how to access redirected files on Exchange 2007/SBS 2008 server

I've been asked by my boss to find all the emails sent to or from a particular address going back to February. We use Exchange 2007 and redirected folders to a Windows SBS 2008 Domain server.

I assume the redirected mail folders are in the users' redirected folders, however, even as the domain administrator I cannot see these files. See image attached.

How can I set the permissions to view these files?
redirected.jpg
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MarkAsked:
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1mdCommented:
Hello,

Use the Icacls command to grant the administrator account full permission on this specific file: icacls filepath  /grant   administrators:F
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MarkAuthor Commented:
Rather interesting results. I did the following logged in as the domain administrator from a command prompt run as Administrator:


C:\Windows\system32>icacls C:\Users\FolderRedirections\dan /grant thisUser:F
processed file: C:\Users\FolderRedirections\dan
Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files

So far so good. "thisUser" is the domain administrator account which I am logged in as. I then tried accessing the Desktop subfolder, but was denied permission. So I tried:

C:\Windows\system32>icacls C:\Users\FolderRedirections\dan\Desktop /grant thisUser:F
C:\Users\FolderRedirections\dan\Desktop: Access is denied.
Successfully processed 0 files; Failed processing 1 files

So, icals still isn't letting me see these files.

Suggestion?
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1mdCommented:
Are you able take ownership of the folder? I have found that you need to try this multiple times for it to work successfully.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
I can try that, but will that mess up the *real* owner trying use his own redirected folders?
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1mdCommented:
No it won't affect the user's access as long as they have the required permissions to modify the files
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Unless the user has exported the email to a PST file, they will be stored in their mailbox, not in the redirected folder structure. Therefore you just need to get permissions to the mailbox to find the content.

Although be aware that in most locations, even though your boss has told you to do it, you may well be breaking the law accessing the content unless the staff member has given permission.

Simon.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
All, please don't lose sleep over the "legality" issue. This is not about snooping on employees. This is about tracking down nasty-grams a disgruntled person (neither current nor ex employee) has sent to employees of a State government agency. Employees have not only given permission, but are eager to help. It was not just my boss, but also the agency staff attorney who requested me to track down these emails. In any case, these employees, as probably with most employees nowadays, have an employment contract which states that work email is not for personal use, is the property of the employer, and is subject to monitoring. Don't worry, I am NOT with the NSA, and if I were, I probably wouldn't be posting here!

Sembee2> Unless the user has exported the email to a PST file, they will be stored in their mailbox, not in the redirected folder structure.

I'll likely be examining backup files, not actual workstation files.

Here's the setup: users' workstations are in a SBS 2008 domain and use Exchange 2007 for email. The local folder on the workstation is:

C:\Users\thisUser\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\thisUser@thisDomain.org.ost

When the user opens Outlook, it synchronizes with Exchange. If the user logs on to a different workstation and opens Outlook there, it synchronizes with Exchange. If the user's workstation is replaced or OS-upgraded (meaning NO mail file in C:\Users\..) it synchronizes with Exchange and no mail is lost.

THEREFORE, users' email must be kept somewhere on the SBS/Exchange server. If it is not kept in the redirected folders I do not want to spend time (and possibly damage something) by changing permissions on the redirected folders and poking around in there.

So, where are these files kept on the Exchange server?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
No files are stored on Exchange.
All content is stored in the mailbox database. The OST file is just a copy as used by Outlook. If you login via OWA then you will see the same content.

Simon.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay in response - I'm getting back to this now.

Sembee2: > No files are stored on Exchange.

If no files are stored on Exchange (or SBS Server?), then how does a brand new workstation with no mail files manage to get all the user's email when it connects to Exchange?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Email is stored in Exchange, in the mailbox which is part of the database.
The same way that you can access your email through OWA and on a mobile device. Outlook is just a one way of accessing the mailbox.

Simon.
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1mdCommented:
Are the Redirected files PST archives stored on the SBS Server?
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MarkAuthor Commented:
That my question! Are they? Where would I look?
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
You haven't actually established if PST files are in use. They are not normally used and it does require configuration outside of the standard setup to use them.

Furthermore, if you do have PST files on a network share, you have bigger problems because that isn't actually a supported configuration and can cause problems for the server.

You need to establish in a client whether Personal Folders are being used or not.

Simon.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
OK, help me figure this out. First of all, when setting up a workstation, I don't think I do anything other than standard. When configuring Outlook, it asked whether the user will use Exchange, which I do select. I may or may not have to enter the IP or host name of the Exchange server, or it may auto-discover it -- I don't recall. No additional ID or password is needed because it uses Active Directory.

When configuring this user on the SBS2008 host, I "enable folder redirection to the server". This may or may not be connected with the Exchange configuration. I don't know.

On a user's workstation, the email files are set as

C:\Users\usrname\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\usrname@mydomain.com.ost

Does this answer the question?
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1mdCommented:
You need to check the path to the user's redirected folders on the SBS server and confirm if there are any .PST (Personal folder) email archives stored there as well.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
sorry for the long delay. I did check \\Mail\RedirecteFolders\myuser. There are 'Desktop' and 'My Documents' folders only. Search for .pst found nothing.

So, where is the email kept? In Exchange somewhere?
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1mdCommented:
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MarkAuthor Commented:
1md - this will tell me about message logs, but still doesn't tell me where the actual mailbox files are kept.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Message tracking just tells you that the email was received by Exchange and then delivered to the mailbox. Nothing else.

Exchange retains its content in a database, each mailbox is part of that database.
You can view the mailbox through OWA. If the email isn't in OWA then it has been either deleted or stored in a PST file.

Simon.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
I'm going to close this question. I'm making better progress on a related post: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_28306595.html.

Thanks for participating.
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MarkAuthor Commented:
Not really making progress here. Have made a simpler, alternate post: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_28306595.html
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