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Automate Clearing Outlook Cache for clients migrated from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

Posted on 2014-12-11
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Last Modified: 2014-12-17
My company is in the process of migrating users from exchange 2003 to exchange 2010 in a different forest.

There is a 2 way trust between both forest so they will retain the same email address.

The question:

How can we automate clearing cache on outlook for the users?

Is there a script or mechanism we can fire to automate this?

we want to automate clearing cache to enhance migration performance as well as avoid the clients pointing to any old exchange settings after the migration.

please advise

Many thanks,

T
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Question by:tobe1424
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17 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40494996
I believe outlook's cache is stored in the .ost file

how can we automate deleting this cache / .ost file across an entire network of PC's?
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40495059
can i create a batch file to fun at startup or login that deletes *.ost from the directory ?
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 500 total points
ID: 40495065
This all depends on the version of Outlook installed on the workstations. Starting from Outlook 2010, the AutoComplete cache is now stored as a hidden message in the mailbox store. Previous versions of Outlook used the .NK2 file format.

Do you want to remove the users' entire AutoComplete cache, including external email addresses or do you just want to get rid of internal email addresses from the cache?

You can download and use NK2Edit to modify the cache directly. Despite it's name, it does work with the AutoComplete cache for Outlook 2010 and 2013 as well.

If you want to automate this you can look at using scripts with it NK2Edit, however you may need to purchase the commercial license depending on how you want to script it. More information can be found here: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/edit_nk2_script.html
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40495080
Thanks for the input

We are running Outlook 2010 on our clients

I believe we want to simply delete the internal email from cache. We are not too concerned with the autocomplete as this shouldn't cause any impact with respect to migration.
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40495101
it looks like this product is tailored to autocomplete cache
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40495112
Just to confirm, you want to remove internal email addresses that appear when users start typing in another internal user's name in the To: field in a new email message, correct? If so then this is the AutoComplete cache in action.
Outlook-2010-AutoComplete-Cache.png
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40495128
Thanks again for the feedback however, no.

We want to delete the cache from "exchange cache mode" i believe this is the cache used to sync calendar, mailbox and contacts with exchange which sits inside the .ost file

I have 3000 users. I was thinking about running a start up/ login script that deletes the .ost file in their user profile directory.

Windows 7 example : del /q /s  C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\*.ost

If this is a good practice, I am now wondering how to specify this file to be deleted or customizing a script to delete this file for 3000 pc/clients
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40495147
Windows 7 example : del /q /s  C:\Users\%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\*.ost

Would this work? the userprofile should point to each users local profile/path ?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40495161
Oh! So sorry, didn't realise that you were talking about Cached mode for Exchange.

Can't say I would recommend deleting the .OST file as this could cause a lot of unnecessary network traffic if you have 3000 users re-downloading their emails from the Exchange server(s) at the same time. You could look at using the logon script to target users in specific OUs or security groups but you'll need to obviously do this in stages.

That being said, if you still want to use the login script method you need to use the %username% variable in the above command, so it would look like this:
del /q /s  C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\*.ost
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40496793
thanks so much.

The final script I ended up running was

del /q /s  %username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\*.ost

Without specifying c:\Users as this would generate an error when executed.

cheers vbits
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40497314
REWIND !!...

I just confirmed with my manager that he want the NK2 / autocomplete cache to be cleared :: facepalm::
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Assisted Solution

by:tobe1424
tobe1424 earned 0 total points
ID: 40497338
I found this .msi

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287623/EN-US

however, I wonder how we can automate this since it asks to check the license flag during installation
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Accepted Solution

by:
tobe1424 earned 0 total points
ID: 40497406
I ran the batch below and it works fine. Thanks again.


msiexec.exe /q  /i \\UNC_PATH_TO_FILE\MicrosoftFixit50586.msi
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40497847
Good stuff! Sorry, just only managed to get access to a computer.
I just confirmed with my manager that he want the NK2 / autocomplete cache to be cleared :: facepalm::
I think you're going to end up with quite a few displeased users but that's for your manager to deal with :)
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Author Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40498512
I suppose :)

Any how, what do you think would be best practice ?
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40498782
I personally think it's best to use a third-party tool such as NK2Edit to remove any internal addresses if your concern is references to the old server, as these are stored in the AutoComplete cache differently compared to external addresses. This can be impractical for 3000 clients though without some form of scripting.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tobe1424
ID: 40504372
I did some research and found this in home solutions that is free. However, VB ITS's solution would have also worked but it wasn't free.
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