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Outlook 2010 / Exchange 2010 randomly deleted inbox email?


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#1 Punkrulz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

Good morning everyone,

 

So the other day something incredibly weird had occurred. I was receiving email normally on my phone, came into work, logged in, and began working on my trouble tickets. I noted that when I went back to Outlook to view an email, the email in particular was gone... and then all were gone. My folders, and emails within them, still remained the same. I attempted to research what on Earth happened but I haven't been able to find anything specific to my issue.

 

I'm using Outlook 2010 connected to an Exchange 2010 server for work. Outlook was setup as cached exchange mode but that has since been changed. The emails also disappeared from my phone's inbox too... it's as if everything was deleted and Exchange figured that's what it should be and synced everything that way. Deleting my OST didn't resolve or resync anything. I ran the scanpst tool on the ost file which reports 93 errors, but as I read the scanpst tool can't repair an OST and thus doesn't do anything.

 

Does Outlook have some sort of log that may explain what on Earth happened? I can't find any error messages or any other reasons for what may have happened. My view settings weren't changed, nothing has changed on my end. There is no spyware / malware installed on the PC as far as I can tell. No real issues in the Sync issues folder other than a Forms syncing issue which seems to be related to Exchange needing a patch (but can otherwise be ignored).

 

I will give you any other information I possibly can, just hoping that I can figure out what happened so this can be prevented in the future. The email eventually began working normally, but for a brief period of time whatever was in my unread folder once they were read they disappeared like the rest of the inbox.

 

Thanks!



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#2 sflatechguy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:44 PM

Are you the only person using that Exchange server who has this issue? Check with the IT department to see if they can recover the emails in your mailbox from the server. It's possible they recently did some maintenance on the mail server that caused this issue. That fact that both Outlook and your phone are having this issue points to this being an Exchange server problem, as Outlook uses autodiscover and MAPI while your phone uses ActiveSync to connect to the server.

 

Do you have access to your email using Outlook Web Access? If so, log in and see if the emails are there. If not, it's definitely a server issue.

 

If your mail is still on the server, one thing you could try is re-enabling the cached Exchange mode, saving the change, and then restarting Outlook. The last thing to try is to delete the email account profile and recreate it. Make sure to get the proper settings from IT if you don't already have them -- although since you are using Exchange and autodiscover, that's usually just a case of entering your username and password when you recreate it.



#3 Punkrulz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 05:47 PM

Sorry techguy, I forgot to mention I am with IT. :) I know we have utilities I can use such as MailArchiver to re-obtain anything that may have been lost in my inbox folder. Fortunately not much was lost since I typically organize my mail manually into folders... so the only things lost were things that I didn't get a chance to organize. I am the only one who has had this issue. In fact my account has always seemed a bit wonky and no one knows why. We've had strange issues when it came to setting up my voicemail associated with my account as well.

 

I did login after the issue happened to check OWA. The emails were gone. The same goes for re-enabling cached exchange mode after disabling my OST file. It didn't repopulate with any mail there. Exchange saw the issue as, "Hey this is what the account status is now" so made that the way it is.



#4 sflatechguy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:05 PM

Physician, heal thyself. :P  Just kidding. I wondered about that when you mentioned trouble tickets.

 

It's almost definitely a mailbox/Exchange issue, what with email disappearing from two devices using different protocols, and the fact that Outlook went out of cached mode all on its own, and the fact that the email is missing in OWA as well. At least the old emails are still there.

 

Your newer mail should be backed up on the server somewhere (fingers crossed). They may want to try using the Exchange Server Profile Analyzer to have a look at what's going on with your mailbox.

 

Unfortunately, unless you are one of the Exchange server admins, there isn't much you can do about it. :(



#5 Punkrulz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:17 PM

I do have access to the server, and I know my boss wants me to look into why it happened... but he also doesn't necessarily want to be inconvenienced with troubleshooting something like this. I could ask him if I could use the analyzer, but I would need to do my research on how to use it first as I don't want to risk damaging anything in using it. Outlook didn't take itself out of cached exchange mode. I did it when email was still disappearing that trickled into my mailbox. It has since been re-enabled after running scanpst and had read that maybe re-creating the OST file would regenerate the mail. This was before I thought the server wiped it.

