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Exchange 2010 Transition Gotcha

I’ve been working on a transition from Exchange 2003 to 2010 for the past few months. I did a lot of testing in a lab and caught several things in the lab that saved tons of time in the production rollout. Unfortunately, during the production rollout I ran into an issue that I was not prepared for. I still have Terminal Servers using Outlook 2003. I noticed the following behavior:

  • Outgoing emails stay in the Outbox for about 1 minute.
  • New email arrival takes about 1 minute.
  • Items that are deleted don’t disappear for about 1 minute.
  • If you try to delete the “deleted” email again you get an error that says, “Unknown error” then the “deleted” email goes away.
  • Items that are moved to another folder take about 1 minute to move.

There is a known issue using Outlook 2003 in online mode (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2009942). The KB article has a very good technical explanation. There are 2 workarounds mentioned in the KB article but there are really 3. Method 2 is not an option because I cannot run Outlook in cached mode on a Terminal Server. I implemented the registry fix in method 1 setting it to the lowest value. While it does speed it up from 60 seconds to 5, it is still going to cause a negative user experience. The third options is of course upgrading to Outlook 2007 or higher.

So for right now my transition is in a holding pattern until I can update all my Terminal Servers to the latest version of Office. Good thing I only moved over a few users that are OK with dealing with the problem until then. Keep this in mind if you are moving to Exchange 2010.

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