It’s almost Halloween time and there’s always talk about Zombies at Halloween time, right? Besides being a GroupWise expert, I’ve also spent a lot of time in Haiti (with Healing Hands for Haiti, my hobby, you might say) where most of the “real” zombies live, I’m told. 🙂 But what you may not know is that we can create zombies of our own in GroupWise. To explain, I need to explain to you a little bit about GroupWise and how it works.

GroupWise uses a set of shared databases to store and represent messages to users. There are a set of user databases (ofuser directory), a set of message databases (ofmsg directory), and a directory for attachments (offiles). When I send an email to someone else in my post office with GroupWise, three things happen (I’m definitely simplifying the process here). First, I insert the actual message in my assigned message database. Then I create 2 pointers to that message. The first is in my Sent Items folder and the second is in the recipient’s Inbox folder. If there’s an attachment to the message it gets stored in offiles directory, but that’s besides the point.

So, let’s say my recipient doesn’t want the email any longer. He deletes the message and then empties it. However, until I delete the message and empty it from my Sent Items folder, that message, although dead to my recipient, is still living. From my recipient’s perspective, it’s buried, but really, “It’s A-L-I-V-E-!” (insert a wicked sounding laugh here).

So, who cares whether GroupWise naturally creates zombies of messages or not? Well, when you’re going through email for litigation purposes and you can’t find the email you’re looking for, perhaps the reason it’s not there is because the recipient deleted it from his mailbox. But, as long as the sender didn’t delete it from their Sent Items folder (something that almost nobody does, by the way, because they don’t think to delete sent items) you can run a process called, “Recreate User Database,” or something I like to call, “Bringing emails back from the dead!” The recreate user database will dump all the emails into the recipient’s Cabinet folder, even the ones that were in sub-folders before, but there’s a good chance you’ll get many more emails recreated than what you had originally.  By the way, it also dumps all the Sent Items in that same folder.   Once they’re in that folder you can do your keyword searches or extract the mailbox to PST and search it that way.
I hope this helps in your email searching. If you need more information about creating zombie emails, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance. For litigation/e-discovery purposes, or for any of your GroupWise Consulting needs, call us and we’ll help you get the job done, even if it means bringing emails back from the grave!
Matt Ray, GroupWise Guru,, 661.885.2699

Last week I wrote about us working on a 4.x system and having all the passwords set.   Luckily for us, someone had the old password and we were able to get into all the domains and create userlists to the customer could then pick out which custodians they needed us to extract from each dataset.   However, along the road, we also discovered that the Primary Domains could be reset using GroupWise 5.2.   This is partly what I had remembered from my 5.2 days.   The inital release of 5.2 had a bug in it where it would allow you to access the 4.x domain without putting in a password.   Shortly after this release, another release came out that did require you to put in the password, however, using this release of 5.2, we were able to get past the password issue we were facing.    For more information see the previous post.

Hope this is helpful to you.  As always, if you need help with your GroupWise Litigation Support project, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Matt Ray,

We ran across a project this week where the customer had a bunch of old data from 1997, 1998, and 1999. It was all GroupWise 4.X data. Back in the good old 4.X days (yes, we were working on GroupWise back then (actually back to Office 3.x!)) you didn’t have edirectory providing security and authentication as it was WordPerfect security, not Novell security. However, WordPerfect allowed your domains to be secure by having a password to protect them. This was fine and dandy back then, but it poses a difficult issue when doing Litigation Support or eDiscovery on that version of GroupWise. That’s why when you want to do GroupWise Litigation Support on 4.x, you really need to ask if they have the domain password. If they have multiple domains, you’ll need to get them all if you want to access mail from all of them. The only other way to get around this issue is to send the domain.db into Novell and have the password reset. Unfortunately, this would be quite cost prohibitive, particularly when we were talking about 80+ domains!

If you run across any other interesting GroupWise Litigation Support issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you with all of your GroupWise needs.