Cause of modified date in Exchange 2003 mailbox

Posted on 2007-10-04
Last Modified: 2010-03-06

We have a user that has a very large mailbox with dozen of folders that needs to archive the older messages to a PST in order to reduce his mailbox size (  limited to 600Meg. )

I understand that archiving is based on the modified date and not the received date... no issue there.
I also understand that the modified date/time will change if the e-mail has been read, edited, moved, copied, searched, etc.

What we have been noticing is that large amounts of e-mails will have modified dates reflecting changes in the middle of the night or on weekends when no user is present.

We are using Trend Micro's ScanMail 7.0 to scan all mailboxes on the Exchange 2003 server(s) for viruses.  This is performed nightly starting at 2:00am.   I'm assuming that it doesn't changed the modified date/time otherwise the modified date/time stamps for each and every e-mail would be modified on a nightly basis.    Is my assumption incorrect?

We also have Blackerry Enterprise Server 4.1.4 in our environment and their tech support has stated that BES doesn't change the modified date/time stamp for messages.

What's entertaining/interesting is that there doesn't appear to be a definable pattern that we detect so far. We have seen that mulitple messages get modified at the same time and that these times appear to be random.

The server environment is Exchange 2003 SP2
The desktops have Outlook 2003 fully patched.   We are using the Cached Exchange Mode as well.

Can anyone point me in the right direction to get a somewhat definitive answer for my users.

Best regards,
Rudy Benischke
Question by:TKCyclone
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    What are you using to do backups?

    A brick level backup system will also be likely to affect this timing.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    Sorry, we do not perform brick level backups...  

    We use Veritas NetBackup to back up the entire Exchange databases...
    LVL 39

    Accepted Solution

    There are only two other things that I can think of here, either the users has another way to access the mailbox, like pop3 at home - or the blackberry device itself - and NOT BES - is causing the issue.  I don't think it is a fault, I think it is by design - i mean, BBs can mark items as read over the air, so clearly they can change modified time.  I would ask the user if any of these messages are special?  Has he looked at the recently?

    Failing that, some kind of search program, like lookout, may be building indexes (which, in itself should make a difference) but it would be worth a look.

    Author Comment

    Hi Red,

    Thanks for the update.

    You have a point about the BB's... when the BES server does a reconcialiation (sp?), it does change the modified timestamp... I checked with my own BB and Outlook account...

    As well, I discovered that the user does travel globally and he does access his BB at all times... hence the weird times that the BB reconciles.

    Thank you for all your help.
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    What's the story?  Never believe support, they will always be biased to their product.

    I am glad you got it sorted, and also proved it for the next reader - I have added this little nugget of information somewhere I hope it will be found by me later :)




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