DISCLAIMER: I've already restored from a nightly backup the contacts, "crisis" averted, but still want to ask the question.
We had a user that synced their mobile phone for the first time and somehow all the contacts got removed from their Exchange mailbox. Just their contacts. And they weren't in deleted items or in the retention items, although there were plenty of emails in the retention items so it appears to be working ok.
I don't think I've ever come across this scenario before. I figured they would be in the deleted items, but no luck.
I came across this: Recovering a user's Contacts in Exchange 2007
But it didn't help.
They weren't "deleted" I guess, but they definitely were gone from Exchange after the initial mobile phone sync for this user.
So...assuming retention items/deleted items is working correctly, where did the contacts go?