Outlook Inbox shows under Deleted Items folder

Last week I mentioned a bizarre problem that occurred during an Exchange 2000 to 2003 migration for a client. Shortly after posting that little expository, I discovered another.

The customer called to indicate one of his user’s Inbox had been moved to his Deleted Items folder. I had never before seen this, as Outlook prevents users from making such “mistakes” with special folders. I’d heard rumors that previous versions of OWA would allow users to do this, however he insisted that it just appeared this way after the migration. What was really strange was that new email continued to be delivered to this seemingly “deleted” inbox. No attempt to move the folder back to the root of his mailbox would work, and Google turned up little helpful information this time. Deleting the Outlook profile and all of its offline cache goodies proved futile, and I was on the verge exporting his mailbox to a PST file and nuking it, when The Google finally answered.

Turns out some random bloke on a Technet message board had this problem when moving users from Exchange 2003 to 2007, and after some of the same steps I had taken, he had found the solution that worked equally well for me. Moving the user back to the old server, then back AGAIN to the new server put the Inbox back where it belonged. While I don’t understand the root cause of this problem, I’m glad to have solved it without the pains of nuking a mailbox. Just further proves that keeping an old Exchange server around for a few weeks after its migration is a Smart Move™.