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EVault creating items in Top of Information Store Folder and NOT deleting them

Level 1


I apologize in advance for the length of this post however it is required to accurately describe the problem in which we are experiencing.

We are a relatively new to the Enterprise Vault world having migrated from Nearpoint about 6 months ago. Shortly after the migration we began to notice many items now appearing in our Exchange mailbox “Top of Information Store” folders. Unsure what these items were and realizing they started appearing after we began running mailbox archive tasks in Enterprise Vault we opened a support ticket with Symantec.

After a short period of time it became apparent that the issue was a result of us having enabled the “RecoverTombstonedItems” registry key, as outlined here:

This was done as due to our environment (Legal) our IT staff is not permitted to access staff members mailboxes without approval from senior management and we wanted our staff to be able to recover all of their archived items themselves, including hard deleted items, without support from the Helpdesk.  They are able to do this within Nearpoint, so it was imperative this function be available within Evault. This registry key was proposed to us by the Symantec Sales team early in the process as a workable solution and a WebEx demo was even provided by a Symantec technical resource.

During our troubleshooting with the Symantec team it was explained to me what the RecoverTombStoneItems registry key really does. When someone deletes an email and then removes it from their deleted items folder within Outlook, or simply performs a SHIFT+DELETE the item is not completely gone at this point. Microsoft Exchange has a hidden area called the “Exchange Dumpster” which stores these deleted items for a period of 14 days (the default setting) which allows people to recover their hard deleted items by accessing the “recover deleted items” option within their Outlook client.

In order for Enterprise Vault to archive these hard delete items that now reside in the Exchange Dumpster, Enterprise Vault restores these items to the mailbox. The Enterprise Vault restores these items to the Exchange mailbox folder called “Top of Information Store”. Normally this folder is not visible to the end users, but there are ways to view it. Webmail is one way, another way is to use the Advanced Search function in Outlook and finally by Disabling the homepage for Outlook Today within the Outlook client. All items, regardless of their type (email, calendar item, reminder tasks, sent items, etc) are restored to this Top of Information Store folder so that Enterprise Vault can archive them.

This is fine, however there is one glaring problem. After the item is restored from the Exchange Dumpster to the Top of Information Store and then archived by the Enterprise Vault, the item is never removed. These items remain in the Top of Information Store folder forever, somewhat invisible to the end user. Imagine the disk space that will be wasted over an extended period of time?

Even more of a problem is that the Outlook client displays Tasks that are sitting in the Top of Information Store when you are in Tasks View. So OLD tasks that a user has hard deleted now reappear in their Tasks/ToDo lists!

Symantec support insists this is “by design” and it is “working as expected” however I can’t imagine anyone would purposely designing a product in such a way that items are forever lost in this “Top of Information Store” folder, secretly wasting massive amounts of disk space over time and swelling the size of the Exchange Databases.

Has/Is anyone else experiencing this problem, and what are you doing to get around it/resolve it? It is possible you are experiencing this problem and don’t even know it.

We are currently running version
We do not stub archived items
We do not delete archived items
Essentially our Vault is a duplicate of the Exchange environment however items are in the Vault are of course never deleted (20yr retention).