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  1. #1
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    Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Configuration: XP-home-networked on desktop and laptop. O2002 (POP3) running on both.

    Goals:
    <UL><LI>Use the same PST file on both systems while maintaining the same send/receive date stamp so that the same messages won't be downloaded twice.
    <LI>Use the laptop to send/receive mail when not connected to home network.[/list]Copying (refreshing) desktop PST file to laptop is acceptable.

    Question: How?
    Al
    "Do or do not do. There is no try." -- Yoda
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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Al

    It can be done with one caveat - the file cannot be opened by both machines at the same time as a pst is not a shareable file.

    1 Choose which one is to be the 'master' machine and hold the file - your conditions suggest it will be the laptop
    2 Make the directory that the pst lives in shareable so that the home computer can see it.
    3 Select File > Datafile Management ...
    4 Select Add and browse to the laptop's datafile
    5 Remove the existing datafile reference
    6 Configure the master machine for POP3 mail
    7 Optionally, configure the other machine for the same POP3 mail

    Clearly it will create difficulties if you start Outlook without having the two machines connected.
    (The datafiles are normally hidden - click the settings button of Datafile Management to see where they are)

  3. #3
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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Andrew,

    Thanks; that looks straightforward. Actually, I want the desktop to be the 'master' for the PST file, which I can easily do with your instructions. I am assuming that the reason I would run into difficulties by starting the laptop without the master connected to the network is that Outlook wouldn't be able to find the "Mail delivery location" and would ask if I want to view Files & Folders, i.e., act as a Windows explorer. Correct?

    Since I'll want to take my laptop on the road from time to time and read email, can I do the following on the laptop?

    1 - Create a "dummy" PST file on my laptop with the e-mail accounts setup that I want to use. Let's call it my traveling PST file.
    2 - Right-click on the Outlook icon on the desktop and choose Properties to get the Mail Setup window.
    3 - In the Data File section, change my Mail Delivery Location to my traveling PST file.
    4 - Startup Outlook ... go on the road ... close Outlook.
    5 - Repeat steps 2 and 3, except choose the master machine PST file as the Mail Delivery Location.
    6 - Startup Outlook using the master machine PST file with no difficulties, such as, incorrect send/receive timestamp.
    Al
    "Do or do not do. There is no try." -- Yoda
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  4. #4
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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Al

    Yep - you're correct about the Outlook startup. I don't think that the proposed method will work as you think. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>

    A pst is just a file. When you add a pst delivery location, you don't change where the current data is stored - rather you change where the new data will be stored.

    If you have files <font color=red>home.pst</font color=red> and <font color=red>away.pst</font color=red> :-

    Whenever either computer receives or sends mail with home.pst as the delivery location, the inbox of home.pst will be used - if you switch to away.pst then the data will go there. I think you'll therefore get mail messages spread between the two pst files.

    Its not too bad to drag-and-drop between home and away, and you could configure each machine to simply include the 'other' file.

    i.e. desktop with home.pst as default, and away.pst as an additional - laptop has away.pst as default and home.pst as additional. When you've been away you can just retrospectively drag and drop all away.pst messages to home.pst.

    Alternatively, you could go back to you first suggestion of a .pst copy whenever you switch. That is - do a windows copy of home.pst to away.pst prior to use.

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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Andrew,

    To be a little clearer -- I view the "traveling PST" as a throw away, i.e., a working PST that I re-create each time I go on the road and delete before I re-connect to my home network. I realize this means that I either need to BCC myself on important messages I send while on the road - or - create a SENT.PST file and import it into my master PST.

    Will this work?

    Thanks,
    Al
    "Do or do not do. There is no try." -- Yoda
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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Al

    A final thought. It is also possible to configure the ISP connection to NOT delete downloaded messages.
    Your away machine could use this setting, and your home one could still then download all the away-read messages upon your return. (This is likely to minimise the chances of error.)
    As mentioned you could simply connect home-machine to away.pst and drag all messages from the away-sent folder to the home-sent folder - a much quicker operation than export / import.
    (To select all messages - click on first, shift-click on last - and drag) <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Single PST File - Desktop & Laptop (2002 (10.4068.2625))

    Andrew,

    Thanks for all your help and advice. After some consideration and thought - including during my early waking hours - I have decided to keep the master and traveling PSTs completely separate. Why? There's no way to inhibit un-knowing other family members from accessing the master PST. I've discovered that the consequences are more dire than just Outlook not finding the PST file -- all the "master" rules were deleted, too.

    Pursuant to this discovery <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15>, I have decided to always use a completely distinct PST file on the laptop and copy whatever outbound messages I created to the master PST file.
    Al
    "Do or do not do. There is no try." -- Yoda
    <img src=/S/flags/USA.gif border=0 alt=USA width=30 height=18>

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