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outlook appointments one hour off

Posted on 2005-04-06
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Last Modified: 2009-06-01
We have a really strange problem which started a couple of weeks ago - we administer two domains, one internal and one for our biggest client.  We have an Exchange server in each organisation.  When members of domain x invite members of domain y to a meeting, they appear to be one hour early in the invite when received by user in domain y.  This is occurring for any and all users, but only between domains - not internally on domain x or internally on domain y I.E. it only happens when domain x invites someone in domain y to a meeting.

It seems like a time zone issue, but I checked the time zone on the Exchange servers, Domain Controllers, then wrote a script to check the time zone in the registry on all the workstations in both domains, and still no go.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  Both servers are running Exchange SP3, Win2k SP4.

Regards
Raymond

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Question by:Raymond123
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:aflockhart
ID: 13714891
Daylight saving ?
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Author Comment

by:Raymond123
ID: 13714918
No - we're in South Africa - South Africa Standard Time which does not implement Daylight Saving.
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by:aflockhart
ID: 13715005
But do your servers know this ?

Just seems coinciodental that the problem appears at the beginning of April when many timezones are switching to or from DST ...
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13715019
Yeah the timing is perfect :) So how do I check if my servers "know this"?  I've checked the normal time zone properties on all the servers and they aren't set to daylight saving.  The option is not available when set to SAST anyway.  Where else can i check?
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13715058
A new discovery - if I use Outlook Web Access on domain x and send an appointment to domain y, the times are correct.  So it seems to be client rather than server side.  We're using Outlook 2003, no cached mode.
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by:traval
ID: 13719896
On the client machine in Outlook click TOOLS->OPTIONS->CALENDAR OPTIONS->TIME ZONE and there is a checkbox for "adjust for daylight savings time".

There is another setting on the system clock accessed by right clicking the clock, choosing "adjust date/time" and going to the Time Zone tab.

Both of these settings need to be correct and the same, if the two settings differ then it would explain the 1 hour difference.
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13724283
Thanks for the comment traval, but unfortunately all these settings are correct.  In fact both of them - the one in Outlook and the one in Control Panel (or by double clicking the clock) actually adjust the same registry setting.  If you change one it changes the other.  Also, they are set to South Africa Standard Time, so the adjust daylight savings checkbox is greyed out anyway, as SA does not use daylight saving.
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by:aflockhart
ID: 13724794
When your users send and receive the invitations, what appears in the data and time description ?  It normally shows the time as something like:

"07 April 2005 09:00-10:00 (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria."

If you setup a meeting in domain x and send it to dom,ain y, what appears as the date and time when you look at it in each domain ?
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13724902
This is copied and pasted from a test I did earlier:-

In domain x:-  Thursday, April 07, 2005 9:00 AM-9:30 AM.
Can't seem to see it with the time zone info - copied and pasted the above from the appointment item in "Sent Items"

In domain y:-  07 April 2005 08:00-08:30 (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria.

So the date appears the same in each domain, the time is exactly one hour different, and the time zone is not specified in domain x (sending domain)
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by:aflockhart
ID: 13725281
And sending an invitation the other way, what do you see ?

(I'm not sure if any of this will help, but the more info we can all get about what you are seeing, the more chance that someone may spot something ...)
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13725355
Hmmm this gets more interesting...

When I send from domain y to domain x, the invite time reflected in domain x is correct (we knew this already).  The time displayed in domain x is the same as for when domain x sends - e.g. Thursday, April 07, 2005 1:00 PM-1:30 PM. - it doesn't show the time zone info.  But then if I accept the appointment request and send a response, in domain y it then appears as an hour earlier - in this case 12-1:30.pm  

So in other words whatever originates in domain x is displayed incorrectly when received elsewhere.

I spoke to Microsoft tech support and they reckon its a bug in Exchange 2000 - check out:-
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=888606 

It doesn't match my conditions exactly though.  And the hotfix needs the post-sp3 rollup to be installed - and this patch broke our backups (HP DataProtector 5.1) when we installed it so we had to remove it again.  Dunno where to from here.

Any other ideas?
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by:traval
ID: 13744440
The files that are updated by that hotfix are CDO files, so unless there is something going on with CDO programming that hasn't been mentioned, I think that was a red herring.

The Outlook Time Zone setting (TOOLS->OPTIONS->CALENDAR OPTIONS->TIME ZONE) is not the same setting as the system clock, and it is not even stored in the registry, it is stored in the Outlook profile.  You are positive that if you change the Outlook time zone setting that your system clock setting is changed automatically as well?  If so there is something very big that we are missing.

