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  1. #1
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    Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Am I correct in stating that there is no difference in an Archive Folder and a Personal Folder? They are both Outlook Data Files (.pst). And you can have the AutoArchive dump into an existing Personal Folder .pst file, correct?

    Why would you need to have a separate Archive and Personal Folder? Seems like you'd get mired in .pst files.

    Thanks - Satiria

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Archiving moves messages from your current active pst file to an archive folder. There is a limit to the size of your mailbox (around 2 GB), and archiving helps to control the file size. See <!mskb=830119>Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 830119<!/mskb> for an overview of archiving. Your Archive folders will appear in the navigation pane and you can still view, move, etc. any of the archived items.
    John
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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Hey John. Thanks for responding. Maybe I didn't word my question right. I know what Archiving and AutoArchiving are and how they work. Is the only difference between storing information in an Archive Folder and storing information in a Personal Folders File the fact that Archiving will move the emails/contacts/whatever automatically? If that is the only difference, is it redundant (and confusing) to have both a Personal Folders File and an Archive Folder. I ask because I see many users who have both, and it seems that they should a.) only have one Personal Folders File (.pst) and b.) if they LIKE AutoArchiving, have AutoArchive dump their stored emails in that Personal Folders File (rather than storing their "archived" or "saved" information in two different places.

    Let me know if this doesn't make sense.

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    I Archive to keep my working pst file small, but I keep the Archive file in my Navagation pane. It makes it handy to quickly open to find old info that is needed. Then if I need to use it, it is simple to copy over to my active pst again.
    Michael

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    OK, maybe I'm not quite sure what you are asking, but I'll take a stab. First, the whole purpose of archiving is to control the size of your mailbox and keep it below the 2 GB limit.

    Archiving is a manual operation (File>Archive) and Auto Archiving is an automatic operation dependent upon the parameters and schedule that you have set.
    It is NOT redundant to have both a Personal Folders File and an Archive file. When your personal folders file (Outlook.pst) approaches the 2 GB limit, you will start receiving error messages and your mailbox will simply stop accepting new data. Archiving old data which you still want to keep MOVES the data to the archive folder and reduces the size of your mailbox so that it stays under the 2 GB limit. As I said previously, the archive folder will appear in the navigation pane and you can still access all of the information stored there. It is stored in a completely separate file, and I don't believe that there is a file size limit (unless you are storing your archives on an Exchange Server).

    Basically, you have two choices. If you are a packrat (like me) and want to save older information without deleting it, you will archive. If you don't want to archive, then you will have to manually keep your mailbox below the limit by compacting every so often and deleting items which you no longer want.

    Regarding your last statement that "users should have Auto Archive dump their stored emails into the Personal Folders File", all of you emails ARE already stored in the Personal Files Folder. Even if you could do what you suggest, would that not be defeating the whole purpose behind archiving? You would simply be dumping all of the selected items back into the Outlook.pst file, creating duplicate entries, and increasing the file size.
    John
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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Okay - I think I know why there is confusion now. When you guys are saying "Personal Folders File" you are referring to your Outlook Mailbox (i.e. my Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, etc.) What I am talking about when I say "Personal Folders File" is an outside storage source that you set up manually through File | New | Personal Folders File in Outlook. In later versions of the software, they refer to this as an "Outlook Data File", perhaps to avoid this very confusion.

    So, given that explaination, is it redundant to have an Archive Folder, into which you can automatically or manually move items older than a certain date, AND a Personal Folder File (different from your Outlook Mailbox), into which you can manually move items based on whatever your criteria of the day?

    p.s. We're all on Exchange here with a 13mb limit on Mailboxes, so users never come anywhere NEAR that 2gb limit.

    Thanks again for bearing with me - Satiria

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Well that explains the confusion. In this case then, having both a Personal Folders File (.pst) AND an Archive Folder (.pst) would seem to be redundant. In your configuration, I would choose to automatically archive to an Archive folder, particularly when your Exchange mailbox has been limited to 13 Mg.
    John
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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Generally speaking, the auto archiving process uses a PST that is not open for the user to access. I prefer to archive into PSTs that are open for searching. Stuff in archive.pst (I think there is some) is out of sight and out of mind...

