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Data loss from Virtual Vault

Created: 21 Nov 2012 • Updated: 21 Nov 2012 | 8 comments
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Hi all,

I've run into a sticky situation. It seems that one of my customers has been using their Virtual Vault as a repository exactly as they would use a PST, e.g. creating new folders inside it and moving emails from their mailbox into the VV.

The VV has now been reset specifically because she said certain items could not be opened, but that if she used Archive Explorer, they were accessible, Naturally, I assumed VV corruption, and proceeded to reset it.

Since then she's complained that email and folders have gone missing. It appears that the items that were dragged and dropped do not appear to have been syncing back to the server (sync problems is probably what caused some things not to open?)

Do I have any tools/utilities to attempt to recover these emails?

Further, how would it be possible to confirm, en mass, that items inside a VV have been archived successfully?

Thank you for any and all replies,


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RahulG's picture

When a user drag and drop the item to VV , it does not get uploaded to the Ev server directly , the upload is done when synchronization happens.

You may use the exchange dumpster to recover deleted item.i,e got to deleted item folder and then from the tools menu select the option to recover deleted items.

when you drag the item it gets hard deleted from the inbox (shortcuts not created in the mailbox in this case) but will still go into the dumpster so is recoverable using Outlook's "Recover Deleted Items" feature, 

JesusWept3's picture

There is an option in the desktop policy to trigger a sync and upload items when the awaiting archive gets to a certain size

also you should look in to the newer clients where they can show a pop up if synchronization a are failing.

as for recovery, Rahul is spot on that you will have to use the exchange dumpster if its enabled and if those items were moved recently

rasobey's picture

Thanks. Does syncronisation between server and VV happen automatically? I mean, this /should/ have been working, right, but something has caused these syncs to fail?

I'm already working on the dumpster aspect of this, but I've got a feeling it's been going on for more than a few months so not everything will be recoverable this way :(


RahulG's picture

 By deault it is 24 hrs i beleive. You can control this by using a registry key OVMDCSyncFrequencyInSecs.

the vaule is in seconds . when chaning this vaule you need to keep in mind , that if you reduce the frequency there would be more request on the Ev server and it would be impacted

JesusWept3's picture

Synchronization occurs on a schedule and typically 5 minutes after opening outlook.

There are typically no good indicators that are visible to show why a sync might be failing, it could be that the servers were too busy or that there was a corrupt item blocking the sync.

Also be sure to make sure they're on the latest client as almost every client released contains a boat load of VC/VV fixes and enhancements including the popup bubble saying that the sync failed.

one last thing; when you reset the account, it should have popped up a dialog box saying there were one or more items to upload, did that not occur?

Ben Heymink's picture

Like JesusWept3 mentioned, you should have got a pop up when you reset the user's Vault Cache warning you that one or more items were awaiting synchonization, and that continuing to resest the Vault Cache would lose these items. In terms of determining if there are items still to be archived inside the users Virtual Vault, you can see that number in the Vault Cache properties dialog or by examining the Virtual Vault search folder "To be archived". (Or by using the feature described below)

If your users will be using Virtual Vault like this, I would encourage you to modify your desktop policy to automatically trigger a syncrhonization once, say, 3 or more items have been dragged in. That number is of course up to you though.

I've attached a document describing a new feature we have introduced in 10.0.2 that can report to an administrator any Vault Cache issues, including if there are items that have not yet been archived. I hope it helps going forward! 

HOWTO77190.pdf 440.85 KB
rasobey's picture

Thanks again for the great advice everyone. I didn't do the reset myself, but a colleague, who doesn't think he missed a dialog saying there was one or more things to upload. There may yet be another reason why these items have gone missing, but I'm sure we'll be making changes to our policies going forward.

I'll also make sure that the 10.0.2 client is rolled out - we're running 10.0.1 at the moment so compatibility should be good.


JesusWept3's picture

I have had circumstances like this in my previous job where people said they were missing things, but in fact it was because they just moved a ton of items all over the place, but those moves never got synced correctly, and by the time they realised something was wrong, they reset, and all the moves had been lost

They then go back in to Virtual vault and shout dataloss when in fact its that the items are back in their original locations, but it was so many items from so many different places, its hard for them to remember what items went where.

They don't know what the item was, sender, recipient, subject, sent date etc, but they just know that there was something there and if they wanted to find it elsewhere they probably couldn't, which makes the situation even more difficult