Outlook / Exchange phantom contact groups sync to Android contacts

Discussion in 'Droid 2 Tech Issues' started by okspam, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. okspam
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    okspam New Member

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    I sync my Droid 2 contacts from my corporate MS Outlook 2007 / Exchange Server account. During the sync process, several contact groups are created in my Android Contacts list which do not exist in my current Outlook Contacts list. One group is created with 360 contacts and another with 148 contacts. These unwanted contact groups are not random but I recognize them as backup and temp groups which I had created within Outlook sometime back. However, I have long since deleted them from my MS Outlook configuration and as I understand it consequently from the Exchange Server. I confirmed with my corporate IT that these phantom groups do not exist anywhere on my local machine nor on the Exchange Server. However, though I have performed a factory reset on my phone and removed / recreated my corporate account on my Droid 2 several times, each time during the sync process those phantom groups and their contacts are somehow pulled from Exchange Server.

    The unfortunate result is that I have dozens if not hundreds of duplicate contacts linked and merged together on my phone with some data coming from my current, active Outlook Contacts list and some data coming from the outdated and deleted phantom contact groups which I cannot find in my Outlook or Exchange server.

    Though my Droid 2 always syncs these phantom contact groups, I have recently re-synced my entire Outlook data to my local laptop from the Exchange server and each time none of those deleted groups / contacts is synced. Also, if I access my contacts through Outlook Web Access I only see my active, current Outlook Contacts list and none of the phantom groups / contacts. Since Droid/Moto/Android are reconstituting previously deleted Outlook Contacts groups, clearly they still exist in some form on the Exchange Server. Outlook does not find them but Droid/Moto/Android always see them and unfortunately decide to pull them down to my phone.

    Elsewhere there is discussion of syncing problems related to Outlook contact categories. But I can rule this out as a factor, since I verified that I have not assigned any categories to any of my Outlook contacts.

    Are there any Exchange experts out there or anyone with knowledge or experience who could shed light on this mystery?
  2. TheBarron
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    TheBarron New Member

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    Check your deleted items in Outlook.
  3. okspam
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    okspam New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I checked my Deleted Items folder and found 98 contacts, though I was able to confirm that those are not the ones syncing to my phone. (Several of those are *not* on my phone.) But I appreciate the brainstorming and suggestion nonetheless!
  4. mofohead
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    mofohead New Member

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    I am having a similar problem with my D2 and its starting to get quite aggravating.

    I am a certified Exchange administrator and I'm baffled about how the d2 handles contacts. I'm currently on an Exchange 2007 server with Outlook 2010. Part of the contact issue seems to be with the cached email addresses. In Outlook 2007 a file called OUTLOOK.NK2 stored all emailed that you sent to. This was used for the auto complete when you would start a new email message and type in a letter or two in the To: field and Outlook would give you a drop down list of recently used email addresses. Outlook 2010 no longer uses the NK2 file. Instead it stores recently used email addresses in a hidden contacts file. This information is stored in your mailbox so it is stored on the Exchange server as well.

    I have a feeling that my D2 is syncing this hidden contacts folder as well because I have a client that uses a series of email addresses like CSR1@domain.com through CSR50@domain.com. I have never created an Outlook contact for these users but I do email them all regularly. For some reason my D2 has decided to create a contact for every single one of these email addresses and I can't figure out why.

    The second issue I have with poor contact management of the D2 is how it sucks all contacts into a single location. My Outlook contacts, cached email addresses as contacts, my gmail contacts, and my facebook contacts. When I have to actually search for a contact I have a ridiculously long list to scroll through.

    When I first set up facebook on my phone I was pissed when I saw that it sucked all my fb friends into my contacts. So I removed fb from my phone....guess what...all my fb friends are still listed in my contacts.

    I was a long time winmo user and loved it. This is my first venture into android and so far I really like it but they have completely missed the boat on contact management.

    Sent from my DROID2 using DroidForums App
  5. jhcallihan
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    jhcallihan New Member

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    Phantom Outlook Contacts

    Same problem on my Droid X. I found somthing interesting in Outlook though. When I check my deleted items none of the phantom groups are present. However, if I follow the steps to export all my contacts in Outlook, at some point I get a "Select Folder To Export From:" box. In that box under the deleted items is all the phantom groups.

    In Outlook 2007 there's an option that controls what is visible in the Deleted Items folder. See below. Select "Folder List". When I did this, several groups showed up that weren't there before. I think it's because "Mail" was selected previously. I assume that's a default or I inadvertently selected it ages ago. Anyway, with the phantom groups present, I can effectively delete. Then, on my phone under accounts, I just turn the Contact sync option off, wait a minute or two and then turn it back on, wait for the sync and the phantom groups are gone!

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
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