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Using PST files on multiple Terminal Server Profiles, mail is downloaded twice

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello Everyone

I have a customer that is using a terminal server in their small office.  They have a single email account that is being pop'd from a shaw account. Outlook is installed on the server and all users are using it.

The weird starts here... There is a PST file which many users are sharing, between 5 user profiles they all have their outlook to use this PST file, and they all have identical profiles to retrieve mail from the same pop account. They are aware that only one user can use the PST at a time, but this allows them a "general" mailbox that they each have access to, depending on who is working. They all have the option to "leave messages on the server" checked. This allows people to check webmail as well, (and sync a phone to the shaw account).

The problem is that all of a sudden, after mail is downloaded from the server, the user will sort it and delete as necessary, then she will close outlook. Another user will open outlook and it will re download the same email a second time.

If you close it again and move to another user account it does not download it again, just twice, never more or less. I have confirmed that since they are using Outlook 2003 the "fetched email" data store is actually saved in the PST file itself, so it should carry that info over to other users when it is used.

I hopei  have given enough information, does anyone have any idea on how to correct this?(without going to exchange as i have tried to explain that outlook was not made to function correctly with this setup.)

Thank you
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Question by:SpyderG
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
PartnerTek earned 250 total points
ID: 33622541
The "leave mail on the server" option should be unchecked, otherwise it will download the message again after it was deleted.  I would suggest that you set up the email using IMAP, instead of POP3, this way it will synchronize with the server, other than download the messages.  This will also depend on how much space they are allowed on the server if they intend on keeping email in the mailbox for an extended period of time.  They could, however, move messages they want to keep to a PST file.
 Sounds like a situation that would best be served by gmail (with their own domain, of course) if they don't want to pop the cash for Exchange.  Or, better yet, do a hosted Exchange mailbox and set everyone up to access it via Outlook.  Hosted Exchange runs anywhere from $7-$20/month per mailbox, depending on where you go.
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Author Comment

by:SpyderG
ID: 33622629
Is there any reason why it would download the mail a second time though? If it has already been downloaded it shouldn't matter if i have moved it to the deleted items.

After just trying again i can confirm that the mail is re-downloaded even if it is left in the inbox as read or un-read.
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:GillesT
GillesT earned 250 total points
ID: 33624742
If you configure a POP3 to leave message on the server, each Outlook will download the message, it is normal !
Why don't you configure to connect throw IMAP ?
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Author Comment

by:SpyderG
ID: 33747562
Yah the points can be split 50/50, Partnertek did give the smtp solution first, but GillesT explained that outlook would download the message for each copy of outlook accessing it, and that it was normal.
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