Update -- Clean Install, brand new PC, Windows 7, Outlook 2010
Strangeness. I am getting basically the inverse, now: all folders, and the messages within them, have downloaded. However, the messages in the Inbox did not!
A new, test message I sent downloaded correctly and appears in my Inbox, but none of the existing messages in the Inbox did. (Some are read, some are unread.)
I have logged on using OWA on this new PC as well, and the same thing was going on, i.e. folders are there and populated, but Inbox itself is empty.
The only thing I noticed different about the settings is that on my old PC, in the mail account settings, the "user name" resolved to "[Firstname] [Lastname]" of my domain account - e.g. "John Smith" - while on my new PC it resolves to my email address, e.g. "firstname.lastname@example.org". Does this raise any flags for why the Inbox issue might be occurring.
I hope I can get these messages simply by logging on via OWA on my old PC, creating a new folder, moving the Inbox messages into it, then DL'ing via Outlook on my new PC and sorting however I want.
But it would be nice to hear some explanation, and a real solution for this issue, rather than just a workaround.
Thanks, all, for reading, and for any responses!
--(End of update; original post follows...)
I am using the feature known (in OL2003) as "Exchange over the Internet".
Originally our Exchange Server (on SBS 2003) was set up several years ago by an expert admin. He sent me an (apparently auto-generated) email on how to configure Outlook to connect to exchange via RPC over HTTP and I had everything working fine. But after installing Windows XP SP2 my (offsite) Outlook client spontaneously stopped being able to connect. I tried to fix it - with no success; inquired on official MS forums - with zero response :(; and ultimately gave up. (Had work to do!)
After several painful years of using RWW and OWA to check my email, and after some recent exposure to configuring Outlook Anywhere/Exchange Anywhere I decided "this can't be that hard to get working", and gave it another look. (Somehow*, in the 2-3 years I was not using Outlook, my Email Account settings evidently got wiped, so the "clean slate" part was easy!)
(*There is actually a possible explanation for this "somehow": at one point I was running out of room on my HD so, since I wasn't using OL, I temporarily moved my several GBs of PST files to another drive. But in preparation for this most recent fix attempt I moved them back into place (now having the excess free space, as well), still all my previous Email Account settings were gone. And, to be honest, I'm sure at 1 or 2 times during that several-year span, I accidentally opened Outlook and immediately closed it again. (Did it make a new PST-or-whatever at that moment and delete the old settings?) But if this isn't what caused them to disappear, then I have no idea what did.)
I am able, now, to successfully send/receive emails, but my folders have not appeared under the Inbox. (I believe most of them were created in OWA/RWW email UIs, but possibly some were also created using an Outlook client at the onsite location. BTW I have re-checked in OWA and they are still there.) Initial research indicates that such folders are stored as part of my Exchange mailbox but I'm stumped as to why they don't automatically propagate to my Outlook Inbox. It sounds like it should "just work", and even keyword-targeted Googling seems to come up with only references to downloading "public folders".
I am presently using "Cached exchange mode" but I think I have tried it both ways and it did not work. Also, FYI I am using a new, recently-created PST file for this Inbox. Is it possible I have another PST hiding somewhere in my vast archives that I need to re-link to Outlook? (Like, maybe I downloaded these folders years ago, so Exchange/Outlook aren't re-sending/requesting them, yet because I have disconnected the PST containing them, I don't have them any more either? Still, I have definitely created new folders in the "dark ages" of OWA use, which would not yet have been downloaded by Outlook. Sry: I'll keep the speculative answering of my own question to a minimum. ;))
I would really like to get this working properly, as I get a bunch of archival-type "junk" (but not really junk) in my Inbox and I need to get it organized but I am afraid/averse to "remake" the folders locally for various reasons.
Thanks in advance for any assistance!
PS sry if this is question is not 100% appropriate for this site since it's not 100% server-related but for this site but I scanned a lot of stackexchange and it seemed this was the most appropriate. TY.