OL2003 ignores distribution list when sending


C

Char Jackson

Trying to help a friend who is running XP SP3 Home, and Office 2003.

In Outlook 2003, she has roughly 350 contacts and needs to send
periodic newsletters to each of them. She created 7 distribution lists
of 50 recipients each, and places one distro list in the BCC field
before sending. Her ISP suggested 50 recipients as a safe number, and
suggested waiting an hour between each send event to avoid the ISP's
spam filter. So far, so good. That worked fine for several months.
She uses her ISP's POP3 and SMTP mail servers, not Exchange/IMAP.

That computer died with a small puff of smoke and they decided to
place another XP Pro SP3 Home PC into service. She rescued the hard
drive from the dead computer and attached it to the new computer
externally via USB. In Outlook 2003 on the new computer, she selected
the Contacts window and Imported the contacts (and distribution lists)
from the rescued hard drive. Everything looks good - the Contacts
window shows all of the contacts, and the distribution lists are
present. Opening each DL shows that the email addresses are present
and look good.

THE PROBLEM: when she tries to send her newsletter to a distribution
list, the distribution list is silently stripped off and the email is
only sent to the address (her own) that was manually entered in the TO
field. She enabled Outlook Logging but it doesn't show any errors or
anything useful. Opening the item in the Sent folder shows that the
BCC field is empty.

Is there a known problem with using distribution lists that were
created on another PC and then imported? Does she have to delete her
distribution lists and recreate them?
 
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V

VanguardLH

Char said:
Trying to help a friend who is running XP SP3 Home, and Office 2003.

In Outlook 2003, she has roughly 350 contacts and needs to send
periodic newsletters to each of them. She created 7 distribution lists
of 50 recipients each, and places one distro list in the BCC field
before sending. Her ISP suggested 50 recipients as a safe number, and
suggested waiting an hour between each send event to avoid the ISP's
spam filter. So far, so good. That worked fine for several months.
She uses her ISP's POP3 and SMTP mail servers, not Exchange/IMAP.

That computer died with a small puff of smoke and they decided to
place another XP Pro SP3 Home PC into service. She rescued the hard
drive from the dead computer and attached it to the new computer
externally via USB. In Outlook 2003 on the new computer, she selected
the Contacts window and Imported the contacts (and distribution lists)
from the rescued hard drive. Everything looks good - the Contacts
window shows all of the contacts, and the distribution lists are
present. Opening each DL shows that the email addresses are present
and look good.

THE PROBLEM: when she tries to send her newsletter to a distribution
list, the distribution list is silently stripped off and the email is
only sent to the address (her own) that was manually entered in the TO
field. She enabled Outlook Logging but it doesn't show any errors or
anything useful. Opening the item in the Sent folder shows that the
BCC field is empty.

Is there a known problem with using distribution lists that were
created on another PC and then imported? Does she have to delete her
distribution lists and recreate them?

Need more info on HOW the contacts were imported. If the user exported
the contacts to then later import them, distribution lists are not
exported. See:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/218293

This is my thinking: When you import, you are creating new records each
with their own ID or indexed position. The distribution lists don't
duplicate the contact records but merely have pointers to the IDs for
those contacts. Since an import creates new records, their IDs probably
don't match up with what they were before so now the imported DLs will
have invalid pointers. I know in the past that I've had objects defined
in Outlook which were pointers to a folder but after deleting and
recreating that folder the pointer didn't work anymore so I had to
recreate it to get it in sync with the current state of the message
store to get a valid pointer.

I find it more reliable to *open* the other .pst file (the one from
which you want to retrieve old info) rather than to import old info
which attempts to also do a merge with existing info. To load/open an
old .pst file (that has the contacts), use the File -> Open menu. The
opened .pst file will appear as a separate message store in a new tree
list.

The problem can be the new and old .pst files had the same name for the
root tree node which makes it confusing to be sure which is the new and
old message store. With the same names, you'll get 2 trees having the
same name for their root node. Before opening the old .pst file, and
for the currently loaded message store (.pst file), right-click on the
tree's root node, select Properties, click the Advanced button and
change the name of the node, say to something like "<user> NEW". After
you are done with the migration mentioned below, you can close the old
message store (right-click on its tree root node and use Close) and
rename back the name of the current message store's tree root node.
Otherwise, you could end up opening an old message store (.pst file) and
have 2 trees with the "<user> <comment>" but you won't be sure which is
the new (current) and old message stores.

