Mail disappearing Outlook 2003, Exchange server 2007 RRS feed

  • Question

  • The server at the church that I volunteer time at was having issues with the connectivity of Outlook 2003 with online/offline feature and using Public folders on up 15 machines at the sametime.

    The server is Microsoft 2008 sp1, and Microsoft Exchange 2007.

    We took the system off of static IP's and made the network DHCP, and run it's own DNS server also. After installing a Firewall router brought the system back up and the DHCP, and the DNS is working  fine. The Outlook 2003 that is on the workstations is working and have no connectivity problems. The Pastor's email account is forwarded to his Droid phone w/Microsoft exchange on it. He has not been getting e-mail like normal, it sends some messages through and as soon as it appears on his phone they display and disappear.

    Also, after checking through all 36 workstations the mail on his Inbox is showing 2009 - 2010 emails, but none of them are showing the complete history of his emails. Some of the workstations are showing just 5 or 6 mails in the inbox not the 150 - 200 he normally gets every day. He uses the Public folders to have an adress database for the last 4 years. The are not showing either I am at a complete loss as to what has happended. My knowledge of Microsoft Exchange is at the newbie level I have never dealt with this software before.

    Please  keep the advice and answers to a non-laymen level for the Mail. I am very familiar with server systems, and all Microsoft OS's till Windows 7.

    Thanks Michael Smith (F'nor)

    All people have photographic memories Some have just lost the film.

    Friday, March 9, 2012 6:39 PM

All replies

  • Sounds like classic POP3 and /or PST downloading to me.

    What does OWA show? OWA is the definitive list of what is in the mailbox on the server. It is not unusual for Outlook OST files to get in a mess and show something else, although a huge difference is not unusual.

    The appearing and then disappearing is classic POP3 or delivery to a PST file somewhere. When that workstation (or more than one) collects the email it removes it from the mailbox and stores it locally.

    Tracking it down can be a problem. Things I can suggest:

    - Change the user's passwords. Then if something is downloading the email it will stop, or lock the account out.

    - Shutdown Outlook on all clients and then send some test messages using OWA. If the messages stay in the mailbox then you know it is one of the workstations removing the messages.

    I would also suggest getting the server updated - Windows 2008 is now on SP2, and Exchange 2007 should be on SP3 with the latest rollup. Microsoft Update will deliver everything but Exchange 2007 SP3.

    The other thing that it could be, particularly with the public folder is a view. That can hide messages. Using outlook.exe /clearviews will reset them. You can use the Public Folder management console in toolbox on the Exchange server to view the item count for the public folder. If the item count shows a high number then the messages are there.


    Simon Butler, Exchange MVP
    Blog | Exchange Resources | In the UK? Hire Me.

    Friday, March 9, 2012 8:29 PM
  • Simon,

    I went through the 25 terminals that use outlook and none of the terminals had a POP3 account, all of them have exchange mail accounts. The same user is being used by all the workstations. The OWA is showing no emails at all when I accessed it from my home system.

    The email account has an average of 3 to 400 emails daily this problem has been on going for 9 days now and the account  inbox has very few emails on it.

    I've created 2 brand new accounts and they are working fine, either accessed through OWA or at the terminal. They send and receive fine.

    It is totally wrapped up in the pastors main account, and I can't delete that box because I will lose years worth of emails.


    All people have photographic memories Some have just lost the film.

    Monday, March 12, 2012 9:39 PM
  • Doesn't have to be an machine on your network. If you are allowing remote access to the site then it could be anywhere - a phone, PDA, workstation at home etc.

    Changing the password and then restart the Exchange services (to break any connections) will show if it is something else accessing the mailbox. Exchange does NOT delete email on its own. A view is the most common problem, where the recipient has set a view that hides messages and then doesn't see any.


    Simon Butler, Exchange MVP
    Blog | Exchange Resources | In the UK? Hire Me.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:29 PM