none
Odd Calendar Problem

    Question

  • Hi all,

    I have a user (let's call her Molly) whose mailbox is still on Exchange 2003 that she accesses via Outlook 2007 (on Windows XP), iPad, and iPhone.  She also has a delegate (let's call her Sue) who manages her calendar (this delegate also manages other users' calendars/mailboxes as well). 

    Sue created a bunch of events in Molly's calendar a couple of weeks ago and sent them to many other users in my company on Molly's behalf.  The vast majority of these items are okay, but four of them appear as if they aren't owned by Molly (despite saying Organizer: Smith, Molly), so neither Molly nor Sue have the ability to invite additional people to these events.  Oddly, she has options such as "Accept", "Tentative", and "Decline". 
    If you open the problematic calendar items you can see that the owner is indeed Molly Smith (and some of them are marked as being updated by Molly on 6/5 and others were updated by Sue on the same day).  What's most curious about these problematic items is that when looking at the "Scheduling Assistant" in the calendar item that there is a "Molly Smith" and an "Msmith", who is also listed as the organizer. 

    This isn't the first time this happened to Molly either; Sue alerted me to this last year and I was stumped then as well.  About the same time these older events were created (last summer) we had an issue where our one Exchange server had some database problems which resulted in corruption, so I figured this was the cause of Molly's problems then, but these newer problematic events were created within the past month, so I don't think it has to do with those database problems. 

    Of course, Molly and Sue aren't happy (and I don't blame them).  The only other odd thing here (aside from multiple ActiveSync devices and a delegate) is that Molly has two Calendar folders; she has the "Normal" one under the Mailbox "root" folder and then has a second one named "Calendar" under the "Calendar" folder (so the full path is Mailbox - Smith, Molly -> Calendar -> Calendar).  Of course the newly received/created items are in the standard, higher-level "Calendar" folder.

    Has anyone ever seen this before?  I can't find anything about this anywhere in the Internet.  Any insight is welcome. 
    Oh, and before anyone suggests it, I did run the CalCheck against her mailbox and it returned 187 items in her mailbox that had errors, but interestingly, not all of the problematic events appeared in the log; however, I did not move the problem items from her calendar (yet).

    Thanks in advance! :)

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:48 AM

All replies

  • Okay, here's the deal.  When you have multiple users with disparate clients managing calendars concurrently, you're going to see all sorts of weird issues.  The way to keep those kinds of issues from happening is to do all of the following:

    • Put managers and delegates on the exact same client.
    • Have only one person manage the calendar.
    • Have that one person use one client to manage the calendar.
    • Turn off cached mode on the machine managing the calendar.
    • And so on.

    Now, I've probably gone farther than you need to, but I hope you get the picture.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 4:09 AM
  • Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the pointers.  I just did some digging and found some Official Microsoft Best-Practices when using calendars:
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/outlooking/archive/2010/03/29/some-best-practices-when-working-with-outlook-calendar.aspx http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/outlook-meeting-requests-essential-dos-and-donts-HA001127678.aspx

    I'm going to share these links with my manager and the helpdesk staff, along with the two users experiencing the issue. 

    I'm still a little puzzled as to how this may have happened.  I have over 2500 mailboxes in my organization, many of whom are delegates to a manager's mailbox, but this has only happened to one user.  While not having an official answer now sucks we are in the midst of an Exchange upgrade, so I'm more concerned about when the mailbox is migrated to 2010.  If there is a problem with the mailbox would the "Problem" follow? 

    Any other insight is also welcome! 

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:15 PM
  • On Wed, 20 Jun 2012 04:09:48 +0000, Ed Crowley wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >Okay, here's the deal. When you have multiple users with disparate clients managing calendars concurrently, you're going to see all sorts of weird issues. The way to keep those kinds of issues from happening is to do all of the following: Put managers and delegates on the exact same client.Have only one person manage the calendar.Have that one person use one client to manage the calendar.Turn off cached mode on the machine managing the calendar.And so on.
    >
    >Now, I've probably gone farther than you need to, but I hope you get the picture.
     
    And let's not forget that some of these problems are addressed in
    Exchange 2007 SP3 RU4. Others are associated with the use of mobile
    devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.) and must be fixed by the OEM for
    the device.
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:13 PM
  • On Wed, 20 Jun 2012 19:15:35 +0000, Paul Newell wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >Hi Ed,
    >
    >Thanks for the pointers. I just did some digging and found some Official Microsoft Best-Practices when using calendars: http://blogs.technet.com/b/outlooking/archive/2010/03/29/some-best-practices-when-working-with-outlook-calendar.aspx http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/outlook-meeting-requests-essential-dos-and-donts-HA001127678.aspx
    >
    >I'm going to share these links with my manager and the helpdesk staff, along with the two users experiencing the issue.
    >
    >I'm still a little puzzled as to how this may have happened. I have over 2500 mailboxes in my organization, many of whom are delegates to a manager's mailbox, but this has only happened to one user. While not having an official answer now sucks we are in the midst of an Exchange upgrade, so I'm more concerned about when the mailbox is migrated to 2010. If there is a problem with the mailbox would the "Problem" follow?
    >
    >Any other insight is also welcome!
     
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2563324
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:17 PM
  • ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for the reply.  I found that link yesterday (and bookmarked it, as it appears to be updated often), but none of the issues really tie to Molly's problem.  The one where the attendee becomes the organizer is close, but Molly is the organizer (albeit by a delegate on her behalf) and the organizer gets flipped to "Msmith" (Molly's sAMAccountName)...unless I'm reading into it too literally.  It could be that the underlying issue is the same, but again, Molly is on Exchange 2003. 
    Seeing as how the Update Rollup 4 for Exchange 2007 SP3 is dated over a year ago, I'd like to think that a fix for this is already in Exchange 2010 SP2 UR3, the platform we are moving to, but I don't know for certain. 

    One other thing I can have Molly try is to check on her iPhone/iPad to see if she can update the problematic items from them.  If so, I think it would lend to that issue.  I'll have the helpdesk guys call her tomorrow, and I'll check the logs on her database server. 

    Thanks again, guys! 

    Thursday, June 21, 2012 1:12 AM
  • I wanted to revisit this thread as I had another person report this problem to me today.  As it turns out this person and Molly (the person having the problem in the original thread) have two Calendars in their respective mailboxes; they each have a separate calendar subfolder under the main Calendar folder.  Both the main Calendar and the subfolder calendar (named "Calendar" for Molly and "Appointments" for the person reporting the issue today, who at some point must have had a Palm Pilot) are shared-out, too. 

    Does anyone know if this could be the issue?  I personally don't think having a secondary calendar would be helpful but I don't know if this could be causing the lost "Ownership" of these items.  Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions on this? 

    As an aside, the person reporting the problem today does not have a delegate, so I'm thinking this issue doesn't have to do with Holly having a delegate.  

    Thanks again!

    Thursday, September 20, 2012 5:23 PM