 

Trust me... that's why I'm here is to heal thyself. Only so much can be found on Google, and I'm forever learning what I can so I'm sure someone more proficient in this specific subject can shed more light than I can googling the same results hour after hour. :) Any caveats with using this profile analyzer? Wonder if it can figure out why my voicemail is wonky since they're tied together.



#6 sflatechguy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:28 PM

No real caveats, as it won't make any changes to the server, it'll just scan it. It sounds like your mail profile is borked.

If push comes to shove, you might try creating a new mailobox, moving over the emails, and deleting the old one. Only problem with that is you can't use the same email address. :( Which opens up a whole new can of worms...

#7 Punkrulz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:33 PM

The sad thing is we've deleted my account and re-created it before... we've had issues with my iPhone having huge delays receiving email at times, and it became a problem enough with that and the voicemail on our phone system that we deleted to start new... I see it hasn't fixed much lol. The email syncing on the phone is better though at least.



#8 sflatechguy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

Did you delete just the mailbox or scrub the entire Exchange profile?

Maybe check the mail attributes for your profile in AD as well, just to make sure nothing's set wrong there.

#9 Punkrulz

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:41 PM

I'm pretty sure the entire AD account was scrubbed back then. Not sure why I've been plagued by these issues from the get go.

#10 sflatechguy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

An LDAP query to check the attributes for your AD profile might be in order. I'm beginning to become as fuzzled about this as you are...something about your profile is messed up somewhere, but I can't figure off the top of my head what that might be. :(

#11 Punkrulz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:36 PM

Tech,

 

We've somewhat come to a revelation here. It doesn't answer all of the questions but I think it helps us think about some. My boss was telling me that he's had it happen before where the voicemail system will go through and delete email messages accidentally.  Our voicemail system is tied to our email accounts as well. If someone calls and leaves us a voicemail, not only does the phone light blink if we tell it to but depending on the accounts there will also be an email with a .wav file sent to the user. If you delete the voicemail from the phone, it should delete the email version as well and vice versa (sometimes, but I don't think this is always the case).

 

My boss said that he went to delete voicemails that would appear to just be "blank" and it turned out those blank voicemails were in fact regular emails not from the VM system. It's extremely possible and likely that I had gone through and deleted all of the voicemails on my system since they were blank, and inadvertently deleted the emails from the inbox. This is why the folders weren't touched during this time. I'm going to keep an eye out on this and see if this happens again. If this is the case at least it isn't some random occurrence with no rhyme or reason.

 

I may not have noticed this before because it isn't every day where my voicemail system reports I have like 20 unread messages. It may have been one here or there that was unread and thus I didn't notice it deleting anything. I'll let you know if I find out anything more.

Thanks!



#12 Punkrulz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:39 PM

Just confirmed... had 5 emails in my inbox (ones worth disappearing for a test). Checked voicemail, one unread four read. Deleted all 5, all emails disappear.



#13 sflatechguy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:01 PM

Well I just learned something new. Never seen a voicemail system delete legit email before.
You may want to contact tech support for that voicemail system -- something's either misconfigured, or there's a glitch with their system that needs to be patched.
At least you don't have to go mucking about in AD or Exchange again. :)

#14 Punkrulz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:39 PM

This is being explained to me that the system is supposed to do this. I don't understand why you should be able to delete the emails from your phone anyways, but because it's a unified messaging system the phone sees your emails the same. I do believe my coworker said it was supposed to notify you individually to check voicemail, check email, etc. Unfortunately it lumps all messages together now so the user is none the wiser until it happens.



#15 sflatechguy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:59 PM

That's half right. The UM system is supposed to delete the voicemail and the email associated with that particular voicemail. It's not supposed to delete all the emails. :o
I'm still thinking something is misconfigured or there's a glitch.




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