Outlook

Outlook 2010 Favorite weirdness

I have some issues with a client adding “Public Folders” to favorites within Outlook 2010 (Exchange 2010). If you add a Calendar or Contact folder to favorites it appears in the favorite list but it you sort by Calendar or Contact, it is not listed.

You right click the Public folder and select “Add to Favorites” , it prompts for a name and then appears to add it, but it does not actually appear in the list.
The common answer to this issue is that the Profilename.xml file in “C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftOutlook” is corrupt and start Outlook with the /ResetNavPane switch.

The problem is, running this also kills all linked shared calendars, shortcuts and favorites. The /ResetNavPane switch seems to delete the xml file and likely does other things to the mailbox or registry.

I have reviewed the possibly faulty XML file with corrupted settings, it looks no different to a working one. I have tried to work out what the file does, line by line but there is no real explanation online of the settings.

I manually removed the xml file of my C: drive (without running /resetnavpane) and the problem was fixed and I lost no shared calendars or Favorites.

It appears that the config file is not the cause of the issue. It is another symptom and might not be the corruption. Looking in this file for the answer is fruitless as it seems Outlook does not read from this file, it writes it out to the file system when you exit Outlook.

 I can open Outlook without this config file, add a whole heap of favorites and the config file does not get created until I leave Outlook.

 Very curious.

 I found a possible work around and it is as follows:

Close outlook. Rename the config xml file. Reopen Outlook and test you can add to favorites. Vlose Outlook. Rename the original config file back to it’s old name and open Outlook. The testing I have done seems to indicate that this fixes the issue and retains the shared Calendars and all other settings.

I suspect the XML file is a backup of the Favorite settings or maybe it only controls favorites from the personal mailboxes or PST’s. The Public Folder favorites might actually be folders created at the Exchange end and work differently. Maybe the settings are stored on the server in the database ?

There is very little info so this is all conjecture.

What is PB4S-Configuration-name@domain.xml

Whilst trying to solve an issue, I strayed into the folder “c:usersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftOutlook”.

I can see the profile.xml, Outlprnt and profile.srs files. I know what they are.
*.srs  -  send/receive settings for the email profile  *.xml  - This file holds customization settings for the Navigation Pane in Outlook 2003 and later. Most notable settings are, Favorite Folders, Shortcuts from the Shortcuts Navigation and opened shared folder lists in the Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Notes and Journal Navigation. Outlprnt – This file contains the print style settings.

See more here http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/filesandsettings.htm

What is the PB4S-Configuration-name@domain.xml file ?

I find very little about this file and it’s settings online. It turns out that this is the Outlook Protection rules file. If you have assigned Outlook Protection rules or your server supports this feature, this file contains the information needed to apply it. In basic terms what is Outlook Protection rules ? I view it like DRM for email. (Digital Rights Management).

Basically rules about who you can forward types of emails to, what access you have to reply etc. Maybe it should be called Email Rights Management :)

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