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Outlook Inbox subfolders disappearing

Posted on 2012-04-02
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Last Modified: 2014-01-16
I have a user (my CEO of course) whose subfolders of his outlook inbox are disappearing.  Email that is in his inbox is fine and none are missing, it is only the subfolders within the inbox that are disappearing.  It is approximately 3 dozen subfolders that go missing.

He has a laptop with Outlook 2007 connecting to an Exchange 2010 server.  Auto archive had been configured but is no longer turned on when we examine the only MS outlook he is configured to use.  He uses the laptop sparingly and never removes if from the dock.  When the first round of missing email folders occurred we checked the archives but it was not there, or anywhere we could find.   we turned the auto archive off and the folders have gone missing 2 more times.  
The CEO prefers his iPad 2 and iPhone 4s (both on iOS ver 5.0.1) as his daily tools.  He travels often and is rarely on his laptop in comparison to the iPad and iPhone.  The CEO's assistant has a MAC (lion OS) book Pro with Mac Mail and Outlook for MAC 2011.  She is in his email all day as well as hers.   She has had no mail loss we can find so we do not believe that these are the issue but are open to check potential issues.
To complicate things we recently upgraded to Exchange 2010 from 2003 and moved the CEO's assistant to a MAC book Pro from windows XP within 2 weeks of each other.  It was after the upgrade and desktop move both happened we noticed the missing folders.  So it could be that either, both or neither are contributing to the problem.
We are stumped.  We cannot find where the email is going or why.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Thanks in Advance.
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Question by:LarryT313
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4 Comments
 
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DLeaver earned 500 total points
ID: 37796708
There is a good chance that you are looking at a user error here.  Outlook folders don't just go missing unless the have been removed or they didn't export/import properly during the migration.

The folders would remain, regardless of archiving as this wouldn't remove the folders even if the archiving left the subsequent folder empty.

What permissions does the CEO's assistant have on the mailbox, full access would give them the ability to remove the subfolders.  The move from XP to a MAC is quite a change and therefore they could have removed the folders withoiut realising it
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 37799067
Use the following cmdlet to retrieve the folder path for the current location of the folder
Get-MailboxFolderStatistics jim | where { $_.FolderPath.ToLower().Contains("PartOfFolderName") -eq $True }

Once you know the location of the folder you can use MfcMapi to open the properties of the folder to get the last modified time and modified by
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Author Comment

by:LarryT313
ID: 37852533
After two weeks of patience after the folders were restored they have stayed.  It looks like a either user error did it.
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Expert Comment

by:MLAnderson
ID: 39787343
This is too simplistic.  Our CEO's delegate denies she is the culprit.  I have enabled admin audit logging on the Manager's mailbox, and while the logs explicitly show the user is deleting the folders\messages with her Outlook 2011 for Mac client, she states this is not the case.  We feel this may be a problem between the client, Mac OS X, and Exchange Active Sync, periodically disconnecting and causing the messages to be deleted.  We have instituted block level backups some time ago to restore the messages, but the process is tedious and after a half dozen episodes, out CIO is becoming quite preturbed.  Any additional insight from the community would be greatly appreciated.
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