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Exchange 2007 missing messages

I am trying to diagnose what happened to some messages from a users sent item folder.  I am not in bind and I know the solution is to restore the missing items from backup, but I am curious as to what happened and why.  

Details:
Exchange Server 2007
Users client XP; Outlook 2007
User1 (with missing message) 21+GB mailbox more that double any box on my system.
User2 (me)
Archiving (Auto and Manual) are both disabled by group policy.

On User1's machine, Sent Items only went back to 8-1-2013.  User1 does not think he deleted anything prior.  I reset the view in Outlook to make sure it was not a filtering problem.  I had User1 login using web access.  Could not get web access to go back far enough to verify one way or another; it would time out.  I added User1's mailbox to User2's Outlook as an additional mailbox.  It took a few minutes, but all the sent items previous to 8-1-2013 showed up.  At that point I deduced (probably incorrectly) it must be a problem with User1's OST file.  I re-named User1's OST file and let Outlook re-build it.  No luck.  No messages before 8-1-2013.  Back on User2's machine, now the  messages from before 8-1-2013 are missing there also.  Checking the server, his mail box has dropped from 21GB to 14GB.

What made the messages disappear?  If  user1 deleted them, why could User2 see them a full day later?

I feel like I am overlooking something painfully obvious here, but I don't know what.

Thanks
0
JeffMCC
Asked:
JeffMCC
1 Solution
 
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Outlook 2007 will have a problem with a 21gb mailbox. If I recall correctly the largest you can use cached mode with is 20gb, therefore it could simply be that you aren't seeing everything because the OST file is full.

My instinct is the data was deleted by something, but because of the problems with the OST file the changes were not replicated back correctly.

Your only option is probably to restore the mailbox to an RSG, then connect it to a recovery account and view the mailbox in live mode, rather than cached. It will be slow, as there is probably a lot of content in the folders. Then either rescue the data you need and/or do some heavy pruning of the mailbox.

Simon.
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