After opening the old message store, select the folder where are the
items you want to migrate to the new/current message store. Select the
old items and DRAG them into the same-type folder in the new message
store (into a folder in the tree for the new/current message store).
Drag the items from old to new instead of relying on the import
function. Besides being more reliable, you get to import only what you
select to drag instead of trying to import everything. A problem will
be you may end up duplicating contacts. What you drag in will create
new records in the database (.pst) file. If you created a new message
store then the contact-type folders are empty to start with so dragging
items from the old tree into folders in the new tree won't duplicate
anything because there's nothing in the new tree to duplicate yet.

However, all this work may be fruitless. If I'm right that DLs are
lists of pointers to record IDs for contacts then importing or dragging
contacts from the old message store you opened into the new/current tree
will still result in creating new records. Those records will have new
record IDs so the ones listed in the DLs won't be valid anymore. So,
yep, looks like your user has to recreate the DLs. The DL has to link
to something to point at the contacts. They don't duplicate the contact
records as that would result in unnecessarily enlarging the database
with duplicate records. The DL has links to records, not their data, so
the link is to something that points at the records, like a record ID or
index number (although I suspect an ID since using an index number would
mean DLs would get out of sync as you adding more contact records along
with compacting the database).

http://forums.vortez.net/software/874-import-distribution-list-outlook-2003-onwards.html

That article looks to have you get the DL as a template and then
generate contacts from it; however, I suspect all you'll get in the
contact record is the comment field (typically the recipient's name) and
their e-mail address in the contact record (Name and E-mail are the only
2 fields shown in the member list when you view a DL). If that works to
extract contacts from a DL (and you don't care about losing the other
data in the old contact records). Alas, this has you exporting the DL
by saving it as a template which means you are looking at the [Outlook]
Address Book to view a DL and then use the File -> Save As menu to save
as a template.

- Rename the tree node in your new/current message store to ensure it
has a different name than the root tree node in your old message store.
- Change Outlook to load the old message store (.pst file) when it
starts by using the File -> Data File Management menu.
- In the "Outlook Data Files" dialog, add the old .pst file.
- Close that dialog.
- Go to Tools -> E-mail Accounts menu, select "View or change existing
e-mail accounts", and click Next.
- In the "E-mail Accounts" dialog, there is a "Deliver new e-mail to the
following location" drop-down listbox. Now you know why having a
different name for each message store lets you know which one you are
picking. Pick the name for the old message store. That makes it the
message store that Outlook will default to when it starts.
- Exit and reload Outlook to use the selected default message store.

Now you can go into the OAB (Outlook Address Book) to select the DL to
then use the File -> Save As menu to save that DL as a template (a file
on your hard disk). Then reverse the above procedure to make your new
message store the default one in Outlook and exit & reload Outlook to
use it. You then follow the article on how to use that template file.
I would suggest after switching to the new message store as the default
one and reloading Outlook that you:

- Create a contact-type temp subfolder under the Contacts folder, one
for each old DL you want to reuse.
- The temp subfolder will be to where you Copy to Folder the template to
extract the contacts from the DL.
- Now you have a folder with just the contacts (name and e-mail only, I
suspect) extracted from the template for the DL.
- You can quickly make a new DL from all the contacts in just that
folder.
- Repeat these steps until you have extracted each DL into its own
subfolder.

Then:
- Switch back to using the new .pst file as the default message store in
Outlook.
- Exit and reload Outlook.
- Drag the temp contact-type subfolders from the old store into the
new/current store. That will create new contact records for them in
your new/current message store. You now have a subfolder for each DL
in your new message store.
- In your new message store (the default one now), create a new DL from
all the contacts in just one temp subfolder. Rather than having to
remember who was in which DL from the old store, you know the contacts
in the temp subfolder in your new store were just for that old DL.
- After creating the DL, select all the contacts in that temp subfolder
and drag them wherever you want, like into the Contacts folder.
Dragging items within a message store doesn't not alter their record
IDs (moving an item within a message store doesn't not create a new
record). Since the DL is a list of pointers to record IDs, they'll
still point to the contact record that you moved from the temp
subfolder to Contacts.
- Dragging all the newly extracted contacts out of the temp subfolder
will empty that subfolder. Delete the now empty temp subfolder (in
both the new/current and old message stores).
- Unload (close) the old message store.

Yep, it's a lot of work but this way you recreate new DLs that have the
same list of contacts as the old DLs. If the composition of the new DLs
it unimportant (i.e., you just want 50 contacts per DL) then don't
bother with any of this. Creating a new DL and selecting the 1st 50
contacts, creating another new DL and selecting the next 50 contacts,
and so one is a lot easier. You're just grabbing any 50 contacts to put
into a DL and don't care which contacts go into which DL.
 
V

VanguardLH

Char said:
Trying to help a friend who is running XP SP3 Home, and Office 2003.

