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Expire mail but keep shortcuts?

Created: 07 Dec 2005 • Updated: 21 May 2010 | 21 comments
MKJ's picture

Ok, I've typed out two drafts of this post and figure it may be easier to just ask for what I want to do.

I want to allow my exchange server to continue to expire messages over 6 months old, but not to touch the EV shortcuts for the mail that the users will have to manually tell EV to archive. I know there is the "Excluded Specific Message Class" option in the recipient policy, but I cannot find any info on if the shortcut has a specific message class.

Any help would be appreciated.

EV 6.0 SP1
Windows Server 2003 SP1
Exchange 2003 SP2 (I know its not supported yet)

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Michael Bilsborough's picture


I think what you're saying is
I am happy for shortcuts to expire if they are created via background archiving
I do not want shortcuts to expire if they were created via the user manually archiving those items.


In that case no, you can't do that.

Out of interest, why do you want such a feature?

MKJ's picture

Thanks for the reply.

Let me clarify...

EV does nothing automatically. No archiving. I'm wanting the users to manually archive items they want to keep.

I want Exchange to continue to get rid of mail over 6 months old (which should be items the user does not want, but is too lazy to delete), but keep the shortcuts when they are over 6 months old.

The reason that I want to do this is that our users use their email for personal reasons, file storage, sending huge videos, mp3's, 10 meg jpgs of their kittens, and who knows how many emails from ebay. We are trying to wean the users. This is in an educational setting and we let our users have a great deal of freedom to get their work done and unfortunately, some are abusing it.

Thanks for the help.

David Messenger 2's picture


and yes a shortcut does have a specific IPM message class. That's how Outlook knows to load an EV form and what icon to display.


MKJ's picture

> and yes a shortcut does have a specific IPM message
> class. That's how Outlook knows to load an EV form
> and what icon to display.


Do you happen to know what the message class is or where I can find that info (without having to call Symantec and wait)

Thank you!

Michael Bilsborough's picture


MKJ's picture


Just have to I going about this the right way, ie with using the message class exclusions in the recipient policy to not delete the shortcuts (and for that matter, will it work correctly)? I realize most people use EV to journal all email. Does anyone else just use it to archive selectively, while still expiring mail past a certain retention period?

Thanks all for the help!


David Messenger 2's picture


you can view the message classes - customise your Outlook view. It's a mail field.

We give our users a bit of code so they can choose how long they want to keep their shortcuts. It also tells them how much space the shortcuts take up in their mailboxes. Not quite the same thing but I'm still not entirely sure what you're trying to do. But then it's been a long week....

Glenn Martin muttered something about using Outlook Active Folders (or something) to do the same thing. Maybe he'll be kind enuf to elaborate?

MKJ's picture


In an nutshell...We give our users 6 month of mail. On Sundays, Exchange expires anything over 6 months in their mail folders and empties Deleted Items Fodlers. If it is important, they should manually archive it. If it's not, delete it. Problem is, our users seldom delete anything. They just let it pile up until the server warns them they are nearing their quota (650 MB). Then they let it go over their quota and call complaining they cannot send mail and wonder what happens to the mail that they should have been receiving. One user calls once a week with a full mailbox. It's a never ending cycle.

I set up the message class explusions with IPM.Note.EnterpriseVault.* so I'll catch everything and hopefully Symantec will warn if they ever change it.

The help is appreciated!


David Messenger 2's picture

Blimey. Your users build 650Mb of email in six months! And you get Exchange to auto-expire it! No fun for your users. No fun for you.

Reading between the lines - are you setting the 3 Exchange quota limits very close together? I'd advise that if you want to prevent send and receive @ 650Mb then call it a 400Mb mailbox. Warn them at 350Mb and prevent sending at 550Mb. I'd never set my deny send & receive the same as my deny send.

How big are your .edb files?

MKJ's picture

Howdy David,

Yes, our users can buid mailboxes quickly. They like to you the Exchange server as file storage. It's been hard to break them of that.

The 3 quotas are not close together. The problem is that the users are sharing large files and email them to each other instead of using their folders on the file server. So, their sent items can also have large attachments, which helps them to reach the quotas very quickly.

EDB files are only 36Gb. Not all of our users are taking advantage of their mailboxes. hehehe



David Messenger 2's picture


How long to back up 36Gb?

Put a send limit on them and give them WinZip :-)

MKJ's picture

Backup takes about 15 minutes.
It's not too bad. The file server takes about 12 hours to backup to tape. We have started backing up to metal. Much faster, but more trouble.

Wow... you are going to make me teach them how to use Winzip now ;) hehehe

David Messenger 2's picture

36Gb in 15 minutes? What r u using? for Outlook winzip snap-ins. User won't even know they are there.

MKJ's picture

The Outlook snap-in is pretty slick, just wish it would take the name of the attachment and name the zip file the same. Maybe in a future release, hopefully.

We are using a HP Ultrium 960 tape drive hooked up to a HP SmartArray 5300 controller. Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 is the backup software we are using.

james Jaatinen's picture


Just out of curiousity, u say u back up 36 Gbit to tape in 15 min??

I say no way, we back up over 300 Gigabytes daily, use NTbackup and backup to disk (SAN) because no tape is fast enough, or then u run only incrementals ;)


David Messenger 2's picture

That's nothing... We do a full backup of 5Tb of Vault every day....

Brian Spooner's picture


You mentioned a piece of code you give to your users that let's them choose how long they want to keep their shortcuts.

Is this something you can share?

David Messenger 2's picture

Yup. It's a bit cave-man in it's approach. User has to run it when he decides it's time to housekeep. He then enters a number of months back he wants to go and the code trawls thru the mailbox. First off it just counts and then 2nd pass it'll delete. Works on the primary store in the open Oiutlook profile so if you want to delete from PSTs you'd have to open the PST in that context (no I wouldn;t fancy explaining that to a user!)

It's about 90% fit for public consumption so I guess I can sanitise and post it up if you want to have a butchers?

MKJ's picture


The backup is a full information store backup, with Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 (with the Exchange Agent) and an U320 HP Ultrium 960 drive on an SmartArray 5300 controller. I've been able to do some housecleaning and got the databases down in space on that server. The information store backs up about 28GB in 10 minutes now.

Set Detail Information - Backup \\Server\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group
Set type : Backup
Set status : Completed
Set description : Friday n1
Resource name : \\server\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group
Agent used : Yes
Advanced Open File Option used : No
Image used : No

Start time : Saturday, December 17, 2005 6:59:52 AM

End time : Saturday, December 17, 2005 7:09:36 AM

Byte count : 28,644,647,726 bytes
Rate : 2,806.00 MB/Min

David Messenger 2's picture


RemoveShortcuts.exe is posted on -- it's fairly obvious in which section!

Lemme know what you guys think via the UDStech forum please....