I have OUTLOOK.PST, but can't import!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Timon Russo, May 20, 2004.

  1. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    Did I lose my emails? I get a wide range of errors trying to import the PST file back into Outlook, and even Outlook Express won't let me do it. Something about defining fields, duplicate folder names, etc. I don't really care to actually import them, I just want to go through the file and see if there is anything I need to keep, and if so, I will print it. Then I will never use the file again. So I guess my question is, is there such thing as a PST file viewer/printer utility?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Three questions:

    Is this the same computer you made the file on originally?

    Have you reformatted the computer since then?

    Did you set a password for the file?


    If you answered "No" to either of the first two questions AND you answered "No" to the last question, I think you're out of luck. .pst files will only work on the computer you created them on using the EXACT version of office (meaning no uninstall, then re-install) UNLESS you password protect the file. If the file is password-protected you can take it to any computer you'd like. (I learned all this the hard way).

    There may be someone out there who has hacked out a .pst reader/viewer, but I never found one when I needed it, but that was a couple years back.

    EDIT: a quick google search yielded this:

    http://www.mailnavigator.com/reading...pst_files.html
     
  3. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Seth -

    Yes, it's the same PC. I had Office 2000 installed and knew I was going to reformat the HD, so I exported my Outlook mail to OUTLOOK.PST and ARCHIVE.PST. Thinking I was safe, I reformated, installed the same stuff again, and went to import.

    I never set a password anywhere.

    The import process wants me to name the file, which I pointed to, then select a folder to import from, but the list isn't consistent with the ones I was using before (they are the Outlook default folders) and there are a combination of other mysterious bullets and boxes that I don't seem to understand. Stuff about duplicates, copying to same folders...

    It was giving me an error like "source and destination can't be the same folder" and when I finally got it to import, it said it was importing the "deleted" folder for a few seconds, then wham! I was back at my desktop with no instance of Outlook running at all. I can repeat that error.

    Sounds like I might be out of luck! I hope not. Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    It's a pain in the butt, but I'm pretty sure you can rename the file to OUTLOOK.TXT and open it in your favorite word processor.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yeah, if you don't set a password you can't open it after a reformat. I've never really understood the whole thing, but that's the way it is. At some point when you're creating the .pst file you can set a password, but I don't remember exactly when it is. Try that link I gave you earlier as it may let you open the folder. Good luck.
     
  6. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    You don't need to import the file at all. PST is the native file format for Outlook, so you just have to open the file. Use File > Open... > Outlook Data File...

    And the password thing is not necessary. You can change computers or anything else as long as you maintain the same version of Outlook. I've done it many times.

    I actually use 3 different PST files (all open at the same time) to store my email. One for personal, one for business and one for a big website that I run, which is nearly a second business.
     
  7. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    With no new valuable emails to keep on your new install, unhide your system files, navigate to "C:Documents and Settingsyour current logon nameLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook" and drop in your PST file, it'll overwrite your new one. Open Outlook and it should list all the emails in that file in your inbox.
     
  8. Timon Russo

    Timon Russo Stunt Coordinator

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    :b File, Open... who would have thought. Actually, everyone's suggestion worked. My thinking on this has been all wrong. Thanks for fixing it, and me.
     

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