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Offline Address Book update problem

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Im having a problem with the Offline Address Book in my company. We are in the process of migrating users from Exchange 2003 to 2010 but Im not sure if thats the cause. Some users simply do not show up in the Offline Address book when Outlook is in Cached Mode but you can find the in the OWA Address Book. Strangely though, if I look at the udetails.oab file on local workstation those users are there and I cannot find any attributes in AD or in Exchange that are different for a user that does not appear in the Offline Address Book compared to a user that works. To add to the confusion, those problematic users include users that have been migrated to Exchange 2010 and users that are still on the Exchange 2003 servers. They also come from different OU´s and in short do not have anything obvious in common. I estimate that this is the case for perhaps 5% of my users

So the question basically is why does Outlook in Cached Mode not resolve all items from the Offline Address book, even if that item can be found in the local downloaded Offline Address Book; udetails.oab ?  
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Question by:stadarnet
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Expert Comment

by:BCipollone
ID: 34999887
Good question.

Start outlook by running "outlook.exe /safe" and see if you can see the users. (checking for addon problem)
Remove the .oab files from the appdata location and let the server rebuild the address book
Repair the OST/PST involved by using scanost.exe or pst respectively.

In the worst case scenario.... create a new profile and recreate the environment (rename the nk2 to match the new profile or use nk2edit to migrate the nickname cache - re-add any archive psts to the account)
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Author Comment

by:stadarnet
ID: 35001552
Thanks for your reply.

During my troubleshooting I have checked both with my own account using Outlook 2010 and with a test user account using Outlook 2007 clean install on a vm so any addon should not be interfering. Also my account has been migrated to the Exchange 2010 server so Im tempted to rule out nk2 as well. If I delete the oab files the problem users appear in the address book but as soon as I download a new copy of the address book they disappear. I believe that if there are no oab files in the appdata folder then Outlook defaults to the Global Address Book if it can connect to the server ?

So Im still wondering what causes Exchange to create some items in the Offline Address Book in such a format that they cannot be resolved by Outlook but are okay in the Outlook Web Access view.
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Author Comment

by:stadarnet
ID: 35055184
Update: I have just found out that the users that dont appear in the Offline Address Book at first sight, actually can be found by using Advanced Search.

So the fact I could find them by checking the udetails.oab file now makes sense since I could not see any problems with their user accounts or with populating or refreshing the Address Book.

Now I need to rephrase my question; why do some of my user not appear in normal view in the Address Book but need to be searched for with the Advanced Search function ? What dictates how users are displayed or not ?
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Accepted Solution

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stadarnet earned 0 total points
ID: 35259701
Well, for those interested the reason for all this was that there was nothing really wrong with the Address Book. It turns out that if a user account in AD has too many Published Certificates it exceeds some size limit and will not display correctly (or at all) in the Offline Address Book. If you remove the unneeded certificates and rebuild the Address Book then all users will display.
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Author Closing Comment

by:stadarnet
ID: 35312585
Researhed this myself and with the help of a technician from Microsoft.
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