Exchange mailbox lost several months worth of email

After restoring several computers a user complained that Outlook was not auto-completing her recipients.  Before the restore I had backed up her nk2 file so restoring it shouldn't have been a problem.  I copied the file over and figured everything was good.

Shortly after the user complained that she was missing quite a lot of emails.  She had several of her latest emails from today, but the next most recent ones are from May, 2010.  I am working on restoring the mailbox from a backup, but the most recent one I have is from several days ago.

Is there any other way I might be able to restore these emails?
w00tixAsked:
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lucid8Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Do you have the user set up to use Cached email, i.e. OST?  If so could be you have an OST issue.  First thing to check is the mailbox on the server, i.e. can you see the email via OWA or by connecting from another machine that is not using an OST?
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ChopperCenturyCommented:
The user possibly had her outlook changed to save message to a local PST instead of the mailbox around May 2010. If you wiped the PC that had that PST, you are out of luck.
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MichaelVHCommented:
If the mails got deleted and you've set some retention on the deleted items they still might be available.

check out this guide for more information:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Recovering-Deleted-Items-Exchange-Server-2003-Part1.html
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ChopperCenturyCommented:
How to ensure Outlook is setup correctly in the future.
http://kb.iu.edu/data/aedh.html
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w00tixAuthor Commented:
I forgot to mention this - very important

We re-imaged the users computer on Monday (Feb 21). This morning, Wednesday, all of her emails were there when I first configured her Outlook, and it was stuck at syncing with Exchange for about a half hour, so I canceled the operation to restart Outlook. Later that day is when the user realized that recent emails were missing.

My first thought was that it being sent to a local PST file as well.
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MichaelVHCommented:
It is possible that your outlook-profile was configure to store the emails in a PST (instead of on the exchange server). In that case I fear you might 've lost the mails for good... (if no backup is present)
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w00tixAuthor Commented:
@lucid8

I checked through both OWA and setting up her account in Outlook 2003 on a different computer, they are missing, so it is gone from the exchange server.

We got a OST -> PST utility, took OST files from her App Data. While it has SOME of the missing emails, it is still missing a large chunk.

We are trying to recover the messages from a Exchange backup, but the backups (surprise) started to fail on Friday (4 days worth missing), even though the daily backup reports said "SUCCESS!"

Do not use VaultLogix for backup. Their software is atrocious.
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lucid8Commented:
1. I assume you have checked the article that Michael provided regarding deleted items and especially hard deleted items?

2. Symantec provides a similar error, i.e, they call it a successful failure meaning the backup finished but it missed some files and I suspect that VaultLogix uses something similar.

3. So the best backup you can recover from is from Thursday then eh?

4. What is your deleted item retention set to?

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lucid8Commented:
Thanks for the points much appreciated
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