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Trying to Enforce Outlook Archival using GPO's - Seem to have a few problems

Posted on 2006-07-05
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
SBS 2003, Exchange 2003 & Office XP

I am trying to enforce Auto Archiving on Outlook XP. The reaosn I want to do this is twofold;
1) Periodically Outlook seems to forget about some settings entirely
2) User keep turning it off and the system starts to fill up with masses of junk.

I have looked at the Mailbox Manager that runs under Exchange and it is fine, but does not allow me the granualrity of control that has been requested of me. Therefore the only other options would appear to be Outlooks AutoArchive option. Following on from that thought using GPO's (OFFICE10.ADM & OUTLK10.ADM) from the Policy Editor in the Server would seem to be a logical step.

I have configured the 2 GPO's and whilst  they work enforcing some settings, they do not:
1) Override the 'Do not Archive items in this folder' setting
2) Allow me to preset the Archive folder (in the Move Old Items to...) destination.

In respect of the "Do Not Archive", the reason I woudl like to enforce this off, is that by default when a user creates a new Mail folder the default setting would appear to be that, and not what I woudl prefer which would be 'Archive Folder according teh the Default settings'

Is there anyway I can enforce this without going round to each individual User Signon?

Thanks,
Paul
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Question by:bmtech
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 125 total points
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There is apparently a bug with Outlook XP (2002) that causes the retention policy to not work properly:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321907

System Policy Editor Resource Kit for Office XP:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011362921033.aspx

I would suspect that you aren't using Outlook2003 because of the inability to use Word XP as the editor?  I would have to say that Outlook 2003 is so superior to previous versions that it may be worth it to not have the ability to use Word as the email editor.  You already are licensed for Outlook 2003 with every SBS 2003 CAL, so there is no real cost other than learning curve.

If you do upgrade to Outlook 2003, then please follow this article on how to implement an autoarchive and message retention policy:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011402861033.aspx

You must download the Office 2003 Resource Kit which contains the Outlook 2003 Security Template to install into the GPMC in order to have the correct items to configure:  http://www.microsoft.com/office/orkarchive/2003ddl.htm

Jeff
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by:bmtech
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Hi Jeff,
Ok you are partially right about 321907, I am aware of it, but there seems to be a difference of opinionm within Microsoft (I have a call open at the moment) as to whether or not this applies to Office XP - Outlook, as this article specifically says 'Stand Alone Outlook'. That said observationally it would seem to apply in that nothing is happening with Auto Archive and retention.

Again you ar partly correct in the issue of Word XP & Outlook, word is indeed the preferred editor. The main reason that users dont want Outlook 2003 is that that main panel is radically different to Office XP. If I could get Outlook 2003 to look like Office XP easily then I think I could probably be able to justify a move to Office 2003 and get round my problem.

Hencve my trying to enfoce things using GPO's etc....

It all seems to be up hill work.

Paul
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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Technically there is no such thing as Outlook XP.  The Office Suite is Office XP, but the Outlook version is 2002... so it does apply --- they are one in the same.

As for "Stand Alone Outlook"  -- I'm sorry, but I don't see those words anywhere in 321907???

You CAN get Outlook 2003 to look like Outlook 2002, but for the life of me I don't understand why people won't give it a shot... the three column arangement is SO much better, because you can actually see an entire email when you click through... in my opinion.  But all you have to do is change the "reading pane" to the BOTTOM and the list of messages to a single line view.

Sorry that I've totally debunked your reply... but it's late and I get testy.

Jeff
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by:bmtech
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Ok its a fair cop the wording actually is "Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition" which MS tell me does not 'necessarily' apply to Outlook when applied as a bundle. Its a smalll distiction I will agree, any moving on.

I agree with you on the Format of Outook front, but these are the requests I have to try to service as the main support tech.

The thing that my users have a problem with is the Folder Tree. 2 (thats me and 1 other Salesman BTW) out of the 25 staff doesnt really care, however the other 23 prefer to see the Outlook Bar apparently only present in Outlook XP (2000 etc...) If you know of a way to bring this up transporting the Outlook Bar from Outlook XP into Outlook 2003, I would have an easier time of it.

Cheers,
Paul

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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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The way that SBS treats the Outlook installation (even if it's 2002) is as a separate Stand Alone installation.  In fact, SBS will actually install Outlook 2003 in C:\Program Files\Outlook if you don't already have Office installed on the workstation.  

I believe it applies.

As for the Outlook bar... just drag up the lower left meu so that all icons are visable, then click the "Shortcuts" bar and you can add new shortcuts and groups all you like... it's JUST like the XP bar only prettier.

So much for the productivity gains in Outlook 2003... just wait until they see Outlook 2007... (which I've been using for a couple months and LOVE it!

Jeff
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BTW I think that I have discovered the problem with GPO's or rather my functioning of it. I have spent a few hours talking to MS and they have come up with a scenario that seems to get it working. I will let you know the outcome.

Ill give you the point anyway as you are the only perons who bothered to try and help after the third time of asking.

Im afraid that my users all fear change.... they poke things with a long stick. All Ive got to do is make the cost justification fo buying a bunch of Office 2003 licenses.

Cheers,

Paul
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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Thanks, I"d appreciate knowing...

As for change... I've found that if user's jobs do not change, then they see no reason for their work practices to change either.  And I would tend to agree with that.

But I've also found that very few workers want to be doing the same job forever.  So, with any new release of software, there really must be quantifiable objectives in which all can participate.

I'm a strong believer in not implementing new technology just because it was released...  (this definitely does NOT apply to myself, however) because technology is a tool in business that needs to create revenue or save on expenses, and if it won't do that then there is no reason to expend the effort.

There are plenty of examples of terrific productivity gains, just with Outlook 2003 alone!

http://snipurl.com/t23x

And I'm not trying to sell anything here... the fact is you already bought it!

Jeff
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by:bmtech
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Well after much furkling around I have worked out that using Outlook 2002 I can utilise all parts of the GPO for Outlook - EXCEPT for the Retention settings. When Retention is on then the problelm described in 321907 appears. Using a combination or GPO's and ".prf" files it is possible to enforce some type of standard over the initial Outlook format.

I know that when new folders are created they use an Outlook Schema or table that holds the default settings. In an ideal world I would turn on 'Archive Items in this folder according to default settings'. However until I can find the Schema this will remain a 'to do', of course the reasl solution is to move to Outlook 2003 and then all teh problems go away. I suppose that the "end of time" is a more likely option here.

Hey ho,


Cheers and thanks for your input.

Paul
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by:Melvinf
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Auto Archiving Group policy settings - first on Administrative Templates: Add Remove Templates
outlk12 - which you have to download
Classic Administrative Templates - Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Tools|Options..., Perferences, E-mail Options, Advanced E-mail Options, AutoArchive Settings, Properties
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