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Preventing users from purging their deleted items from Outlook 2000/2003.

Posted on 2004-12-01
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Hello All,
I need to prevent any users from permanently deleting any mail items from our Exchange 2000(SP3) server. Currently our users are connecting via Outlook 2000/2003. On a test box, I have already created the registry value HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options "DumpsterAlwaysOn" and set it to 0, but I can still see the "Recover Deleted Items" option for the Deleted Items container (but none of the others). This is a good start, but any savvy users (luckily we don't have many) can still delete an item, empty the Deleted Items container, then choose "Recover Deleted Items" and use the Purge button. There's GOT to be a way of preventing this, I'm just not finding it.
Ultimately, I would like them to still have the ability to recover their deleted items, but not the option to purge them.
I would truly appreciate an answer to this one...
Thanks,
jbaker151
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Question by:jbaker151
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by:BraData295
ID: 12723790
I don't think this is possible.

Also, to set the registry entry "DumpsterAlwaysOn" to 0 doesnt really help you, because that means you only get the dumpster function on the deleted items folder. So if your users "shift-deletes" mails in inbox for example the mail is lost forever. When setting "DumpsterAlwaysOn" to 1 the users have the ability to recover the email.

Another option is to upgrade to Exchange 2003 SP1 and check the checkbox "Do not permanently delete mailboxes and items until the store has been backed up". Then you can easily restore items using the recovery storage group.

/Magnus
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by:jbaker151
ID: 12728011
If you set the DumpsterAlwaysOn to 0 it actually does help, because if the user does a shift-delete from the inbox they don't have the option of going to the Inbox using "recover deleted items" to recover the deleted mail, and more importantly, the option to purge it( I've verified this during testing). You can still recover that deleted mail from a machine that has the dumpster setting on. The main weakness of setting the dumpster to 0 is as you said, the users can still use the "recover deleted items" option to purge mail from the deleted items container, but that's about it. Plus the fact that they are obviously going to have to bother me when they delete mail by mistake.
I am definately considering an upgrade to Exchange 2003 now.
Thanks for the reply...

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flyguybob earned 2000 total points
ID: 12732267
This sounds almost like you all are under some SarbOX, NASD, or NYSE regulations.  It might be time to consider the implementation of journaling or the implementation of a messaging management solution such as EAS or KVS.
Just an outside thought that is unrelated....
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by:BraData295
ID: 12734464
jbaker151:

Ok, now i get this clearly. You mean that if a user (with dumpsterAlwaysOn set to "0") shift+deletes mails in the inbox you can still recover the emails from an Outlook-client that have the dumpsteralwayson set to "1"?

/Magnus
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by:jbaker151
ID: 12736349
Flyguybob,
We are not officially under those regulations yet (SarbOx might be a factor in the near future though), but we have some possible litigation coming up, and it would be to our benefit to make sure that noone can delete any pertinent mail.
I think it would be wise to look into some third party solutions now...
Thanks for the tip.
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Author Comment

by:jbaker151
ID: 12736519
Magnus,
Yes, as long as there is a client box with the dumpseralwayson set to "1", you can recover any hard-deleted(shift-delete)items from anywhere except the deleted items container. If a hard-delete is performed on the deleted items container, the mail is gone forever, which is what I'm hoping to prevent.
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by:rindi
ID: 12743615
You could make sure that your exchange server has transactional logging turned on and also make sure those transactional logs get saved during your backup runs. That way all that goes through the server is also saved and you can recall that data if necessary.
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