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  1. #1
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    Importing data (2003 Professional)

    Here's an interesting message I received on attempting to import data from the 2003 Outlook beta from one machine to 2003 Outlook final on another.

    Translation warning: You are importing data to a location that does not fully support Unicode. To avoid loss of multilingual data, it is recommended that you choose a location that supports Unicode, such as a Microsoft Office Outlook Personal Folders File.

    Surely Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders must be the destination, mustn't it? I may have had language settings set differently in the two versions, and either may include bits of another language (as I see from my 'holidays' setting in one case) but I'm not quite sure what to do.

  2. #2
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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    Perhaps you cold explain your setup a little more ... is this a standalone machine, does it use Exchange or another mail Server with server-side folders?
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7DS

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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    Per Outlook Help, if you're creating a new .PST in Outlook 2003, it is by default, Unicode-supporting:
    <hr>Create a Unicode Personal Folders file
    On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
    To create a Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) that offers greater storage capacity for items and folders and supports multilingual Unicode data, click OK .
    In the File name box, type a name for the file, and then click OK.
    In the Name box, type a display name for the .pst folder.
    Select any other options you want, and then click OK.
    The name of the folder associated with the data file appears in the Folder List. To view the Folder List, on the Go menu, click Folder List. By default, the folder will be called Personal Folders.<hr>
    On the face of it, either there is a bug in the Beta or you are importing into an "old-style" .PST.
    Gre

  4. #4
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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    It's a stand-alone machine, and I think the problem is that I upgraded over the previous version (XP). In other words, 2003 does not convert existing data to Unicode for you, although imported data would be Unicode by default if it were a new (e.g. OEM) edition and you were importing data to an empty Outlook.

    Microsoft has one article titled Convert a non-Unicode data file (.pst) to a Unicode data file (.pst). This begins: There is no automatic way of converting a Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders file to a Unicode-capable Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders file. The easiest way to convert... (with details similar to those given in your answer).

    All that R&D, all that programming, all that promotion, all those converters, and Microsoft admits that it can't convert one version of its own files to another automatically - they let the consumer to do manually. Take the number of consumers affected, the number of man-years of labour it's going to take us to do the job that Microsoft might have made automatic or at least forewarned us about, the risk to potentially important data (Sorry Judge, the dog ate my emails), and it seems pretty unprofessional to me.

    Don't fall into the trap of assuming that your files are Unicode and have broken the 2 GB barrier just because you have Outlook 2003; check the storage type to be sure.

  5. #5
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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    <hr>All that R&D, all that programming, all that promotion, all those converters, and Microsoft admits that it can't convert one version of its own files to another automatically <hr>
    If MS automatically converted psts it would create huge problems for people who need to use two versions of Outlook. It's much better to use ANSI and let the user create a unicode one if they so choose.

    FWIW, When outlook creates a new pst, it will use unicode, except Hotmail and IMAP accounts use ANSI (those servers don't support unicode and/or large mailboxes) and Ex5.5 (and possibly 2000) use ansi as well. Exchange 2003 uses a unicode cache file.

  6. #6
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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    Thanks MJ. I'm afraid I got frustrated when the upgrade did what it did to WOPR, and this had a Here we go again look to it I didn't know of it in advance, and the first indication was through an error message.

    pg

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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    What is interesting also is when you try to archive a PST. In my case, I am running RC1 of Office 2003. I am using a PST file that was created under Office 2000. Last used under Office XP. I installed Office 2003 and now I can't archive old messages using an Unicode message store.
    The questions remains: (1) is the Outlook pst file Ansi or Unicode? (2) what happens if I need the message store on an Office 2000 machine? Do I have export it and how do I know that it will work?

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    Re: Importing data (2003 Professional)

    In reply to question #1, in Outlook click on File | Data File Management | Settings, and under Format you'll see which it is.

    If you check Knowledge Base Article 830336 you'll find that Microsoft explains how to convert a Unicode pst file back to ANSI, so at least you're covered in that respect.

    One interesting suggestion that I ran across in www.outlook-tips.net (Tip 15) is that 'Outlook will not convert your existing pst to Unicode. If you create a new profile and let Outlook create a new pst, Outlook will use Unicode'. That applied to the beta, but you might check that source and kick the idea around a bit. It would be one way of ensuring that the standard filenames would remain the same. A different route would be to back up and purge Outlook entirely, uninstall it, reboot, and re-install it. Check the empty files to ensure that they're Unicode, and if I understand it correctly, anything you import into that will be converted to Unicode. I'd better add in haste that I haven't tried it myself yet.

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