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Windows Updates corrupt PST files on Roaming Profiles

    Question

  • Hi guys!

    I am having troubles with Windows Updates and roaming profiles...

    I tunned the GPO "Exclude directories in roaming profile" to force sync "AppData\Local" This way I backup the Outlook pst files from "AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook"

    This has been working great for a long time, because Windows update were manually installed on each PC with a local admin user (no roaming user).

    But now I enable some Windows Updates GPO to force do it automatically meanwhile the user is logged on:
    GPO: Configure Automatic Updates Value -> 4 = Automatically download updates and install them on the schedule specified below.

    Then, a warning comes up to the users asking reboot to finish the updates... as usual.

    User click on reboot
    or
    Do nothing and then turn of his computer at end workday

    On both cases, the pst is corrupted.

    I am sure that is a timeout issue... for some reason, Windows updates brake pst sync on shutdown (or reboot) and let it corrupted.

    Nothing relevant showed on Windows Event. Not even following this steps to enable debug events https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj649075(v=ws.11).aspx

    On Event Viewer\Applications ands Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\User Profile Service\
    Operational: Event 7, Succesfully profile sync
    Diagnostics: Nothing relevant.. only a few events 1001 and 1002 (Can't find ID event)

    If set Windows updates to: 3 = (Default setting) Download the updates automatically and notify when they are ready to be installed , pst sync ok.

    This only happens on the headqarter... at headoffice work ok...and this is the reasson:

    HeadOffice: Server home place -> LAN 1GB
    HeadQuarter: use headoffice server -> WAN link to HeadOffice FO 10MB

    So... users on HeadOffice syn at 1GB and users on Headquarter sync at 10MB.

    I think that should change the Windows Updates behavior at logoff...but no idea how can I do it.

    Hopefully you can help me!
    Thursday, September 15, 2016 8:58 AM

Answers

  • Hi Victor,

    It seems like an issue caused by network condition to me.

    Quote from the KB article below which might explain why .pst files are corrupted in your case:

    .pst files are not intended as an enterprise network solution. Although it is possible to specify a network directory or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path as a storage location for a .pst file, network usage is not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.

    A .pst file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file.

    This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN and LAN links use network-access-driven methods. These are commands that the operating system provides to send data to, or receive from, another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst file (over a network link), Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file. However, the operating system must then send those commands over the network because the file is not located on the local computer. This creates lots of overhead and increases the time that is required to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use of a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails
    .”

    In addition,

    “Outlook 2010 or later versions functionality is supported when networked .pst or .ost files are used under the following conditions: 

    • A high bandwidth/low latency network connection is used.
    • There is single client access per file (one Outlook client per .pst or .ost).
    • Either Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH), or Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is used to run Outlook remotely.”

    Please use these recommended approaches below to avoid corrupted .pst files issue:

    • Use Office 365 Exchange Online, Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Personal Archive mailboxes.
    • Configure Microsoft Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode. This caches Exchange Server mailbox data in a local Offline Folders (.ost) file.
    • Configure Outlook to run on Windows Terminal Services and to connect to the Exchange Server mailbox in Online mode.

    More information for you:

    Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/297019

    Best Regards,

    Amy 


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    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, September 16, 2016 3:15 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Victor,

    It seems like an issue caused by network condition to me.

    Quote from the KB article below which might explain why .pst files are corrupted in your case:

    .pst files are not intended as an enterprise network solution. Although it is possible to specify a network directory or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path as a storage location for a .pst file, network usage is not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.

    A .pst file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file.

    This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN and LAN links use network-access-driven methods. These are commands that the operating system provides to send data to, or receive from, another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst file (over a network link), Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file. However, the operating system must then send those commands over the network because the file is not located on the local computer. This creates lots of overhead and increases the time that is required to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use of a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails
    .”

    In addition,

    “Outlook 2010 or later versions functionality is supported when networked .pst or .ost files are used under the following conditions: 

    • A high bandwidth/low latency network connection is used.
    • There is single client access per file (one Outlook client per .pst or .ost).
    • Either Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH), or Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is used to run Outlook remotely.”

    Please use these recommended approaches below to avoid corrupted .pst files issue:

    • Use Office 365 Exchange Online, Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Personal Archive mailboxes.
    • Configure Microsoft Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode. This caches Exchange Server mailbox data in a local Offline Folders (.ost) file.
    • Configure Outlook to run on Windows Terminal Services and to connect to the Exchange Server mailbox in Online mode.

    More information for you:

    Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/297019

    Best Regards,

    Amy 


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, September 16, 2016 3:15 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Amy, thanks for your answer!

    But the .pst is not on UNC or map drive... is locally as usual at ...AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook. When user logoff sync to a UNC where the profile reside.

    I knew all limitation about .pst on network... But my boss like this "implementation" and can't change his mind.

    My questions is to try fix the issue... logoff timeout  when Windows Update trigger the shutdown...

    The best bet is tunning Windows Update behavior...  Do you know any set about this?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016 3:54 PM
  • Hi,

    My understanding is that the system might not have enough time to completely synchronize .pst files at the scheduled time when the setting Auto download and schedule the install is applied.

    I suggest you try to test by installing updates at the scheduled time immediately with the setting Auto download and notify for install applied.

    Here is a related KB article below for you:

    How to configure automatic updates by using Group Policy or registry settings

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/328010

    Best Regards,

    Amy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Many thanks Amy!Anser on your post:

    My understanding is that the system might not have enough time to completely synchronize .pst files at the scheduled time when the setting Auto download and schedule the install is applied.

    -Exactly! It's that I am guessing...

    I suggest you try to test by installing updates at the scheduled time immediately with the setting Auto download and notify for install applied.

    -I don't undestand. What do you mean with "inmediately"?

    Here is a related KB article below for you:

    How to configure automatic updates by using Group Policy or registry settings

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/328010

    -This KB explain how to setup Windows Updates just like I am doing it...  Can't finde any extra setting that solve the trouble...


    • Edited by Victor M$ Monday, September 26, 2016 11:45 AM
    Monday, September 26, 2016 11:45 AM
  • I suggest you try to test by installing updates at the scheduled time immediately with the setting Auto download and notify for install applied.

    -I don't undestand. What do you mean with "inmediately"?


    Hi,

    What I mean is that when users receive update notification, do not postpone the installation process.

    Best Regards,

    Amy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016 9:50 AM
    Moderator