Unable to update free/busy data in Outlook 2000 with Exchange 2000?


     There are a number of questions with this issue, and I've tried to read through them. I lot of them apply to different versions of Exchange and Outlook. I'm wondering if I can get some advice on my specific setup.

Anticipating these details, having read some other entries... we had a major issue with the last exchange server, and things had to be done very quickly. It seems all too often I'm not given enough time to do things right (though I try to push for it.)
We had Exchange 2000 running on one server and it quit working right. Set up Exchange 2000 on another server.Used Active Directory to transfer all mailboxes to new server. That's it as far as transferring anything. Disabled all Exchange services on the old server. Then, when another problem with the first server, which we were trying to save big time, came up, I had to delete all previous exchange data from the hard drive to make room. I did not have a chance to take down this old exchange server properly. I don't have much experience with that. And in its state, it may not have mattered. Active Directory is still running properly between these two servers, so there may have been an effect there. The first server, when Exchange was disengaged, as I described, has been okay.

Since shutting down the services and deleting all Exchange data from the first server, I have had the free/busy error on only 1 Outlook 2000 (strangely, only one person). We have Outlook 2003, XP, and Outlook 2000 (total of 20 or machines), but only one person has this free/busy error.

< Unable to update public free/busy data. The contents of this public folder are currently unavailable. Either the Microsoft Exchange Server computer servicing this public folder is down or the public folder has not been replicated to this site. See your administrator >

It pops up several times a day. Everything seems to be working well otherwise. I'm just wondering if someone could direct me regarding the chain of events in this situtation and versions of the programs. I have tried to be diligent with reading the former posts, but obviously I have to do this right. My experience is in installations and administration, but have not had so much in this kind of troubleshooting and disaster recovery. I really appreciate help in giving me this chance to learn and do this right. Thanks in advance. I take this to be difficult and its somewhat urgent so I award points accordingly.

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If it is one user, then try resetting their Outlook profile.

Otherwise attempt to complete as much of the following KB article as you can, paying particular attention to configuring replica's of the public and system folders.



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In addition to Simon's statement, try executing outlook for that particular user with the /cleanfreebusy switch.  I have seen this issue a few times and this has done the trick when resetting the profile hasn't.

gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Okay, I will try that out. Sorry for the delay.
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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
This workstation is very busy, so I only got a minute to try the first suggestion.
I tried the outlook.exe /cleanfreebusy command. I got the message:  "Unable to clean your free/busy information on the server." So, it doesn't sound like it did anything. I wonder if any of you are able to interpret that message? Does it mean anything to the state of this error or the state of the Exchange server?
You might want to read through this question elsewhere on EE...

gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
She hasn't reported the error in a while... then I found out she was away. Let's give it a few days please. Users! Imagine going on vacation ;-)
gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Okay, the error came back... I'll be looking into this again.
gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
I'm focusing on this workstation, because amongst 20 computers, this is the only user reporting this error. I have now deleted the profile and recreated it. I left that a day or two, and the error came back. It still came back. Then, getting sick of this, I uninstalled the whole Office 2000 application and did a new full install of Windows XP Professional. Configured, activated, all that good stuff. Waiting...
gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Haven't seen this free/busy error in the last week, but a new error has appeared...

A dialogue pops up that says:
"Rules in error --

Server-requested client action     Movecopy, Unable to create dest msg.  "


I have done a search on this and there are suggestions, but the most popular fix seems to be this URL that no longer exists...


I don't even know what it suggests. An example of a question where it is suggested is this one...


So, does anyone know what the fix is for this error??

Thanks in advance.
Officially you should be asking a new question, as that error is related to rules, not free busy information.

That link I would expect that was about a repair of Outlook using the built in tool off the Help Menu. (Help, Detect and Repair).

You could try flushing the rules out using the command line switches

outlook.exe /cleanrules

gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
I suppose so, but at any rate, I'm still waiting for the user to let me at the workstation to try the fix...
gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Okay, I got a chance to get on that workstation finally. Imagine just getting 5 minutes. This user seems to rather choose to have the error come up than have anytime off... anyway, sorry for the rant.

I tried the "outlook.exe /cleanrules" and I got a message that the switch is not valid.
This is Outlook XP with service pack 3. Maybe you thought it was a different version or expected it to work.

I could ask a new question, except this rules in error message, came naturally from "curing" the update free/busy info. But the "cure" didn't come from any tweak, configuration change, or switch. It came from installing Office XP. So, the points are still up for grabs here. Not that I don't appreciate you guys, but I guess that's how it works.

So, should I start a new question, or are there new suggestions?

I do appreciate everyone's time.
I realise that I'm going to have to catch this workstation after this user goes home, from now on.
The switches in each version of Outlook are different, and you get more control with each subsequent version.

The ruleset for Outlook 2002 (aka Outlook XP) are here:

You may have to use a number of switches to see of the problem is fixed.

Have you tested to see whether this problem follows the user to another machine? If it does, then it is a server side issue and as such you don't need access to their individual machine to attempt to fix the problem. Simply setup the Outlook profile on another machine.


gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
We'll set the user up on a different machine, next week. It's a big deal to do so, but I guess it has to be done. She just needs everything set up, but this problem solving doesn't seem to have any other direction. Thanks.
gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Haven't got the user to use the new machine yet. Trying to keep this going, 'cause I need the answer. No comments necessary. Will update as it comes.
Any updates?  This question is now classified as abandoned, again.

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gs-rhoAuthor Commented:
Everyone is very busy and the manager is difficult to get a hold of to talk to about it. They have stopped complaining to me. But that doesn't me that it's solved, and I won't hear about it later. Still at it. Going to try to have meetings with these people soon. That's all I can say. If this is a problem, I can reopen this question later.
>> If this is a problem, I can reopen this question later.

That would be ideal, this is fast becoming the oldest question in this area.

Either accept Sembee's first response, or split with Matt_Heuer - as you said, you can always reopen this later if you find it was incorrect.


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