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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    HELP!!!

    I just opened Outlook, and everything is empty. It is as if the application has just been installed with none of my data - emails, calendar, contacts etc., etc.,

    I can't remember doing anything untoward and until now it has functioned perfectly (or as perfectly as it can)

    As I said above - HELP

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Do you recall any error messages or crashes??

    Do you let Outlook AutoArchive your mail? Of course, that wouldn't explain missing other types of items, such as Contacts...

    Do you have any mysterious new folders in your Folder List (to the left of the Inbox area)?

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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    No crashes that I can recall and no funny folders - it looks like the standard list - Outlook today, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes and Deleted Items.

    I've searched for *.pst and cant see any files

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Check your settings in Windows Explorer - make sure you are showing hidden/system files.
    I would expect there must be one pst somewhere, even if it is just a new default one.

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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    found the pst files and there's a biggie 253 mb with yesterday's date.
    How do I get it all back?

    Import?

    And is everthing in that file - ie emails, contacts etc.,?

    I'm feeling a bit more relaxed now - this is not the sort of adrenaline rush that I need.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    First thing - make a copy of it!

    File > Data File Management....
    and you should get a window showing your the current Personal Folders file.

    Click Add...
    Click yes to add a pst
    Find the 'biggie' and double-click it....

    You will now have two Personal Folders loaded, so repeat the process to remove the new one.

    If you run into problems, the original may have become corrupt. If so, you may need to run the Inbox repair tool, Scanpst. (For more information about it and how to use it, search for 'repair pst' in Outlook Help.)

  7. #7
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Nearly there (I hope)

    I have added the original pst file and in that dialog box I now see the 250mb file (outlook.pst) and onother file (outlook1.pst). I'm guessing that I need to remove outlook1.pst but it doesn't seem too straightforward. I was directed to tools|email accounts but I don't seem to be able to chnage the default across to the older file.

    Thanks for your patience

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Go through the File > Data File Management route.
    You should get a window similar to that below (ignore my local paths)
    Highlight the one you want to remove with a single click
    Click on remove.

    If you are being prompted towards the email accounts settings, it could be that the information there has been damaged and you might have to re-enter it all. In some cases, it has proved to be cleaner to delete and renew your email account settings after a hiccup like this.

    It may also be worthwhile running the scanpst utility on your original pst file just in case something is amiss deep inside. Finally, I'd recommend you run a full chkdsk on the drive in question - we still don't know what caused the problem in the first place.

  9. #9
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    I'm up and running, but I'm not sure why.

    When I tried to remove the new pst file, I was told to change the default location via the email account screen. There were no email accounts defined and despite pointing everything at the old pst file I still couldn't see my files.

    In what I thought was a logical next step, I tried renaming the pst files. Outlook seemed to be using outlook1.pst and ignoring outlook.pst so I closed Outlook and after making sure that I had copies of the two files I changed their names. Now when I did this, I didn't swap the files but rather renamed outlook1.pst as outlook1.pstxyz and then named outlook.pst to outlook1.pst. When I tried to launch Outlook, it was still looking for a file called outlook.pst (I had added it but hadn't removed it before the name swapping) so I went back into explorer and put everything back where it was half an hour ago. I then opened Outlook with the intention of deleting the link to outlook1.pst and blow me down - everything is working again.

    I'm not sure why, because in summary, all I did was to rename the files, twice.

    I'll now take your advice and run the chkdsk and the pst repair.

    Thanks for all your help.

  10. #10
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Perhaps I spoke too soon!

    While most things seem to be back to normal, there are one or two remaining mysteries.

    1. When I address an email, Outlook no longer looks for/prompts with names from my contacts. When I click on the Address book, it is completely blank including the "Show Names From" dropdown list.

    2. I thought I would run the Detect and Repair option from the Help menu but thought it would be wise first to make a copy of the pst file. When I try to copy that file, I get the following message when I try to paste the file: "Cannot copy Outlook: The process cannot access the file because another process has locked a portion of the file." I tried rebooting and then copying the file without touching outlook, but with no change.

    I'm guessing that all of this is related to my initial problem.

    Thanks again

  11. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    1. See if <post#=334705>post 334705</post#> helps with the address book problem.

    2. What other programs do you have starting up on your computer that might want to access e-mail or contacts? For example, do you sync to a Palm or other PDA? Do you run a n e-mail push program that lets you access your Outlook file from your mobile phone? Et cetera.

  12. #12
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    Re: Outlook reset? (XP Sp2)

    Thank you. The post you suggested had the answer for the address book problem.

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