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Exchange is currently in recover mode.  You can connect to your exchange server using the network, work offline, or cancel this login.

Posted on 2006-10-19
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I need a quick and accurate answer.  I’m running MS Exchange 2003.  One of my more important users had an issue recently with his AD account, it was removed.  I recreated it, but there was an issue with his mailboxes.  I didn’t handle it correctly, but I know better now.  I removed his old mailboxes from Exchange, and created a new one.  Now he get this message every time he logs in “ Exchange is currently in recover mode.  You can connect to your exchange server using the network, work offline, or cancel this login.

He was running in cached mode with his mail in a PST file, and given the options above he can see all his old mail, as well as his new server mail, but he has to keep logging in and out.

I need to resolve this fairly quickly… I have read the 2 posts on the site already, but find they aren’t that clear.  It is important that I do not loose his mail during this process.  Please assist.
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Question by:DLIT
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17766828
Was Outlook in cached mode or using a PST file? You cannot have both.

Cached mode uses an OST file, which is similar to a PST file, but isn't really portable. A PST file can be opened by any other machine.

Does the problem follow the user to another machine? It could be a duff Outlook or Windows profile. It is easily tested without disrupting the email that is already there.
I presume that no other users are getting this message?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:DLIT
ID: 17766892
He is the only user effected.  I upgraded activbe directory in the forest to install a new 2003 DC and his login account was deleted.  I have deleted all old references and built a new account, but the error msg still remains.  He was running in chached mode, and still is.

No other user effected, and he only uses the one laptop.  I thought in cached mode the files were loaded on the users computer, is that correct?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17766974
Cached mode is basically offline folders from pre Outlook 2003 days, with some tweaks. It isn't personal folders. The email remains on the Exchange server (so can be viewed in OWA), there is a COPY of the email on the workstation.

Considering what you have done, this looks like a classic case of either corrupt Outlook or Windows profile. Getting the user to login to another machine and setting up Outlook there will confirm that. If it works on another machine then you know that it is either of the two profiles.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:DLIT
ID: 17767046
So if I setup a new profile on my machine with his account and login, a copy of his email will be stored on my machine?  Assuming that that works with no error, should I then have him make a new profile on his machine pointing to the same email account?  If that works, can we then import his email from his pst into that profile?  We upgraded to Outlook from Outlook express recently and imported all the local email.
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by:Sembee
ID: 17767109
Setup the profile on another machine logged in as the user. Doesn't have to be your machine, can be another one.
First thing I would do, when you are setting up Outlook is DESELECT cached mode. This uses live information from the Exchange server. You can then see what is there and what is not.

Rule one - protect the data you have. By connecting live you can see if the email you expect to be in the mailbox is actually on the server. If it is, then dropping the profile on the original machine is fairly risk free.

If it doesn't match or isn't there at all, then you need to work out why.
On the original machine, check the delivery location and for the presence of PST files.

If the user is on a PST file, move that file to another location on the user's machine (not a network share). Then recreate the profile.
When you recreate the profile, do not enable cached mode at this time. Ensure that the delivery location is set to "Mailbox" not "Personal Folders".
Once Outlook is configured, import the contents of the PST file. As you are not in cached mode, but are working live, the email will go direct in to the mailbox. This makes the import much quicker.
Once the import has been completed and verified as complete, turn on cached mode on the workstation and allow Outlook to download the email. Do not be concerned when the email appears to disappear when you first enable cached mode, that is because the cache (the file on the local machine) is empty and needs to be populated.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:DLIT
ID: 17767120
I setup the new profile on my PC with his account, and there are no errors.  I believe my only issue is getting his personal folder into this profile, so he can see them both wehn logged in?

What do you think?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17767194
Do you want to operate with two files? If the PST file contains business email then the best place for it is in the Exchange mailbox so that it is backed up. It will also be more effective from a storage point of view.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:DLIT
ID: 17767241
I understand you point, my reasoning for placing the email in a pst file on the user computers was a) so I don't have to worry about them wasting server space (they have years of email) and b) these users run remotely from all over the world using OWA and I didn’t want them to have to open their old email across a somewhat slow Internet connection.  But I am open to your thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17767363
The space issue is a tricky one.

Exchange is much better at storing the data than a PST file. 300mb of email in Exchange can take up to 900mb of space in a PST. The general feeling with PST files in the Exchange community is that they are not good things (PSTs are evil some will say). They get corrupted easily, are difficult to backup and an admin nightmare. The only time they are really tolerated is when you hit limits in the Exchange database and need to get the email out.

Having all that email in the mailbox doesn't impact the speed of OWA. OWA has been designed so that it doesn't cause a problem. If the email is available in OWA rather than only on laptops then the users get some benefit from that - its all in a single place.

Therefore the preference is to have everything in Exchange, with Outlook in cached mode. They have all of their email offline (if required), they have all of their email online (for OWA use). If the laptop goes walkies (which does happen) the loss is limited.
Cached mode is designed for use with limited speed connections, I have sites where the users are coming in over dial up. They use cached mode to work with their email which gives them the full Exchange feature set.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:DLIT
ID: 17768398
It all sounds good simon, thanks.  I've been playing with this, and I think with your help I have it under control. If I choose to give theem/him acess to his old emails via a ost file (on the server) rather than a PST file (on their PC) they will be able to look up old emails via this copy, even when offline ( when on a plane for instance) correct?

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Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 17768470
Cached mode is an offline mirror of the mailbox, so once it is setup and in sync with the mailbox, the messages can be read anywhere, even on a plain.
Additionally, if the user has one of those desktop search tools, (Google Search, Microsoft Desktop etc) then it doesn't increase the load on the server while it is indexing the mail.

Simon.
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