's account data with a reg-script at logon, I do also alter at the same time the 'Store Root' parameter, telling OE where to find the containerfiles. Works nicely. In short, did put myself through a crash course on certain aspects of the registry's behaviour.
0
 

Author Comment

by:gstromsten
ID: 9622696
Btw, thanks for the tip about Kelly's site, looks interesting :)


Hmm,  how do I deliver some points as thanks for info ?
0
 
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
John Gates, CISSP earned 250 total points
ID: 9623090
You could accept my answer here =-)

D
0
 

Expert Comment

by:enos76
ID: 13361268
I see this post is old but the solution has not been posted, so here it is...

By default, Outlook Express does not include his data files in roaming profiles (only settings), because they are considered as temporary files. Instead Microsoft suggests to use imap servers. But do not worry, there is a simple workaround: create a folder inside "my documents", then from inside Outlook, go in options - maintenance - store folders, and choose the above mentioned newly created folder. From there on, Outlook will retain his files inside there, and the folder will be cached together with the other profile settings.
Be aware that those folder can grow up to few gigabytes, and will need to be transferred through the network at every login. So I advise you to check its size every now and then, and to clean as much old mail as possible from inside Outlook Express.

Kind regards from Europe
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