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Having a problem opening a Contact in Outlook.

Posted on 2012-08-13
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Last Modified: 2012-10-19
We are running Exchange 2010 SP1. The client is Outlook 2010 SP2. There are a number of Contacts in a Public Folder that we use regularly. Some of these Contacts are Distribution Lists of varying sizes. For the most part, all Distribution List Contacts can be opened with no issues. We do have a single Distribution List that gives us an error when we try to open it. The message is "Cannot open this item. There is not enough memory available on Microsoft Exchange to perform the Operation". I did some checking using Google and it appears we are dealing with some kind of size limitation enforced in Exchange. I say Exchange because I can open the PST file containing the Contacts and this particular DL locally using Outlook and I can open the DL with no problem. It just seems to be an issue opening it from within the Public Folder on the server. The Contact DL is 36KB in size. It has about 120 entries. I suppose I can try to break it up into 2 DL's but that is a lot of work. Is there some kind of hotfix available that addresses this problem? If not, what would be the easiest way to break up this DL into 2 or possibly 3 DL's to make them smaller?
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Question by:osiexchange
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Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38289679
Maybe its size is Big enough or has gone corrupted :(

You can make Sub DL's with dividing 26Alphabets into 3 and place the contacts with name.

- Rancy
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Expert Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 38289718
At our company we have a few thousand employees on one distribution list, I don't think that should be a problem?
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38289728
My first guess is that there is a corrupt contact in the group.  I've seen this happen when a contact inside a DL is wrong/corrupted.  Try to find out by removing each contact individually until you can open the problem DL.
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by:osiexchange
ID: 38289999
Its not corruption. As I said, the PST I used to import the data into the Public Folder is the same one I open locally using Outlook. I can open the DL with no issue when its a local PST file. The problem comes when I try to open it from within the Public Folder which of course resides on the Exchange server. Also, although I cannot open it from within the Public Folder, I can forward the Contact to my Outlook and it shows up in an email as an attachment. I double click the attachment and the Contact opens with all the members. Its definitely backend related. My guess is it exceeds a certain size that Exchange does not support.
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38292833
36KB in size doesn't even come close to a size restriction for that type of folder.  Have you tried manually creating it in the Public Folder store rather than importing?
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38292835
Also, do you use Forefront?
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38292864
I can't manually create it because there are too many  entries. Yes we do use Forefront but its not the problem. What I did do is export out just this Contact DL and removed about 1/3 of the entries. I then imported it back into the Public folder reducing the size from 36KB to 27KB and was able to open it. Yes, I suppose one of the entries I removed could have been corrupted but its unlikely because I had no problems opening it as a local PST on my workstation. I know it seems like a small insignificant size but apparently there is an issue with a Contact object of this size.

My plan is to break it up into 3 alphabetically and import them back into the Public Folder as 3 DL's instead of 1. I was hoping there was a hotfix out there that addressed this issue that someone knew about or some PowerShell command that would increase the size limit. If you Google Contact DL size etc...or the error message itself I posted above, you will see a number of entries referencing size restrictions on objects of this type.
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Assisted Solution

by:Brad Bouchard
Brad Bouchard earned 750 total points
ID: 38292914
If it is a size issue, have you tried this:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb691327.aspx

Does the DL have more than 5000 contacts in it?  If so, that may cause a problem due to Exchange's 5000 recipient limit for sent emails.

From Microsoft

Differences in Message Size Limits Between Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010
The primary difference in message size limits between Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2010 is in the handling of recipient limits. Exchange 2003 treats each member of an expanded distribution list as one recipient. Exchange 2010 treats a distribution group as one recipient. This change was implemented to avoid the partial message delivery scenarios that may occur in Exchange 2003.

Partial message delivery occurs in Exchange 2003 if the number of individual recipients and the recipients that are contained within the distribution list exceeds the specified recipient limit. The total number of message recipients isn't known until after distribution list expansion. Message delivery occurs as the distribution list is expanded until the number of recipients reaches the specified limit. The remaining recipients do not receive the message, but at least the sender receives a non-delivery report (NDR) for each unsuccessful delivery. However, if delivery failure reporting is disabled for the distribution list, the remaining recipients wouldn't receive the message, and the sender would not know who did not receive the message.

Although in Exchange 2010 a DL is counted as a single recipient it gets expanded when it is actually sent and NDRs are sent for those contacts over the 5000 limit.

Also, a very similar situation to yours is found here and you are probably right about size, however this link leads me to believe that you can change/set that size:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange2010/thread/5934c0e3-39a4-41a5-8b24-d0cf532328ea/
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Author Comment

by:osiexchange
ID: 38293071
We're not even trying to send to the DL. We are just trying to open it and you get an error. I did more Googling and found this:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;238569&Product=out

Looks like the solution is to create smaller DL's. The article notes its not the number of entries in the DL but the size of the DL. The more data each Contact contains, the fewer Contacts you can have in this DL.



Is there a limit to the number of contacts I can have in a distribution list on the Exchange Server?

Yes, there is a size limit to distribution lists stored on the Exchange server. It is based on the size of contacts, not the number of contacts.  If you use the very basic information for contacts (for example, only the name and the email address), your distribution list limit may be 125 to 130 contacts. So, if you have a lot of information for each of your contacts, you will have fewer addresses per list.    For more information, please visit  the following webpage http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid="kb;en-us;238569&Product="out "
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38293092
Seems odd, but you are probably on the right track.
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Accepted Solution

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Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 750 total points
ID: 38293112
You can create Nested DL's in that case and not affect the useability.

- Rancy
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