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mails are disappearing from the outlook(exchange) account

Posted on 2010-11-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi experts

I have a weird problem with one of your employees mailbox.
From time to time mails seem to disappear. My employees says that he didnt delete them.
But they can neither be found in outlook nor in owa or Exchange via Iphone.
I checked if outlooks view is filtered, which is not the case. I searched every folder of outlook, no success.
The mail was delivered, I checked that via Exchange Mangement console.

I'm using outlook 2003 and exchange 2003 on a windows 2003 server.

Hope you can help
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Question by:Arikael
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Expert Comment

by:prashant_sawant
ID: 34204988
If your mail disappears as soon as you've read it, it's probably because you're using a read-only view. The default Outlook setting for the preview or reading pane is Mark as read after 5 seconds and when the view refreshes the message is hidden. It's less of a problem with Outlook 2003 because the view isn't refreshed until you leave a folder and return or press F5.

If you're using Exchange and you see the message arrive in the Inbox and it immediately disappears, you likely have a *.pst configured as the default delivery location. With the *.pst set as the default delivery location, the messages are moved out of the mailbox and into the *.pst as they arrive in Outlook. Verify the profile is using the Exchange mailbox as the message store not a personal message store. Look for this setting in Tools, Email accounts, View or change existing email accounts. It's at the bottom of the Account manager dialog. In Outlook 97/98/2000, look for account properties using the Tools, Services dialog.

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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 34204991
Maybe he did setup email archiving and opted to delete mail instead of moving to a PST?

What do you mean with "from time to time"?
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Author Comment

by:Arikael
ID: 34205178
Hi

@The_Kirschi
Archiving is disabled
From time to time means 1 or 2 mails per week. The user says he didn't delete them.

@parshant_sawant
as only very few mails disappear, I don't think this may cause the problem (I checked mails don't get delivered to a pst)
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 34205251
Maybe mails are marked as Junk and Junk folder is configured to delete items?

Otherwise I would suspect iPhone as guilty somehow.
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Author Comment

by:Arikael
ID: 34205580
I checked the junkfilter.
Outlook said, that I cannot use the junkfilter, since it's running in online mode.
But after this message I saw that the filter is set to the lowest level and the "delete junk" mark is not checked.
Strange.

The user said he had this problems also before he used his iphone
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Accepted Solution

by:
prashant_sawant earned 250 total points
ID: 34205877
If this is a few mails then this has to be human error, As i checked through many sites and does not find any relievant behaviour of outlook, So as per me this can be human error which has caused the issue.
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Author Comment

by:Arikael
ID: 34205916
My thoughts exactly

But the user aka my boss was very persistent.
Is it perhaps possible to turn on some logging-mechanism to see when and if mails get deleted?
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Assisted Solution

by:The_Kirschi
The_Kirschi earned 250 total points
ID: 34206057
Unless the mails were deleted with Shift+Del they must have gone to the Deleted Items folder. If already deleted from there they should be recoverable from dumpster if you have configured a retention policy on the server.
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Author Comment

by:Arikael
ID: 34206223
Thanks, I'll check that on the server and report back.
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Expert Comment

by:prashant_sawant
ID: 34206635
No u cannot track the mails from outlook, So 4get of the mechanism. Please ensure and educate the user to make sure that the mails are very rarelly deleted automatically until there is a thid party software at ur end which can cause the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:prashant_sawant
ID: 34229473
Arikael has the issue resolved. Awaiting for your reply.
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Author Comment

by:Arikael
ID: 34229846
Hi, sorry

Sorry for not coming back.
I checked the the hard deleted emails like here: http://www.petri.co.il/using_owa_2003_to_recover_deleted_items.htm

it seems the mails are there, so the user must have deleted them
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