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Calendar items disappear

Posted on 2006-05-04
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Mail server is Windows 2000 SP4, Exchange is 2003 SP2, anti-threat and filtering software is Symantec Corporate Edition including the "for Exchange" module.  We have a number of department/office calendars in the Public Folders area of Exchange.  Editing and ownership permissions are limited to a couple people.  Others in the department only view the calendar.  Some use Outlook and some use OWA.  Two departments have reported that calendar items have disappeared.  These were entries for future dates - i.e., staff's scheduled summer vacation days, etc.  There is no indication that the entries were manually deleted.

Through on-line research, I found information about file-level scanning and age limit settings.  However, most of it refers to Exchange 2000 and the IFS drive mapping M:>.  Exchange 2003 does not map this drive and I have verified that all of the Exchsrvr folders are excluded from Symantec virus scanning.  I have a 90 day age limit set for the public folders because I want to only hold three months of past calendar data.  MS KB821744 mentions how public folder age limits may affect system folders.  The system folders in Exchange System Manager do not use the public store defaults and the Schedule+Free Busy has its own age limit of 100 days which conforms to the suggestion in this KB article that it be greater than what is set on the Public Folders.

Some of the items that disappeared were entered in January for summer months.  Some of items that disappeared were entered recently for next month.  All calendars are accessed and edited on almost a daily basis - or at least once a week.  There are no messages in the server's Event Viewer reflecting any problems or erroneous activity in Exchange or the public store.

Any help in determining why these calendar items have disappeared and resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Question by:DCInfoSyst
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 16605672
Enable Deleted Item Retention for the folders in question (you may need to set a long DIR period if very old items are queried).  If your missing items are found in DIR, then someone has deleted them.  If you're lucky, it will already be enabled, so you can check some of the items you're already looking for.
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Author Comment

by:DCInfoSyst
ID: 16606499
The deletion settings for the calendars in the Public Folders were using the store defaults which was 0 days.  I set the individual calendars to 10 days.  If a user deletes an entry, where is it held for the 10 day retention period?

Also - please explain why I would need a long retention period if old items are queried?  Doesn't the 10 days reflect how long to keep an items after it has been deleted?
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 16606560
What I meant about the long retention times is this - if a user deletes an item, say, 30 days ago, but it is only discovered that the item is missing today, then you would only find it in DIR if the period was 30 days or longer.  It depends on how quickly the missing items are noticed.  If they are noticed quickly, then you only need a short period.

If you have DIR enabled for your PFs, then you can recover them in Outlook.  You know the Recover Deleted Items option in Oulook?  Well normally it is only available when the Inbox is selected.  There is a registry entry (applies to all version of Exchange):

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178630

that can be used to make the Recover option available for all folders, including PFs.
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Author Comment

by:DCInfoSyst
ID: 16607152
Regedit changes per MS KB178630 does on my PC.  I can now Recover Deleted Items from the calendars in the public folders.

So now I guess I wait until I hear that something has disappeared off the calendars.  If it does and it shows up in the Deleted Items, then I know that a user manually deleted it but now exactly who because it doesn't display any user information?

If it doesn't show up in the Deleted Items, then what?  Any ideas?
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Accepted Solution

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LeeDerbyshire earned 750 total points
ID: 16607502
That's right - unfortunately, you will not know who deleted it.  If it doesn't show up in DIR, then I don't know what else to look for.  Any kind of store corruption generally causes other problems, like services stopping.  How often do these items go missing, i.e. how long will we have to wait to see if they are going to DIR?
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Author Comment

by:DCInfoSyst
ID: 16607556
Last week was the first time ever that anyone reported entries disappearing.  And I haven't had any reports since.  And I haven't had any other issues (knock on wood!) with the mail server stores or services or anything else.

I did notify the offices that I was investigating this issue and asked that they let me know immediately if they notice anything missing on the calendars.  So I don't know when or if I will see anything in the DIR.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:vasanthgnb
ID: 16611925
Do you have a Blackberry server or Goodlink server in your setup. If so, the CDO.DLL file should be of the same version as Exchange server. Follow the instructions in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/890436

Regards,
Vasanth.
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Author Comment

by:DCInfoSyst
ID: 16615034
No - we don't have any of them in our network.
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Author Comment

by:DCInfoSyst
ID: 16682829
As I have not received any more reports of other calendar items disappearing and am now able to view any deleted items with the information I got from LeeDerbyshire, I have closed this question and awarded him the points.  Thanks much for all the help.
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