Recovering deleted items from Outlook mailbox
Posted on 2013-01-12
Here’s the deal—my company just let someone go a couple of days ago, and this person evidently deleted a bunch of items from her Outlook mailbox before her access was cut off-- the deletions were evidently done several days to a week before she was let go.
So, I need to recover whatever she may have deleted from her mailbox. (This is SBS 2011 Standard, Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2003 BTW). When I look at her mailbox in Outlook, I see many folders in her Deleted Items folder, but when I look inside the folders themselves they are empty when they each should have a ton of messages in them.
I would have assumed that given malicious intent she would have hard deleted her messages by emptying Deleted Items, but if she had done that, presumably I’d see nothing in Deleted Items rather than a bunch of empty folders.
I tried doing a “recover deleted items” from the Deleted Items folder in O2K3, but it didn’t help. It restored a bunch of individual messages that were in Deleted Items, but afterward, deleted folders were still there, and still empty.
My Exchange server has “keep deleted items” set for 45 days, so presumably everything the deleted, hard or soft, is still in her mailbox, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to retrieve it short of restoring a copy of the entire mail store from a backup and using it to manually extract her mailbox. Ultimately I suppose I can do this if I absolutely have to, but it’s not my first choice, since it’s something I’ve never done before and the very involved process looks a more than a little intimidating (using SBS 2011 backup, so no way to restore individual mailboxes AFAIK).
Question: Is there any way to can recreate this user’s mailbox as it existed say, 10-14 days ago, via Outlook or Exchange 2010 without having to resort to the full restore/extract procedure described above?
Any other insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.