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Active Directory is overwriting users contacts...Bad news

Posted on 2013-01-07
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Last Modified: 2013-04-26
We're using Exchange 2003, and the users have Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010

If we have a user within our AD with contact info, and an employee creates a contact within their personal contacts with the same name as the contact within the GAL in AD. AD overwrites the personal contact info.

If you open up the personal contact, it will show the date it was overwritten, and literally show the crossed out info and the info it was replaced with in the right hand side pane. It 'CORRECTS's the personal contact without even a popup asking whether you want it to.

How can I stop AD from overwriting the personal contact info created?
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Question by:bernardb
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38751598
Firstly users creating Contacts within Outlook isnt created in AD.
What if the Contact is created using OWA\Webmail

- Rancy
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Expert Comment

by:pony10us
ID: 38751633
I am pretty sure that Simon (Sembee2) will say:

"Not really a lot you can do about that.

You are seeking a technical solution for a behavioural problem.

Simon.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Simon Butler, Exchange MVP "

However he may have some other insight.  PAB's (Personal Address Book) are a thing of the past however there is the OAB (Outlook Address book) that should be different that the GAB (Global Address Book).  If the user puts the contact information in the OAB then I wouldn't think that it would be overwritten by Exchange since it does the GAB.
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38751708
Ok, let's try this again...

A user account is setup within Active Directory, and it has a mailbox associated with it. The telephone number, address etc is entered. The name is John Doe

An employee from within Outlook creates a 'personal contact' with the same name John Doe.

Somehow the info within Active Directory is overwriting the personal contact they created within Outlook. When you go back into the personal contact a day later, it has been overwritten and it show you what was overwritten and the date it was overwritten.

Can this be stopped? Or because the name is the same it will overwrite it period?

Any suggestions will be appreciated...it's our CEO and His Executive Admin...so I have issuessssss
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38751819
Any 3party tool or add in installed on user machine? Is user trying to do any sync with handheld like iphone? That can also overwrite it
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38751856
No iphones involved but they also both access their email from home sometimes using our termainal server 2008r2 with Outlook 2010. They also both have Blackberry's that are connected to our Blackberry Enterprise Server. They also use OWA and of course whatever version of Outlook they using on work PC's or Laptops, could be 2003, 2007 or 2010
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38751867
too many devices and machines to use, you need to isolate one by one, somewhere something is overwriting.
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38751925
@amitkulshrestha - You're saying that AD is overwriting the personal contact info based on the device they're accessing their email with?
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38751949
Would this apply to this situation Experts?

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff871432(v=office.14).aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 38751960
Yes you can try this, however test it in a test OU and on a test user first.
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Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38751985
Yes surely possible .... Truely worth a try

- Rancy
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Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38752091
deffinatley sounds like more of an syncing issue rather than an AD issue

I would tend to suspect the Blackberrys or any mobile devices

Tempoarily disable the sync to the blackberrys, then try again

If the above doesnt help

Have they close and open outlook using
Start>Run>Outlook.exe /safe

Now have them create a contact in their personal contacts

then wait and see if its updated

if this doesnt happen in safe mode, we can pretty much assume the issue is related to some outlook add in or 3rd party prodcut that may be causing the contact info to change
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 38752953
Not sure why I have been quoted in this question in the way that I have done - as I wouldn't say what I have been quoted as about this issue.
The only time I have seen this is when the local contact is created based on the AD information. For example you can right click on an entry in the GAL and choose add to Contacts. That adds the entry to the contacts in the mailbox.
Blackberry (in fact all mobile devices) do not sync the GAL, they do a live lookup of the GAL.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:pony10us
ID: 38752986
Simon,

I was referencing your reply on Technet's board to a similar question:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/exchangesvrgenerallegacy/thread/762b0bf1-a1c4-41f9-9876-319227b707ba

From my limited experience with mobile devices (we have just started permitting them in the past few monts) I have not seen where they sync anything except the inbox by default anymore.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 38756848
The question you have referenced is about two installations of Outlook, doesn't involve a mobile device at all.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38756964
Experts....The orginal question I asked wasn't about mobile devices.


Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 38758540
You have mentioned mobile devices

"They also both have Blackberry's that are connected to our Blackberry Enterprise Server."

Anything accessing the mailbox could be the source of this problem. However as I wrote above, mobile devices do not sync the GAL, this has to be something the user is doing - it may well be that because the GAL is not synchronised the end user is adding the contact to their local address book so that the information is available on the mobile device.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38775193
I called Microsoft, they're putting me in touch with the 'Outlook team' . I had someone from the Exchange team, who orginally said the Contacts in Exchange / GAL is totally separate from the personal contacts you create in Outlook. We had him connect and we showed him the changes....after 1 1/2 hours he contacted the Outlook team who appears to have told him it is possible for AD/GAL to somehow synch with the Outlook personal contacts with Outlook 2010.

I'm waiting on the Microsoft Outlook team to call me back directly...
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Accepted Solution

by:
bernardb earned 0 total points
ID: 38832156
Microsoft says the issue is with using multiple versions of Outlook. 2010 does sync contacts unless you modify the registry on the PC that has Outlook 2010 and that's for each user that uses that PC??????
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Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38832368
Really?

We talking multiple versions across several PCs right?

Not one PC with Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010.....

Did they give you the registry setting that needs to be applied for each user?
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38905094
Test....revisit
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Author Comment

by:bernardb
ID: 38940280
I will close this out very soon. My apologies
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