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Missing Outlook Folders

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Greetings,

Over the weekend, the President of the company was in Europe and upon opening his Outlook, reported that most of the folders  under his Inbox in Outlook had disappeared.  Use use Outlook Anywhere so his Outlook 'synchronized' to the Exchange server when he first logged into his Outlook.  I logged into his mailbox from a computer in the office and verified that he indeed only has 2 folders under the Inbox when he had a lot more before (not sure of exact number).  I have checked different folders under Mailbox (especially the Deleted Items folder) to see if they may have been moved accidently.

He is running Outlook 2007 on Windows 7 Professional.  We are running Exchange 2003.

My thinking is that he may have done one of the following: (1) he may have, without knowing, moved the folders to his local archive folders (2)  used shift+delete to permanently delete folders from mailbox (3) mailbox corruption.

Can anybody think of something else that I may have missed?  Also, in case of mailbox corruption, how can I determine that his mailbox is actually corrupt?

I haven't actually gotten his laptop yet.  I will be getting it in the next half hour.

Thank you.


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Question by:msstech
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LVL 5

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by:
jawad1481 earned 500 total points
ID: 33716992
HI!

Can you try opening his mailbox using OWA ?

If in OWA we cannot see those folders then probably those folders are missing. I mean to say it could be the problem with the CACHE mode also.

In this case you will have restore from backup in Recovery Storage group and merge the President's Mailbox to recover those folders.

Regards,

:)
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:dogznbonz
dogznbonz earned 500 total points
ID: 33717099
I don't know how it happens, but I have had several users accidentally move many folders by flick of the wrist. It seems like they inadvertently highlight a bunch of folders and with a slight movement they drop them in another folder, then they panic and say there files are gone.

I always ask the user what a known folder was that is missing and then look for it. Usually if I find one I will find the others there with it.
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:FDiskWizard
FDiskWizard earned 500 total points
ID: 33717100
Yeah, folders don't normally just disappear.
Do you have deleted item retention turned on in Exchange? You could try Outlook > Actions > Recover...

Not sure where the option is in Outlook 2007, in 2010 its FOLDER tab, then Recover Deleted Items button.

Check for a rule also. But I don't think a rule can move folders. But same applies to manually deleting. You can't select multiple folders for deleting. Unless you tried deleting the top-level folder.

We did have one case like this recently of vanished emails. Not sure what became of it. The user never would call us back.
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Author Comment

by:msstech
ID: 33717413
Hi,

jawad1481:
I did try OWA and the folders are not there also.  And it's not issue with the CACHE because I also accessed his mailbox from another comptuer and it has the folders missing also.

dogznbonz:
Agreed.  So I checked all the folders within Outlook mailbox, but did not find the missing folders.

FDiskWizard:
We do have deleted rentenion turned on in Exchange.  When I look to recover items in the Deleted Items folder, it doesn't bring any up.  It does have emails within the Deleted Items folder, so I am guessing that he hadn't done the Empty Deleted Items yet...

Thank you.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:godd31
godd31 earned 500 total points
ID: 33717639
Have you tried to PC remote to his laptop and try the above suggestions about recovering deleted items? Sounds like you only used a PC that was in the office and not his actual system. Please confirm.

Outside of that you may have to setup a development server and restore exchange to that and retrieve his items using another PC to restore his mailbox and move his items to a PST. Hope you don't have to go that route.
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