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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Lost all Outlook data

    To cut a long story short, we had a pilot of Exchange 5.5 on NT. When I was on holiday, pilot was upgraded to Windows 2000/Exchange 2000. All my Exchange data on server has been lost. As I suspected something like this might happen, I took precaution of synchronising all data to an offline folder. However, I cannot access this folder now. When I try I am informed that it does not belong to me. Is there any way I can recover the .ost file?

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    what os are you using and how long ago did this happen? you might be able to recover if it's been within 5 days and use win98.

    osts are tied to the profile and server and are lost if that is broken.

    otherwise, there is an expensive utility that can convert to the ost.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    I am using Windows 95 and it happened 3 days ago. Can you help?

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    i don't think so, you'll need to use a ost2pst utility to recover. the feature that allows it was added to win98.

    win98 makes a copy of your registry with the first boot each day and keeps the 5 most recent ones. depending on your habits, you have at least 5 days of registries. more if you don't reboot daily. if you have the old registries, you can restore one from before you changed servers and convert the ost to a pst.

    if for some reason you have a back up of your registry you might be able to - many software programs make a backup when thye are installed - but it needs to have the mail profile in it. look for system.bak files and check the dates. if you are sure the profile existed then, restore the registry. you need to back up your current registry first, then boot to dos and delete it, replacing it with the backup, after renaming the backup extension. you need to replace both system.dat and user.dat. I think win95 used both files, it's been awhile since i've used win95.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    Thanks for info. If I can restore an old registry and recover my ost file, how do I then convert it to a pst file from win95, if the ost2pst feature was only added to Win98?

  6. #6
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    not sure i follow the question, only exchange server has ost capability, so you need to have corporate mode. change hte delivery location in tools > services to use a pst and the data in the ost will move to the pst automatically. it can take a long time if there is much.

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    Managed to recover the ost - more by luck thaqn judgement. I found an old system.dat file and, stupidly, double-clicked it which, of course, loaded it into the registry.
    When I relaunched Outlook in off-line mode it used an old, test ost file. When I worked what had happened, I disabled offline use, which allowed me to browse and set up the "lost" ost file as my offline folder. This worked and I was then able to export and re-import as a pst file. So I now have the data back as a personal folder.
    Obviously, replacing current system.dat file with an older version may have unforeseen consquences but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
    Don't know if this is a consequence or not but I seem to have a rogue "Contacts" entry in my Address Book dialogue box. When I try to access it via Address Book dialouge I get an error message that it has either been deleted or moved or I do not have correct permissions. There is another "Contacts" on the list which functions as expected. How do I get rid of the rogue entry - unchecking the "show this folder as an address book" box, via File|Folder|Properties, removes the functioning Address List entry but leaves the rogue sitting there. Any ideas?

  8. #8
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Lost all Outlook data

    the rogue contacts is probably from the registry. either go to tools > services and remove it or you'll need to hack the registry. look in the windows messaging subsystem for the entry.

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