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Problems with Outlook Achive Files

Discussion in 'Software' started by michael78, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Guys, one of our big partners at work has problems opening his outlook 2003 archive at home on wireless using a VPN. His archive is 800MB so thats where I think the problem lies. Would a good solution be to make his archive offline and to sync it when he logs on to the network. am I right in thinking it only sync's the changes and not the whole thing and is this a sensibe solution to the problem?


    Cheers in Advance

    Michael
     
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  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    You cant make a .pst file available offline which is a pain!

    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=252509

    Why not fire the 800MB archive into his mailbox and setup cached mode? :biggrin
     
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  3. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Sparky, cheers for the reply. I wasn't sure if you could make a pst file offline but I didn't see why not. Bit of a pain that you can't. I suppose as you pointed out we may have to put his archive back into his inbox.

    Does anyone else have problems with archive folders. My experience is that they are horrible to work with. At the place I work a lot of our users share access to them with their secretaries but only one person at a time can access the achive which causes problems. The reason we use them is to speed up access to users inbox.

    Sparky, following on with your comments about making it cached this could also be used for desktop as well as laptops to speed access up? Is this a good alternative to using achives???
     
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  4. Sparky
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    As long as your exchange server is capable of supporting the size of mailboxes you require. Also cached mode means you don’t have to mess around configuring .oft files which was common in earlier versions of Outlook.

    Also in regard to the problem of sharing archives you could just share the mailbox instead. You don’t have to share the whole thing though; it is possible just to give a user access to one folder in the mailbox with security permissions. Therefore a user could grant access to a folder called archive (or whatever) in his\her Outlook profile. 8)
     
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  5. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Sparky, again cheers for the quick reply. I know about sharing individual folders in outlook and do that a lot but we tell people to archive their mail to speed up exchange when they logon. I'm sure there is a better method than using achives as they are pretty flaky to say the least. If we use cached outlook does it just update whats changed or does it re-cache the whole mailbox?
     
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  6. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    I think it checks against the server and just updates what's missing.

    What exactly are you using the archive folder for?
     
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  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Stoney, It was that way before I joined the company but basically we tell users to archive their emails as some of them are big so it slows up exchange and it helps to speed up the retrieval of their mailfiles when they logon.
     
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  8. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    can people not compact their mailfiles?
     
  9. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Ok, I think I follow. You're users archive their emails locally to their machines so that when they log on there's less work for the server, by sending their entire mailbox down the network to them.

    If this is the case then you should use cached mode. It stores your mailbox locally and then updates when you log on. You can also have an outlook client configured for the same mailbox in different places, e.g. Locally on the machine and also on the domain (on the same machine). It will update which ever one logs on, but only with items that are on the server.

    Also archives don't count against the data stored on the server but can be viewed in outlook locally (you probably already knew that tho).
     
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  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    we have the same problem in our system. although MS states that psts can go to 2GB, we recommend no larger than about 700MB otherwise you start to have problem.

    As to not syncing, we have a solution in place for that. they store their pst on their Z: drive (a separate partition on the HDD) and have a program called Personal Folders Backup
    Here

    As i understand this, you set it up with a backup location (you have to do this for each of the psts), and set a timeline (eg 1 week) every interval, when it detects a good network connection, it will ask if you want to back up your pst files. this happens when you close outlook, and will make a copy of the pst to the specified location - overwriting the current backup.

    as to using cached exchange mode. i would recommend against doing this for overly large mailbox sizes. cached mode allows offline viewing of your mailbox, BUT stores this info in an .ost file (its a pst file basically), so you run into the same problems as with pst files when they get too large.

    Fergal
     
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  11. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Stoney, we store their archives on a server share but it's the same principle as storing on their C drives. It is as you say to reduce the workload for the servers.

    Cheek, does compacting their mailfiles make any difference as doesn't it have to be expanded or does it not work like say zipping files?

    Anyway guys I appreciate the help I think the answer lies with caching mailfiles.
     
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  12. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Cheers for that Fergal, I'm going to have a look at that program.
     
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  13. Sparky
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    Providing none of your users have roaming profiles I would go for cached Exchange mode.

    In my last job we setup all users (about 100 users) with an archive which pointed to their home drive and this would archive the last month of emails or whatever. It started off ok but eventually their archives went over a 1GB and things started to go flakey. When the file server had a slight speed issue (I’m been polite here) it would scupper their Outlook performance as obviously the archive was connected. If Outlook only had their Exhange profile then there would not be a problem.

    Ever since then I’ve deployed Exchange 2003 with cached Outook clients, so far so good! 8)
     
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  14. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    how did you get on with this? what method did you use to resolve this then?
     
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  15. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    slypie,

    Do you know if this partner's user account has been assigned a "disk quota"?
     
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  16. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    we don't use disk quota's. The problem I have is that I work for a law firm and they tend to all need access to each others mail inboxes and archives. Personaly for home use or in cases where only the owner will need access to the archive then it's a good idea for sharing it's rubbish.

    Fergal, I haven't taken action yet. We have an IT meeting next week and I want to bring it up in the meeting but just have a few ideas on possible alternatives to archives. It's starting to be a problem as some of our users have big mail files and archives and if they can't access them then it's a problem especially if they are working on a big case.
     
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  17. Sparky
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    Is using the public folders on Exchange server an option? You could apply security permissions etc and also configure the clients to sync the folder(s) offline if needed. 8)
     
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  18. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    i would expect that this wasnt a viable alternative. the main issue is the user accessing files stored on the network whilst dialling in remotely. The public folders, whilst they synchronise, would have more of the same problem i think.

    Personally, i have no love of public folders at all for several reasons: propagating securities to sub-folders is a nightmare (theres a way to set it to allow propagation, but not without going into exchange); and mainly, because its essentially a pst file. yet the users think it can be used to store infinite amounts of data and will in all eventualities, eventually fail. in all honesty, if you want public storage of files, use the fileservers. and if you want to store emails in a format better than psts and/or the fileserver, then there are document control type packages out there (we use hummingbird for instance), that allow emails to be saved in more detail, is fully searchable, and can be set with securities to allow certain people certain access to each file - you can even use them for normal files too.

    That said, its not my setup here, over to you slypie, is this a viable solution for you?
     
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