[ Originally posted here:  http://web.archive.org/web/20130918070911/http://onecool1.wordpress.com:80/2008/09/19/microsoft-outlook-2007-imap-exchange-and-moving-those-special-folders-back/ ]

As a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 user, I have the option of using either Microsoft Outlook for native Exchange mail server connectivity, or using another, open standard protocol such as IMAP.  So, in my finite wisdom, I decided… why not?!


Why not indeed.  The reason for using IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is so that I could use….. wait for it… a non-Microsoft email client with my Microsoft server.  The very notion.  Well, actually it’s not too bad.  You enable the IMAP service on the server, set up the mail account in Thunderbird, and hey presto – log in!

Unfortunately, my client (Mozilla Thunderbird) then seemed to have done certain things which – only now – take my slightly by surprise.
An Exchange mailbox, as standard, contains some basic top-level folders, such as Calendar, Contacts, Deleted Items, Drafts, Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items and Tasks (this is probably not an exhaustive list).  In contrast Thunderbird, by default, contains Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Deleted, Junk and Trash.  So, what’s in a name?

Well, after using Thunderbird/Exchange via IMAP (and not actually noticing this at the time of doing so), a couple of the Exchange folders had disappeared.  I only noticed this later when using Outlook again, and couldn’t locate my Sent Items or Deleted Items folders.  I then found them lurking within my Trash folder.  Ok, so this has got very messy.

It sadly got worse.  Now that these “Special Folders” in Microsoft parlance have been moved, they could not be moved back in Outlook.  When trying to drag “Deleted Items” to my top-level Mailbox, I would be told “Cannot move special items.  Special folders, including the Inbox, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Tasks and Journal folders, cannot be moved.”  Oh, I see.   Although I tried various methods within Outlook to achieve the same thing, I failed miserably.

So what is the solution?  Ironically, going back to Thunderbird and simply dragging the folder from Trash into the top-level mail account/box did it.  It re-sync’ed over IMAP and everything gets copied correctly.  How ridiculous.

The solution is not to run scanpst.exe or scanost.exe, or to start up Outlook using the “Safe” switch, thus:
C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12OUTLOOK.EXE” /safe

It’s not even starting up Outlook with “Reset Folders”:
C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12OUTLOOK.EXE” /resetfolders
… or the combination of both.

This is one of those annoying, inexplicable problems that you somehow just get used to.  I hope this helps someone else out there who has suffered the same issue.

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