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Outlook Reminders from Hell

Posted on 2012-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-04-14
I have a client who is having an issue with Outlook reminders NEVER getting dismissed and going away.

We are running SBS-2003 with Exchange 2003 - latest revisions and all updates installed.  The workstation used to running Outlook 2007 and was recently updated to Outlook 2010 (this update was an attempt to fix the problem) on Windows XP SP3.

Problem:  When a reminder pops up the user clicks the "dismiss" button.  However, the reminder continues to pop up - for days and days and days.  *HOWEVER*- reminders DO WORK CORRCTLY on her Android phone and her iPad.  This makes me think it's a Outlook/workstation issue rather than an Exchange issue.

As attempted fixes, I have:  restarted Outlook with "/cleanreminders", rebuilt the Outlook profile, removed very old calendar items, made a few registry hacks I found via Google, etc. all to no avail.  The ()^&( reminders just won't die!

Looking for any ideas, clever or otherwise!  

TIA,
Jim
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Question by:jgutman
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Haraldsson
ID: 37734310
Have you tried the user on another computer?
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Author Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37734701
No, but to what end?  Already reinstalled Office 2010.  The user doesn't have another laptop around to use.  And reminders do work correctly on her phone and iPad.
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Haraldsson
ID: 37734745
To what end? If she has the same problem on a different machine then it's not connected to the Outlook installation but could be an Exchange issue.

Have you tried to delete the .ost and rebuild it?
What is the behavior when the user is in online mode (not using Cached mode)?
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Author Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37734778
I understand and agree.  but, like I said, reminders work perfectly on her phone and iPad.  Yes, we have deleted the .ost.  We have also deleted her Outlook profile and rebuilt it.  

Good question regarding cached vs. online mode.  haven't tried that one.  This client employee travels ALOT and only has a laptop.  Removing cached mode will be a serious problem for her since she won't have access to email and real-time syncing will take forever.  

I'll ask her if we can "experiment" but frankly I'd be surprised if she agreed.  :(

I was *really* hoping someone would chime and and say, "oh yeah, I'm familiar with this problem and here's how you fix it...."  ;)

Jim
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Expert Comment

by:Sigurdur Haraldsson
ID: 37734795
Maybe someone who has encountered this will chime in tomorrow...

Did you try to start outlook with /cleansniff?      (Deletes duplicate reminder messages.)

And just to clarify: this happens with all reminders or just one? What happens after the reminder is dismissed in Android /Ipad? Does it stay dismissed in the Outlook client as well?

You could try her webmail as well, see what the behavour is there.
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Author Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37734842
Hi.

Haven't used /cleansniff   (actually never heard of it!)  I have used /cleanreminders.

This happens will all reminders.  If they are dismissed on the Android/iPad, they STILL appear on Outlook.

Reminders work perfectly in webmail.

Jim
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Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 37735928
How did you get on with Turning off cached Exchange Mode?


Have had this before and If cached exchange mode is off and you still get the dismissed reminders, I usually go into Calendar

Change the View to List.

The right click on the columns on the top
Choose View Settings
Click on Columns
Then add the reminder column to the list on the right

Close window

Now arrange your Calendar by Reminder.

Do you see the meeting/appointment you keep getting reminded on?

If you do, and is no longer required. Simply delete the appointment
This should clear the appointment out of your calendar as well as the corrupt reminder

Alternativley if you still need the appointment
You can try opening it, and removing the reminder
then saving the Appointment
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Author Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37735948
As it's Sunday, I haven't been able to get to the client's laptop today.  HOWEVER, it's not just 1 reminder that's screwed up.  It' almost all of them.  Not quite all, and I haven't been able to see any pattern as to what makes a reminder get screwed up.  For legal reasons, all appointments must be kept on the calendar (even past ones) and cannot be deleted.

Also, this client has a LOT of appointments and A LOT of reminders.  Thus, it's impractical for them to go into calendar/ view by reminder and delete them all the time.  Additionally, I have seen it where they are unable to delete the reminder.  Unfortunately, I don't recall the error message, but it was obscure.

<sigh>
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Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 37736061
If the appointments must say, unfortunatley the options here are pretty limited

Additionaly, the resoluition(s) are going to require a bit of interactions from a user

When deleting individual reminders doesnt work,

You could download MFCMAPI and use this tool to delete all the reminders and re-generate them

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/calendar/delete-reminders-that-keep-returning/
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Author Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37736130
Good idea about mfcmapi tool.  I'll give it a try on Monday.    Jim
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Accepted Solution

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jgutman earned 0 total points
ID: 37825018
Closing this one out.
In the end, we needed to:
--Export all calendar from mailbox to a .PST
--Move all past calendar entries to a new Calendar sub-folder
--Copy (duplicate) and then open export .PST file in Outlook
--Manually move all current/future and non-recurring calendar items back into root calendar folder
--Manually open and resave all recurring items in .PST file
--Manually move all recurring items to root calendar

Something in the above process appears to have fixed the issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jgutman
ID: 37845949
[please see latest comment]
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