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Exchange 2003 mailbox missing some folders & messages Need to recover

Posted on 2006-04-05
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a Client with  a Windows 2003 Small Business Server SP1 setup, running Exchange 2003 SP2.  One of the users realized that somehow some of her messages & folders were missing from her mailbox. She has lots of subfolders(50-75)
in some cases the folders were there, but not the messages.  They were not Auto Archived, we checked that, and she swears that she did not delete them. ..

Tried rebuilding the mailbox, no change.  OWA - Same issue.  ScanPST, no help. And it appears that all of the backups have been overwritten that might have had the old data.  So I am wondering what options I might have?  I do have the log files for the previous month, is there a way to recover from them?

Thanks in advance
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Question by:cscinc
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by:Matt_Heuer
ID: 16385873
Is delete item retention on? (just so you can verify whether it was deleted or not)  If not you will need some other form of backup since you wont be able to recover from log files alone.

Cole
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Author Comment

by:cscinc
ID: 16386023
yes, forgot to mention that I tried that, but these items do not show up.
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Vahik earned 1000 total points
ID: 16386834
in ur outlook enable this
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type DumpsterAlwaysOn, and then press ENTER.
5. Double-click DumpsterAlwaysOn.
6. Type 1 in the Value data area, click Decimal in the Base area, and then click OK.
7. Close Registry Editor.
8. Restart Outlook.
now give urself full mailbox right to the user....open his or her mailbox in ur profile and try to recover deleted items....without this reg hack u will only be able to recover items that were deleted from deleted items....and if this was delibrate then it most likely was a HARD DELETE.....if so then u require this hack.....
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Expert Comment

by:Vahik
ID: 16386846
i meant  the desktop where u have ur outlook client installed....
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by:Vahik
ID: 16386901
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Assisted Solution

by:carl_legere
carl_legere earned 1000 total points
ID: 16387639
one other thing to do is to do an exmerge (tool downloaded from MS, very easy to use) and export the whole mailbox from the information store to a PST file.  If you are not using Outlook 2003 (with support for PST larger than 2 gigs) then do this process in phases so that you split amongst a couple of PST files.  do not open a PST file larger than 2 gigs if you are not on OLK2003; rerun exmerge selecting less stuff.

in exmerge, there is a button for also include the dumpster, make sure that is on.
open with OLK with dumpster on reg hack above so that you can do the Recover deleted items

all the Items held for retention purposes should show up here.
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Author Comment

by:cscinc
ID: 16391872
Thanks for the input.  I will give the Registry hack a whirl, as well as run ExMerge.   They are using OLK2003
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Author Comment

by:cscinc
ID: 16391902
From the MSKB article - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;886205 

Note After you create the DumpsterAlwaysOn registry entry, you can recover items that were deleted after the registry entry was created. You cannot recover items that were deleted before the DumpsterAlwaysOn registry entry was added.
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Expert Comment

by:carl_legere
ID: 16392721
yeah that is for outlook to find them, shouldn't be affected if you do the exmerge which when done with dumpster on, pulls all the tombstoned (almsost dead) emails out into a dumpster cache
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