Huge Mail Hangs Machine

15 pts.
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Microsoft Exchange
Good Morning All! Here is my system setup. I manage an MS Exchange 5.5 due to limited space we configure all user account to deliver mail directly to their pst file in their local computer. Recently someone from the outside sent a huge email to a distribution list, now when people open their outlook it sort of hangs (100% CPU) as it downloads the huge mail to their pst file. Some users just let it go for about 10 minutes until it fully downloads. Is ther a way for me to delete that message from other users mailbox that have not access their Outlook yet or is there a way that I can access their mailbox without logging in as that user? Thanks for your help. Santiago
ASKED: October 24, 2006  9:42 AM
UPDATED: October 27, 2006  12:32 PM

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If they are going to a PST file, you can open the file by (in outlook) file>open > Outlook data file and browsing to it. delete what you need and disconnect. Move to the next user. Something to Keep in mind is that a PST file has limitations and if it ges too big, it can become currupt. I would periodically rename the file and let outlook recreate it. As well as train the users to open the rename file.

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  • GJMach
    I believe as the admin you can log in to each user's information store and remove the large message. Back in my days of desktop support this was a pretty common problem with dial up users - their managers would send 15mb technical manuals through email and effectively stop all the email from working. To prevent such problems in the future, you may be able to set up a policy that blocks large attachments, and responds to the sender with a message citing the limitation. Alternatively, if you have outlook web access set up, you could advise users to log in there and remove the large message, but that would probably not be very efficient. In regards to the other response, I don't know how anyone can access a pst file's contents without adding it to a mail profile. Additionally, once it's in the pst file, it's off the IS, so therefore no longer an issue.
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  • PDMeat
    Use exmerge.exe to remove the message from people's inbox. You have my sympathy: Exchange 5.5 has fallen off of MS support a while ago. Someone needs to bite the bullet and upgrade to exchange 2003 and win2003 AD if not so already. good luck.
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  • Elmagoal
    The problem is that the email is going to a pst file. if the pst file is too big, outlook will sit until it is open. the second problem is that the PST is on the HD of the local machine. Unless you get a 3rd party app that can handle PST you are doing a lot of sneaker net. You can map to every user's machine and mount the PST to your profile( the original usercannot be logon or you get access denied). Then follow my previous instructions. The second problem is the PST in the local drive. Just think about it: if a machine HD dies, the user lost all their mail. Or, you would need to backup all the machines in your organization, which is a bundle of money in backup agents. So you need to move the PSTs to a network drive. I do agree with the last response that an upgrade is urgently needed.
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  • Stevesz
    How huge is the huge file? Most organizations set a limit on the size of an e-mail that is accepted at the server, and returns those over the limit. Larger files are usually handled by FTP. Probably the easiest way to remove the file from the server is to log in as each user via OWA and delete the mail from there to get it off the server. I never really worked with 5.5, so I don't kow if deleted item retention is an option. If it is, set it to a low value to completely remove the message, or turn it off. Once it has been totally removed from the database, you may wish to revisit the seting for DIR, and set it to a convenient limit for your situation. Then discuss with your manager(s) about setting a limit for the size of incoming e-mail so this situation does not happen again. You also seriously need to get your organization off Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. (Even though 2007 is close to being released, the hardware requirements might be too much for your organization isnce it will require a 64 bit CPU for starters.) Spec out a server that will give you plenty of room for an information store of up to 75 GB (size is set by organization between the default 16 GB and 75 GB). Remember you need about 110% of the store size available on your drive(s) to do proper maintenence when needed (on those rare ocassions).
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  • bmarone
    If the memberlist is small enough, have each user go in thru OWA55 (webmail) and download/delete it. With the Exchange Administrator's password, you could login and do it for them. If the memberlist is too large for that, use exmerge. If not already installed, you can install webmail on any domain server, even a test server. I wouldn't host it on the Exchange server, as it needs IIS.
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