Fixing Outlook 2007 Rules after Backup Exec Mailbox Restore

I'm using Outlook 2007 to connect to Exchange 2003 under SBS 2003. All of my rules are server-side. The rules are still in Outlook 2003 format, though I'm not sure if that matters for this issue. 

Recently I used a third-party program to restore a backup to my aging MPx220 SmartPhone. Upon connecting with ActiveSync, it overwrote my Inbox, Tasks, and Calendar in Outlook and thus Exchange. Bad.

Fortunately, my daily Exchange backup with the Backup Exec 10d Exchange option had run that morning, so I was able to restore the mailbox in short order.

Unfortunately, this messed up my rules in Outlook 2007. The rules were there, and they ran fine manually, but they would not run automatically when mail was received.

Article 232585 in the Symantec knowledge base pointed me in the right direction, but was not a full solution. It recommends exporting and importing the rules. When I did that, nothing seemed to change. All the rules were there, but only a couple of them were firing automatically. 

I thought maybe I could fix the server-side rules by looking at them in Outlook Web Access (OWA). It turns out that none of my rules can be editing in OWA (apparently because OWA can't handle the “stop processing more rules” directive). What's interesting is that OWA showed me that each rule appeared twice. The export/import must have duplicated them.

This gave me the idea for the following solution:

  1. Print the list of rules from OWA in case you might need to recreate them manually.
  2. Export the rules from Outlook 2007 to a .rwz file on your desktop.
  3. Close Outlook 2007. From the command line, run “outlook /cleanrules” to delete all your server- and client-side rules. Close Outlook again.
  4. Start Outlook normally. Import the rules that you exported in step 2 above.

Now you should only see one copy of the each rule in OWA, and they should be triggered automatically!

1 thought on “Fixing Outlook 2007 Rules after Backup Exec Mailbox Restore

  1. Repair PST File

    To show you individual mailboxes, Backup Exec makes a “catalog” of the mailboxes after the information store backup. I’ve had a problem where that part wouldn’t work: it wouldn’t show any errors in the job logs, but the catalog wasn’t created. When turning on debugging, the debug log showed an “access denied” error code.

    It started working after I added my logon account to the “Global Address List” and made sure the logon account had a valid mailbox with at least one email inside.

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