Outlook Personal Folders (PST Files)

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Outlook Personal Folders (PST Files)

Post  Admin on Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:54 pm

When my desktop computer (running Windows XP) seriously crashed and wouldn't boot normally, I needed to extract some emails from it. This promped me to write down a little information about PST Files (in case someone needs to know).

PST files store your personal folders such as your email In-Box, Sent Mail, Contacts, Journal Notes, etc. etc. (not signatures, fonts, stationary and other custom settings) Personal folders are actually sub-folders of one folder named "Personal Folders". The structure, for example, might look like this:

1 Personal Folders

2 In Box
3 Out Box
4 Deleted
5 Sent Mail
6 Mark's Saved Mail
7 Contacts

A PST file (usually named "outlook.pst") would store all the folders and contents under "1 Personal Folders" (Folders 2-7). So, if you locate the current PST file you can copy it to a disk for use on another computer or just keep as a backup.

True, you can also use the built in import/export feature of Outlook, but its not going to work if your computer won't boot correctly!

Different Operating Systems or rather Outlook versions have different locations for PST files and these locations can sometimes be customized to yet a completely different location. Lucky for me, I didn't change the default locations:

The default location of my XP computer's PST files (Outlook 2003):
=> C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

The default location of my VISTA computer's PST files (Outlook 2003):
=> C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

To help me backup these PST files on a regular basis, I found "BackupMyFolder". Its a freeware tool that integrates itself right into Outlook and seamlessly blends in.

Since it works in XP or VISTA (Outlook 2003 or 2007), I can easily use my XP Desktop computer for incoming email and back it up using "BackupMyFolder" and then put the exact same email structure (folgers with emails) on my VISTA Notebook computer. You can read all about it and download the latest copy at the company website:

==> http://www.addonmail.com/Products/BackupMyFolder.asp

If you want more detailed information then go to:

==> http://www.slipstick.com/config/backup2007.asp

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