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37>
    It makes you wonder what the systems administrator of Exchange is trying to achieve.
    All they're likely to do is have a nice tidy exchange system and lost mail all over the enterprise in a variety of C: drive cubbyholes.
    It'd be interesting to hear the business rationalle behind that <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>


    And yes I agree - the two files would be superfluous - just stick with the archive one.
    Note, you can merge their contents by simply opening them both and dragging from one to t'other.

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Not quite sure what you mean by " the auto archiving process uses a PST that is not open for the user to access ". I auto archive and have access to everything that has been archived.
    John
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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Maybe I've misremembered, but I didn't think archive.pst appeared in the Folder List by default. If one is interested in looking in it, one must open it using File>Open etc.

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    It appears if autoarchive has done its thing at any stage - presumably the autoarchive process adds it.

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    My <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>:

    >Am I correct in stating that there is no difference in an Archive Folder and a Personal Folder? They are both Outlook Data Files (.pst).

    Yes, you are correct. The difference between an 'active' PST and an 'archive' PST is purely nominal, not structural.

    >And you can have the AutoArchive dump into an existing Personal Folder .pst file, correct?

    Yes, if you point to it in the archiving process. You can also reload an 'active' PST with data from an 'archive' PST, or can manually (without using autoarchive regularly, occasionally, or ever) archive data to a nominal 'archive' PST, or can never use

    >Why would you need to have a separate Archive and Personal Folder? Seems like you'd get mired in .pst files.

    Only to manage the volume of items. (Lots of items, especially with attachments, will run up to the maximum PST size; this has been addressed pretty well by other posters), and to organize your data according to your needs.

    OK, now I get long winded. At work I use a lot of folder structure to locate stuff in my PST, and leave almost nothing except Calendar items on the server side mailbox. (I should use categories more, but I don't think that way.) I retain anything which may have a future business value (which is almost everything). At home, I don't have a future value for junk jokes from relatives and offers to buy ** Spam post - please alert a Moderator **, so I'm a lot less structured and delete about 2/3rds of the messages and all past non-recurring calendar items. At work I just have my server side mailbox (plus a server side fax mailbox), one PST, and one archive, which I manage manually. At home just the one PST.

    And backups.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Hi all - Thanks for everything that you've written back. Didn't realize I was opening such a can of worms.

    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37> Andrew - it seems like every place that I've worked this scenario has come up. The server side exchange Mailbox has a limit - sometimes larger like the 55mb limit at the last place I worked, and sometimes smaller like the 13mb limit here. I believe the general purpose is to force users to clean up and prioritize their Inboxes, Sent Items, etc. which a lot of them WON'T do unless they see that annoying little "Your Mailbox is overs its size limit" error. When they do meet that maximum, you of course have those that will complain and want a larger size limit. Since you can't change the rules for one person without changing the rules for all....then you end up suggesting Personal Folders, which becomes complicated if they already had other Archive folders, etc. Multiple .pst files everywhere!!!

    And while we're on the subject of Archive - does anyone else have a problem with that AutoArchive message that pops up early on in a new user's Outlook "session" The one that basically says "AutoArchive does _____. Would you like turn this on" If you don't take the time to read the mile-long message, then the average person is likely to choose Yes, which turns on their AutoArchive and begins dumping items every 15 days into an Archive.pst file that it created. And, if I'm not mistaken, the items that it dumps automatically (without you having to configure the folder's properties) are your Sent and Deleted Items. Like I need to save those. I just think it would be better if the message never came up.

    Exhale...... I think I just have something personally against AutoArchive. If I had my preference everyone would use a Personal Folders File and manually move items. OR...if they just HAD to move big date-based batches at a time automatically...they could manually Archive under File | Archive. I feel like AutoArchive is one of the CAUSES of those little batches of lost emails all over the hard drive. <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>

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    Re: Archive vs. Personal Folders (Outlook 2000 SR3)

    Can of Worms - that's how we get our entertainment and learn new things <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

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