In Outlook 2003, she has roughly 350 contacts and needs to send
periodic newsletters to each of them. She created 7 distribution lists
of 50 recipients each, and places one distro list in the BCC field
before sending. Her ISP suggested 50 recipients as a safe number, and
suggested waiting an hour between each send event to avoid the ISP's
spam filter. So far, so good. That worked fine for several months.
She uses her ISP's POP3 and SMTP mail servers, not Exchange/IMAP.

That computer died with a small puff of smoke and they decided to
place another XP Pro SP3 Home PC into service. She rescued the hard
drive from the dead computer and attached it to the new computer
externally via USB. In Outlook 2003 on the new computer, she selected
the Contacts window and Imported the contacts (and distribution lists)
from the rescued hard drive. Everything looks good - the Contacts
window shows all of the contacts, and the distribution lists are
present. Opening each DL shows that the email addresses are present
and look good.

THE PROBLEM: when she tries to send her newsletter to a distribution
list, the distribution list is silently stripped off and the email is
only sent to the address (her own) that was manually entered in the TO
field. She enabled Outlook Logging but it doesn't show any errors or
anything useful. Opening the item in the Sent folder shows that the
BCC field is empty.

Is there a known problem with using distribution lists that were
created on another PC and then imported? Does she have to delete her
distribution lists and recreate them?

Uffda! I just thought of something far easier. Why isn't your user
reusing their old message store (.pst file) in their new install of
Outlook?

- Use the File -> Data File Management menu. Add the old .pst file.
- Go to Tools -> E-mail Accounts, View existing accounts, and change the
"Deliver" listbox to select the old .pst file.
Note: You see the tree's root node name here. If the tree root node
for the old and new message stores have the same name, it can get
confusing here. You'll have to pick one to see if it was the old
.pst file instead of the new one. Just pick the other one than the
one currently selected (you probably have only 2 listed here right
now).
- Exit and reload Outlook. Now it's current message store is the old
message store with the old contact records and the old DLs with their
pointers pointing at the old contact records. The record IDs for the
pointers in the DL are valid because they're pointing to the same old
contact records in that old message store.
- Use the File -> Data File Management menu to remove the new message
store created when you installed and first used Outlook. You won't be
able to delete the current/default message store (which is now the old
one).
- Restart Outlook.

No need to create and import to a completely new message store. Just
reuse the old one. The user wants their old setup so give it to them.
Not everything is recorded in the .pst file. For example, the nicknames
(the cached quicklist shown in a field when you start typing) is in a
..nk2 file and toolbar customization is in outcmd.dat file. The
extend.dat file is a cache of Outlook's registry settings. I don't know
if you need that file but it won't hurt (as you might get back whatever
registry settings got cached and then they get put into your new
registry in your new Windows install). The .srs file has your rules.
You can get those from the old hard disk or backups to replace them and
restart Outlook. Just copy all the files from the following paths from
your old disk onto your new one (while Outlook is NOT running):

%userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

That would include the old outlook.pst file. If you copy those folders
from the old disk onto the new one or restore them (in the same path)
from backups, you'll end up sliding in the old outlook.pst file to
replace the new one. When you next load Outlook, it'll be using the old
outlook.pst file.

About the only info you lose in a new install and after sliding in the
old Outlook files (outlook.pst, outcmd.dat, extend.dat, .srs files) are
the accounts. Those are stored in the registry and crypto hashed so you
cannot just export and import those keys. When you create the new
accounts, also check the rules as some of them may no longer be valid.
Again, they use pointers to records in the database for folders so you
may find folders (other than the default one) in your rules are no
longer valid. Just touch that rule to select the same-named folder (you
may have to create it first) to update that rule to make it valid.

So you can use Data File Management to switch to the old message store
or just slide in the old outlook.pst atop the new one (along with
bringing forth the other old Outlook data files in their respective
paths). When the user next starts Outlook, they have their old setup
again (except for the account that you have to recreate and any rules
that need updating to correct their pointers).
 
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C

Char Jackson

Need more info on HOW the contacts were imported. If the user exported
the contacts to then later import them, distribution lists are not
exported. See:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/218293

I thought I covered that in the initial post. The old computer died in
flight, so after the fact there was no opportunity to export anything.

However, all this work may be fruitless. If I'm right that DLs are
lists of pointers to record IDs for contacts then importing or dragging
contacts from the old message store you opened into the new/current tree
will still result in creating new records. Those records will have new
record IDs so the ones listed in the DLs won't be valid anymore. So,
yep, looks like your user has to recreate the DLs.

I've come to the same conclusion. I'll let her know. Thanks!
 

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