Ask the Expert

Error message appearing after user has been deleted in Outlook 2003

We're currently using Exchange Server 2007 with Outlook 2003 and have a user whose account has been deleted. Each time we try to email a group calendar invitation, we receive an error message from this user stating: "The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to. Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address." How can I prevent this error message from showing up?

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By default, when a mailbox-enabled user is deleted in Active Directory, the associated mailbox is automatically preserved for 30 days prior to being permanently deleted. This 30 day interval is configurable and is called the deleted mailbox retention period. To see or change the settings, right-click the mailbox store in Exchange Management Console and view Properties. On the Limits tab you will see a Keep Deleted Mailboxes for (days) setting.

One option would be to remove the SMTP address from the account prior to deletion. Another option would be to adjust your deleted mailbox retention period.

To confirm that this is what is happening, launch your Exchange Management Console and navigate to the mailbox store that contained the deleted mailbox. Navigate to the Mailboxes object. You should see the phantom mailbox with a red X beside it. If not, right-click Mailboxes and then click Cleanup Agent, it will now show up with a red X.

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This was first published in December 2009

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