Articles that look more helpful than the CDO hotfix that you tried previously:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;311774
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;818379
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;837010
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;888606
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13750680
Thanks traval.  But i'm 100% certain that changing the time zone in Outlook -  (TOOLS->OPTIONS->CALENDAR OPTIONS->TIME ZONE) definitely changes the registry setting that Windows uses for the system time, so it also changes the time zone on the time zone tab if you double click the clock on the tasktray or if you open Date and Time in Control Panel.

Thanks for the KB articles, but none seem to apply:-


http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;311774 - Applies to Outlook 2002, and the "current time" in Outlook is correct in  our case
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;818379 - We are not having the problem in Outlook Web Access
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;837010 - We are using Exchange 2000 not 5.5
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;888606 - This is the CDO hotfix one??  This is the one we want to install but can't until we know that the post-sp3 rollup package that this requires won't break our backups on that server when we install it.
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by:traval
ID: 13753867
Sorry, that last article must have copied and pasted from the wrong window, I don't recall what the specific article I was trying to point you at there.  OK, as far as the problem goes, I am working on the assumption that all users in domain x have the same client settings, and that all users in domain y have the same settings.  Otherwise invites sent within either domain would be off.

What we need to verify is that the time zone and daylight savings time settings is identical for clients in both X and Y.  Because OWA doesn't exhibit the problem it appears the servers are set correctly.  But it's possible that all the client machines in domain x have DST checked and all those in domain Y don't, for example.

Another thing I would like to try is to send an invitation from a client on Domain X to an ISP email address, and then the ISP with Outlook Express or webmail.  See if the invite that is received includes the GMT offset, like this:
When: Monday, April 11, 2005 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

Assuming so, can we follow the same steps but send from Domain Y and verify the GMT offset is identical when sent from both domains?



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by:Raymond123
ID: 13759622
Yes - all client settings in domain x match domain y.  Also, there is no way some clients have DST checked and some don't - as all client machines are set to SAST, which when selected does not give you the option of checking DST as its not applicable for South Africa.  And yes, invites sent within each domain are 100% correct.  Invites sent from y to x are even correct.  I tried sending invites to my gmail account from each domain and it displays the correct time in the invites -

From domain x for 10 to 10:30:    When: Tuesday, April 12, 2005 10:00 AM-10:30 AM (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria.
From domain y for 5 to 5:30:        When: 12 April 2005 17:00-17:30 (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria.

Think maybe it has something to do with the date format?  Surely not?
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by:traval
ID: 13762717
OK, I did just locate an apparently identical problem, in which all internal meeting requests were accurate but all invites sent externally were off by 1 hour only during daylight savings time, outside of daylight savings time external appointments were sent with the correct time.  The resolution was applying the Exchange post SP3 rollup, available at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2000/default.mspx

Is it possible one domain has this post sp3 update and the other does not?
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by:Raymond123
ID: 13762860
Yep, that is the case, as mentioned higher up in this post.  But the sp3 rollup broke our backups on the server in domain x, so thats why I wasn't keen to install it.  I suspect this was because the exchange\bin folder wasn't in the path on this server, as the server in domain y has the post sp3 rollup installed, but also has the exchange\bin in the path variable and didn't have any backup problems.  So i'm hoping that's the difference between the two servers and that the sp3 rollup doesn't break our backups again on the server in domain x when i install it tonight, having added the entry to the path variable.
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traval earned 1500 total points
ID: 13763233
Sorry, I didn't see that the Post SP3 was on server Y, I had only seen that you couldn't install it on server X, so I didn't know if this was applicable.  But assuming your reply means that post sp3 is on domain Y then I think this is definitely the problem, although the good news is that you don't have to apply the CDO hotfix, I still don't know where MS was going with that suggestion.

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by:Raymond123
ID: 13780455
Thanks for all your posts traval, as expected the post-sp3 rollup corrected the problem with the dates, and by patching data protector (omniback) with the latest patches, we were able to get our backup working successfully even with the rollup installed.  
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Author Comment

by:Raymond123
ID: 13780463
Did u get the points?  I accepted your answer, so i'm assuming it gave you the points?  The button to split the points disappeared...
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Expert Comment

by:traval
ID: 13783251
Yes I did, thank you.  I'm glad that the problem is fixed.
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Expert Comment

by:Webcomtech
ID: 24516350
We are experiencing exactly the same but we are running exchange 2003 sp2, your help will be greatly appreciated.
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