Exchange 2003 User Name Resolution Appearance in OUTLOOK 2003

Posted on 2005-04-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hello --- I have noticed a wierd behavior in OUTLOOK 2003 with regards to name resolution of Exchange users in my organization and am wondering if anyone could tell me why this occurs.  

I have an Exchange 2003 server (sp1) that runs on a W2k3 server to which I recently migrated my exchange environment from Exchange 5.5 on Win NT 4.0 (which has been taken out of the Exchange site).  My users are all using OFFICE 2k3 which means they now use OUTLOOK 2003 for email.

When a user types in the name of an individual from the Global Address List who is a member of the organization, their Display Name appears along with a bracketed alphanumeric code, i.e., <B758237B> , while others show their display name along with their alias, i.e., John Doe <jdoe> .  

I know that OUTLOOK caches names of correspondents used repeatedly in a hidden local file (whose name escapes me).  Does anyone recognize what it's doing in this instance?  Is it OUTLOOK, or is EXCHANGE doing this?  Please advise; thanks.
Question by:nmorris510
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Delete the .nk2 file in the local directory of the computer.  Usually it is in this directory and will be recreated automatically when you restart Outlook.  Close Outlook first when you do this.

    C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

    Here is the link that will describe what each file does and where it is.

    Author Comment

    Thanks very much for the suggestion, MontyV; however, this does not resolve the issue for me.  The same strange name resolution behavior soon occurs even with a brand new .nk2 file.

    Mind you, this does NOT mean the names don't resolve at all, they DO.  It's just that for some of the names, as I describe above, you get the alias appearing in brackets after the display name, and for others the display name appears with an alphanumeric code in brackets.  I'm trying to figure out where this comes from but I can't find the information I need on Microsoft's web site.

    The only other pattern I *thought* I had discerned that may be relevant is that some of the names which resolved with the alphanumeric code are ones whose user accounts were migrated into Active Directory 2003 from a Windows NT 4.0 domain prior to putting up Exchange 2003.  User accounts created after the AD 2k3 domain assumed control did not appear initially to behave in this fashion; however, I have since determined that the same can be said of a number of other user accounts that were migrated over from the NT 4.0 domain, so that can't be it necessarilly.  I also checked the possiblity that the information was being read from the "pre-Windows 2000 login name" field in AD; however, this field appears as it should for ALL the users concerned.

    If anyone has any ideas what might be generating this "bracketed alphanumeric code", I'd appreciate the information.  Thanks.


    Author Comment

    Sorry for not getting back to close this out sooner.

    FYI:  AD is the source of this issue; I did some poking around in my AD environment using ADSIEDIT and found that the following AD setting was the source of the alphanumeric code:  


    Doing a partial modification of the data in this field to replace the alphanumeric code with the user's correct alias resolved the issue, with 2 caveats:

    1.  The user has to re-create his/her OUTLOOK 2003 desktop profile, as this modification "breaks" their existing one.

    2.  The information other users have in their nickname or. nk2 files for the user with the changed alpha code will find their emails to said person using the existing entry will BOUNCE.  The altered user's reference in the nickname file has to be changed to the reference to the newly-altered user in the GAL.

    Thanks to MontyV for the suggestion.



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