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Outlook emails missing from server after VPN Connection

Posted on 2009-04-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I just set up a VPN Connection to my office server.  When I configured the client to access outlook via VPN it seems to have transferred all of my emails off of the server.  I justed wanted the client to have a copy and sync up with the server.  I looked through Outlook - Tools - menu for a option to keep the files on the server but never found the option.  Any ideas how to fix this?
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Question by:JSTechinLA
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24206727
Did you setup a POP account or an Exchange account in Outlook?
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24206757
I set up an Exchange account.
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by:esmith69
ID: 24206788
I've never heard of Outlook removing messages from an Exchange server except when Outlook was setup with a POP account.

Is Cached Exchange mode turned on in Outlook?
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24206835
Yes, Cached Exchange mode is turned on.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24206856
Ok, so this is strange.  My Calendar and Contacts are only on the server, not on the client.  What in the *&)& did I do?
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Expert Comment

by:biofishfreak
ID: 24206861
Can you access your emails from Outlook on the local network (ie: not through the VPN)? Outlook doesn't (and can't to my knowledge) remove the files from the server.

If the email account was setup on another machine prior to using VPN, and that's missing the emails now, try this http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA011165281033.aspx to see if the emails were somehow deleted but are still on the server.
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by:esmith69
ID: 24206980
Another thing to verify is that there are no strange views currently defined in Outlook that are hiding the messages.  I guess the easiest way to verify this would be to right click the mailbox as it shows up on the left side in Outlook, go to properties, and view the size of the mailbox.  It should show you the size of the offline copy as well as the size on the server.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207102
Ok, Emails are now appearing on the server ( I don't know why there weren't there before...) but...
The Inbox file size on the server is 26.4mb   and the VPN Client is 28.0 mb.  Also, I just started a send/receive from the client and it wants to take 9 minutes to complete....what is it doing???
As you can see I only know enough about outlook and exchange to get myself into trouble...
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207140
Well, I figured out what it was doing for the 9 minutes....creating duplicates.  Since the e-mails are on my server can I just delete the account on the client and start over?
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24207175
You can remove the account from Outlook.  I would also remove the .ost file (cached exchange file) and create a new OUtlook profile.  This will ensure Outlook doesn't try to re-use the same cached exchange file.

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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207191
Should the exchange file be cached?  And how do I get the contacts and calendar items to appear?
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24207212
If you're using a VPN, I would definitely recommend using Cached Exchange Mode to help limit the amount of information that has to be sent over the VPN.  It will take longer to complete the initial sync but after that it will be much faster in day-to-day use.

The contacts and calendar items should automatically show up in Outlook, but they're usually not the first thing to get synched up.  Usually I recommend waiting until OUtlook says "All Folders are up to date" in the bottom right corner.  Usually at that point you know it's done synching things.  Until then, it may say something like "THIS folder is up to date", which means it's not quite done yet.

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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207309
ok, I'll try that.  I renamed all of my pst files to tsp and ost to tso so outlook won't see them.  Should I just move *.* out of the outlook folder on my client machine?  There are some oab files that I am not sure what to do with.  Thanks for your help so far, your explanations are great.
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24207330
If possible I would also delete the Outlook profile (control panel->mail->profiles).  When you re-open Outlook it will have you specify the name of a new profile.  Just name it something different from what the old profile was.  I think that's all you'll need to do though.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207572
Is it normal for outlook to go to (not responding) during the initial connection?  I check my processes and it seems to be working...
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24207587
Depends how much data needs to be transferred and what speed the connection is.  I would definitely give it at least an hour if connecting via VPN.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24207596
Will do.  Sounds like a good time for lunch.  Thanks-
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24209649
Almost everything is working now.  The only strange thing is my calendar had all of the correct information but now it is missing the majority of the appointments that I added over the last month.  The data is still on the server and I can see it on my desktop, but not on the remote client.  I also had dozens of reminders pop up but I did the /clearreminders switch on both the server and client and that seemed to take care of that problem.
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24209824
You could also log on to OWA and check if the calendar info shows up in there.

Is it saying "all folders are up to date" in Outlook now?
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24209965
Everything is there on OWA.  And "all folders areup to date." according to Outlook.
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24210023
Sorry, I missed the part of your post where you said the data is still on the server.

If Outlook is saying "All folders are up to date", that almost always means that it's done synching and nothing more will be added in.

When you recreated the profile did you choose a different name?  And just to confirm, you deleted the .ost file already, correct?
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24210068
Yes on both questions.  New name & ost file deleted.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24210086
I actually saw all of the appointments at one point with the new setup.  Then they weren't there any more.
Of course I have seen so many outlook screens today I might be hallucinating.  
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24210143
The switch should be /cleanreminders.

Here is a list of other available command-line switches for Outlook.  You may want to try running some of them (i.e. /cleanfreebusy, /resetfolders, /cleanroamedprefs, /cleanprofile, etc.)
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24210147
The reminders are back.  One is 5628 days overdue...
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24210523
Should I run the command lines from the server or client?
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24214802
client
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24214825
sorry, I forgot to include the link in my post where I listed some of the switches.  Here is a link to all the switches and an explanation of each:  
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HP012185891033.aspx
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24217428
Those rules are for outlook 2007 - I have 2003.  I didn't see cleanroamedprefs but tried all of the rest to no good results.   Should I delete the OST file and try a new profile again?  
The only things wrong now are my calendar items and the reminders.  Email and contacts work fine.
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24217445
You could definitely try doing things as you describe.

Have you checked the event logs on the Exchange server yet?  There may be some errors in there related to this that might point you in the right direction as well.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24217517
What is strange is that my PDA is working fine.  I had a message on the screen that said that since my outlook had changed so much it needed to re-sync everything, but it is working just fine.  Appointments are all there.  I think I will reset by remote client again and then see what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24217551
When you're deleting the Outlook profile and .ost file, make sure to delete the extend.dat file as well (if it exists).  Should be in the same place under the "documents and settings" folder as the .ost file.
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24217811
The plot thickens..
Re install complete. Same results...except. If I search the calendar for a future appointment it will show up on a list.  It just doesn't display on the calendar.  Any ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:esmith69
ID: 24218054
Do you have a "view" button near the top that lets you select the amount of detail to view?  Also, are you viewing the calendar in monthly view, weekly view, or the daily view?
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Author Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 24219827
I have tried viewing the calendar in daily, weekly and monthly.  Items still missing.  I do have the View option off of the toolbar.  
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Accepted Solution

by:
esmith69 earned 2000 total points
ID: 24220303
At this point I would say maybe a reinstall of Outlook?  It definitely sounds like something is wacky with Outlook, since I think you said everything shows up properly in OWA.
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Author Closing Comment

by:JSTechinLA
ID: 31573387
You are right.  It is time to reinstall outlook.  I am going to close this case, you have suffered enough.  Thank you for all of the help, you have been the best responder I have encountered.
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