Home > Exchange 2003 > Unable to Update Your Free/Busy Information – Outlook 2003\2007 – Exchange 2003

Unable to Update Your Free/Busy Information – Outlook 2003\2007 – Exchange 2003

I have had numerous complaints about users having problems either seeing other users’ Free/Busy information, having problems updating their Delegation settings and\or users’ having difficulty Accepting a meeting request on behalf of another user.  (Awarded by way of Delegated rights).  There are a varying degree of error messages, such as: “Unable to update your free/busy information” or “The Delegates settings were not saved correctly”, etc.  This has been an ongoing issue, that I believe we have made progress on understanding.

I always give props, when props are due, so I wanted to mention a great article I found that was written by JD Wade.  The article can be found here: Free/Busy Article.

How Free/Busy works: Free/Busy information is stored in a dedicated system folder called SCHEDULE+FREE BUSY on the Public Folder Server. This folder contains a separate sub-folder for each Exchange administrative group. When a user publishes his Free/Busy data, Exchange posts this information in a message in the appropriate sub-folder that now functions in a manner similar to the offline address book folders.  A hidden message is also added into the actual Exchange Mailbox to keep track of the Free/Busy data.  Every time a user receives a meeting or calendar request, this message gets updated.   If that file becomes corrupt, any subsequent files are also corrupt.  Deleting the Free/Busy message off of the Public Folder server should force the removal of the hidden message in the Exchange mailbox.

For initial troubleshooting of Free/Busy issues you can try one of 2 things:
1.  Run the /cleanfreebusy switch againt Outlook Profile
2.  Manually remove the user’s Free/Busy folder

More advanced Fix attempts are:

You can also use the MAPI Editor Tool to manually delete the Free/Busy message off of the server.  You will need to create an Outlook profile for the mailbox you want to repair:

1.  Choose Session and Logon and Display Store Table
2.  Choose the Outlook profile you created
3.  Double click the Instance that starts with “Mailbox -”
4.  Expand Root – Mailbox
5.  Click on IPM_SUBTREE
6.  In the right window, if there is a property name of PR_FREEBUSY_ENTRYIDS, right click on it and choose Delete Property (if it exists here…it may not)
7.  Expand IPM_SUBTREE
8.  Click on Inbox
9.  In the right window, if there is a property name of PR_FREEBUSY_ENTRYIDS, right click on it and choose Delete Property
10.  Exit out of MAPI Editor.
11.  Re-run the /cleanfreebusy on the mailbox.

Here is the hidden message in Exchange Mailbox:

image

Here is the Free/Busy Message on the Public Folder Server.  Each user mailbox is represented by ExchangeLegacyDN attribute, which is highlighted below.

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