From: Melbourne, Australia
Fantastic article, I know a bit more now that I wish I had before last weekend, because I had to restore a Win2k3/Exch2k3 Enterprise server with 4 Mailstores that were stored on a SAN Array which lost it's Array config - Screw U IBM!
We had a fantastic backup and I re-created the Array, allocated space, and restarted the mailstores - all creating blank databases. I have yet to effectively use the Recovery mailbox in the way you explained, but will certainly use it next time, because now I have a secondary problem with users that were using Cached mode prior to the Incident. Essentially Veritas Backup Exec has re-created the mailboxes and restored all data, however the Cached mode users - if they connect on-line it is ok, but if they choose Offline the folders are not up-to-date. They are only consistant with data prior to the Crash.
Just to confirm what I know about this "non-synchronising problem", Cached mode in Outlook 2003 and normal Offline folders in Outlook 2000/2002 create the usual outlook.ost file in the ....local setting\application data\microsoft\outlook folder. Which in previous cases where a mailbox had been created - such as when there is a corrupt individual mailbox, or a restoration of a single mailbox what we would do would be uncheck the cached mode option, choose Disable Offline folders, and then make sure the .ost file and any .oab files in that folder were deleted. This is because there is some sort of UID associated within an OST file and an actual Mailbox, I would hazard a guess that this is a way and means of preventing duplicate items after restoration such that an OST file wouldn't attempt to merge all it's items with mailbox contents. We would then re-check the offline/cache mode and when next logging into Outlook it re-creates the total offline environment, obviously taking quite some time to populate a large mailbox to the Local hard drive of the user. But usable none-the-less.
However in OUR situation I would say the problem I am having is due to there being a new mailstore itself, therefore there must be a different UID being generated per mailbox because even when I follow the above "standard" procedure, I get the following:
Choosing no caching is fine and the user has full Outlook/Exchange functionalities.
Choosing to cache the folders and/or enable Offline folders, results in the Outlook Client connecting and saying it is connected, but constantly without change saying "This folder is not yet up to date. Connected" The result of which is that there is actually no email in the inbox, no Calendar items, no notes, no contacts....No Nuttin!
I have been looking over the last 48 hours to find why this is the case but not found anything remotely near helping out, except finding your article which at least begins to describe what happens in dial-tone database mode.
Is there any chance you might know what is wrong here? Is there some sort of Syncronisation I need to do on the Server size? for GALs or something? Or some further way to remove Cached mode data that I don't know of that is more involved than just deleting the OST. (incidently I know in the past when I first set up Cached mode access it usually takes 10-30 seconds to start outlook as it says "Preparing Outlook Mailbox for first use..." or something like that. But here when enabled and starting outlook it takes about 2-5 seconds at the most, and only ends up creating a small 256k outlook.ost file.