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Need to be able to open anyone's mailbox for admin purposes

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I've been asked to do some forensic research of some employees which requires that I be able to open their mailbox and view everything including sent mail, deleted mail and such.  In exchange 5.5 I could open people's mailboxes with an Exchange Admin account.   Not so in Exchange 2003.   I tried to create an admin profile with the Exchange Admin account as the owner of the mailbox and then ADD other users mailboxes, but it doesn't seem to work all the time.

Can I use the System Manager in a way to view/pull emails from any account?  I'd prefer to do things from my computer, but have no issues running things from the server.

Please advise.



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Question by:rdelrosario
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Expert Comment

by:amaheshwari
ID: 17075340
By Default Exchange 2003 service account does not have full rights to access all the mailboxes.This article discusses how to grant permissions to all mailboxes in Exchange 2003.

How to assign service account access to all mailboxes in Exchange Server 2003.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;821897
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by:rdelrosario
ID: 17075462
I'm using an account that I already granted full access to (its used successfully by Veritas Backup Exec for Exchange) so I know it has full rights to all mailboxes.
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by:kristinaw
ID: 17075932
if your account has already been granted the appropriate permissions as detailed in the article referenced above, then you should be able to do file > open > other user's folder, and open the inbox that way. If that works, you should be OK.

you mention it works sometimes, but not all the time. are all mailbox users on the same store? same exchange server?

kris.
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Author Comment

by:rdelrosario
ID: 17076484
I need access to sent items/deleted items and such.  I don't believe thats an option for "opening other user's folders".   Actually I thought it was working sometimes... but I was wrong... It never works.
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by:kristinaw
ID: 17076737
as long as you have assigned the permissions correctly as per the article, you should be able to add the mailbox in the profile, or open the inbox via the method i described. if you can do neither, go through the article again.

kris.
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Author Comment

by:rdelrosario
ID: 17078097
As I mentioned, I need access to sent item/deleted items... opening up other users folders won't do it.   That will give you inbox, but not sent items....As for the article you mentioned, I already have an account with appropriate permissions.  The article is old news.  Any other ideas.
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kristinaw earned 500 total points
ID: 17078175
no. the article works. if it's not working for you then someone, somewhere has done something that is causing the permissions not to be inherited down properly. i'm pretty sure that if you 'add the mailbox in the profile' , as i mentioned in my last post, you'll get access to every folder in the mailbox, including sent, etc.

i'm pretty sure about this because i do it daily.

the 'experts' on this site are all volunteers. volunteer means we aren't paid.

there often is no 'easy' button when it comes to troubleshooting. if you had an account with the appropriate permissions, it seems to reason that it would work for all accounts. something obviously is not the same between accounts that do work and accounts that don't.

what exactly have you done to troubleshoot the issue? have you tried creating a new user and see if your service account has access to that user? if it doesn't, it's possibly inheritance got turned off.

at any rate, the more info you provide the easier it will likely be to find a solution. i frequently go through things more than once to make sure i haven't missed something. but if you don't want to do that, that's fine too.

best wishes,
kristinaw

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