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Microsoft Exchange Email System -old emails lost

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
One of my clients had a staff member leave them some time ago, over 12 months.  When the employee left it looks like someone disabled their account in Active Directory.
That employee recently returned, so I enabled his account again then set it up on a PC for him.

After setting up his exchange email system we found that the email system was empty for this employee.  When he left previously there was lots of emails in his system.

Is there any way of retrieving these emails or do they get deleted if you disable a user account?
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Question by:mbelletty
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LVL 11

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stefor earned 167 total points
ID: 36493820
You could check for a disconnected mailbox with the same name as this employee.

What version of Exchange are you using?

Most likely this mailbox resides in the database somewhere, but is orphaned.
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by:mbelletty
ID: 36493843
Ok I am not a full bottle of knowledge on exchange. It is an sbs 2008 server . With exchange are the email databases created as pst files like in a pop setup ?
If so where are they all usually located on a server?
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LVL 14

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by:setasoujiro
setasoujiro earned 166 total points
ID: 36494189
They are not in a pst, they are in the exchange Information Store (.edb)
there is however a chance that you can restore :
When an account and mailbox are disabled, they are marked for deletion, so i think you will be out of luck, since it was so long ago.

there is a SLIM chance, that the user can go on the pc he last worked on 12 months ago , and open outlook.
If all is well, you should have a cached mailbox (ost) there. and then export the mails from that outlook to a PST , and then import in the new mailbox
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LVL 40

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by:footech
footech earned 167 total points
ID: 36495242
A disabled account is not automatically deleted (neither is the mailbox) unless you're running some script or other tool to specifically do this for you.

In the case of trying to log on to his old machine, I would first disconnect this machine from the network.  Otherwise when he opens Outlook, if there is any data in the .OST, it will synchronize with Exchange, and if the mailbox is truly empty everything will be deleted.

Any chance you have a backup from 12 months ago?  You could restore just his mailbox.
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