Exchange 2003 cant view free/busy time after Nov. 1st

Posted on 2007-10-03
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Hi Guys and Gals
I have a problem with Exchange 2003/outlook 2003 where all the users can view other users calendars, however, when they try to view free busy information while using outlook to plan a meeting, there is no information available after Nov. 1st of 2007.  Stranger still is, there are three of four users (out of 300) that can bee seen with no difficulties by anyone.
We had 2 2003 exchange servers and have migrated/replicated all the public folder info from the old to the new server, and even whent as far as to "move" the replicas to the new/existing server to no avail.  I have notice that if I have a user start outlook with the "cleanfreebusy" switch, an error is returned that basically says, "unable to clean your free/busy information on the server"
When we brought the old server down, we waited till there were no longer any replication messages being sent and or received by the old server, however we have not removed the server from the domain or from the exchange Org yet. we simply made the new server the "master" and removed all replication instances from the new server that tell it to look for replicas there...

It has been a week since we brought the serve down, but it has been more along the lines of 3 weeks that we have noticed the problem of not being able to see free/busy info after the 1st of November.

both servers are fully patched as of 1 week ago, both exchange 2003 ent.
Thanks In advance for your help on this!
Question by:CCNPwanabe
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    Have you replicated the system folders?
    What guide are you using to remove that original server?
    You should be using this:

    This looks like publication of free/busy information has stopped. By default it only publishes two months, so seeing to the end of October would fit with the week ago shutdown of the server.

    For what its worth, I am not a fan of the shutdown method. I prefer the remove it correctly method.


    Author Comment

    The article(s) that we are using is from

    A tad less dry than MS KB article, and basically the same. But this one has pretty pictures :-)
    So, we are at the point in the second article that says Shut down for a while.
    Up till that point we have followed that set of articles to the tea with no hick ups.

    I should also point out that we have tried creating appointments in the future to force replication between the outlook clients and exchange for the free busy time, to know avail.
    thanks for your attention in this matter Simon!

    Author Comment

    I think we have this cleared up, and Im embarased to say that it was a simple permissions oversight.  Right clicked on the Public Folder instance in Folders with in ESM and saw that the group everyone wernt given read permissions, nor was authenticated Users given that permission,.
    I just changes that, and sent a meeting request to a few people , they accepted, forcing outlook to sync free busy time with exchange and now I can see those calendars... But only out as far as Dec 1st now...
    They have thier "publish 2 months " in the properties of free busy time in outlook.  But Now my question is this....

    At what interval does outlook update exchange... technically if a calendar is set tp update 2 months in advance, and today is Oct 4th and I can only see up to Dec 1st... thats less than 2 months... shouldnt it be Dec 4th>... Is it really 2 months or is it rounded down to some other value of time....
    Ananswer to this would be interesting to know.

    Author Comment

    Also, One last point (Simon)
    We do fully intend to "gracefully" remove the server, by removing it from the organization following the steps in the last part of the above noted article... We dont want any remnents of the old server floating around in AD or within our Exchange organization.

    Any thoughts to the above question regarding time intervals and free/busy updates?
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    The free busy period is complete months.
    Therefore if it is set two months then you will only get to Dec 1st. The question usually comes up near the end of the month.


    Author Comment

    Thanks Simon, Have a good evening... Its late where you are, get some sleep!

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