Friday, November 16, 2007

Microsoft Outlook: Looking for experience/advice

It is well documented that my struggles with Outlook 2007 are not fun (maybe humorous to the readers, but not fun to me). Today I wasted four hours struggling with Outlook to have room in the PST file to move mail items between folders, and send mail. I have hit the 2GB limit.

What I have learned:
1) Outlook PST files in the 97-2002 format have similar limits to the VFP DBF.
2) Outlook Archiving works when it is schedule, and can be run manually via the File menu.
3) Compacting the PST file only works when it can compact 16KB of material from the file (at least this is what is documented).
4) Outloook 2003 PST format will store more than 2GBs.

I looked up the conversion process to learn it is manual, very manual. As in create a new PST file and then manually run the import process via the Import/Export process.

So before I go off and waste more time, I am asking you if you have run through this and got the same content out on the other side of the import. I have heard from others who were migrating from Outlook Express to Outlook 2007 that they did not have much success and needed to export first, then import.

My goal here is to get all my data across without losing anything. I have dozens of mail folders and more than a thousand contacts, lots of calendar items, and tons of tasks and notes. I rely heavily on this information.

I am not interested in hearing:
  1. Move to Thunderbird (it does not do everything Outlook does, least of all synching contacts to my Windows Mobile phone).
  2. Move to Web mail (get real, I am not always connected to the Internet, and I use Outlook for more than just email).
I also have lots of backups, but what I don't have is a lot of time to deal with this. I need something to go smoothly. Your experience is really appreciated. Thanks in advance.



At 11/16/2007 02:33:00 PM, Anonymous Christof Wollenhaupt said...

My PST file is 3.5 GB. I don't recall any particular issues when I converted from the Outlook XP to the Outlook 2003 format. I just created a new file, added it to the list of folders and then dragged all items from one folder to the other.

Custom folders can be dragged as a whole. For predefined folders (Inbox, Sent items, calendar), you have to switch to list view, disable all filters, select all items and drag them to the new folder.

After that I made the new folder the delivery folder on the accounts dialog, switched the address book to the new contact folder and imported the rules.

I didn't try any of the import functions, though. I had an update of the PST file and kept it around for some weeks just in case. Didn't need it.

At 11/16/2007 06:49:00 PM, Blogger Randy Jean said...

I'm testing this out now. I've had problems archiving my OST to PST (we use Exchange) even though I'm just a bit over 1gb on my PST. My PST archive is very old and is still in the 97-2002 format. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm following the instructions on this page:

If you have a backup you should be safe - and I'm performing a copy vs. a move just in case. But I hear what you're saying about not wanting to spend time until you know it works, so I'll let you know how it goes.

At 11/17/2007 12:03:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Maki said...

Rick, While technically not an answer, I usually go over to for just about any information that i've needed for outlook or exchange issues.

Sorry i can't be of more help

At 11/19/2007 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Eric said...


Reconsider a web-based solution. Even though you're not always connected to the internet, you're not always near your PC either. I use gmail to aggregate all my other accounts, and I know I can walk up to any pc anywhere and collect all my messages. It has an amazingly accurate spam filter, and I don't have to worry about moving it/losing it.


At 11/19/2007 11:38:00 AM, Blogger Rick Schummer said...


>>Even though you're not always connected to the internet, you're not always near your PC either.<<

ROFL, my laptop is near me more than some people feel comfortable with. When I am not near my laptop I can access my email via the Web interface to the accounts via my phone. I really don't want my email to remain on someone else's server. I want it on my own machines that I back up. I want control of the aggregation.

At 10/13/2008 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

I know good tool for work with MS Outlook files-import outlook ost,can read *.ost files and extract your mails, contacts, tasks and calendars from it,there are two recovery options: information can be extracted, as a list of files in *.eml, *.vcf and *.txt formats, another option consists in exporting of recovered content into a file in *.pst format, that can be easily read by Microsoft Outlook or any other compatible mail client,allows ost file import, importing ost files into Outlook and repairing *.ost files fast and easy.

At 5/06/2009 08:38:00 AM, Anonymous Alexis said...

My friend had problem with mails and used next tool-recovery .pst files,as far as I know it is free,utiltity recover data from files in *.ost and *.pst formats,permits to avoid data losses, when mail server administrators face a problem of viruses, hardware damages or software errors,will process a backup copy of your account in *.ost format, that is created automatically by your mail server and convert all messages, contacts and even attachments to a file with *.pst extension, you may open it offline by any email client,start working on corrupted pst file recovery with Outlook pst file recovery software.


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