Recovering Outlook Emails from an old hard drive?

Discussion in 'Software for Windows' started by Aristotelian, Apr 26, 2011.

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  1. Aristotelian

    Aristotelian Golden Member

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    Hi all,

    I hope that this is the right forum for this question.

    I was given a hard disk by my boss, from his laptop, and he has asked me to recover his Outlook emails (if possible). He warned me that there are some problems with the drive, but at this second it is plugged into an ide->usb converter and plugged into my laptop at work. I can seek it just fine.

    So, I tried googling (of course, because I hate to add an unnecessary thread when possible) and it seems I need to find .pst files, and there are software tools that can recover these files. I tried searching for .pst files and returned 0 results.

    Are any of you familiar with Outlook Email recovery tools? Essentially, I'd like to get all of his emails back to him on a usb key. First, I'd need to get them from that hard drive, though. It's not password protected (that I can tell).

    I'd appreciate any help.
     
  2. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    Which version and Outlook or Outlook Express?
     
  3. Aristotelian

    Aristotelian Golden Member

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    It's Windows XP, and Outlook (not express). I can't boot onto the drive, so I don't know which version of Outlook it is.

    After some googling I found my way to x:\documents and settings\main user\application data\Microsoft\Outlook

    and in that directory are:

    outcmd.dat, outitems.log, work e-mail.nk2, work e-mail.srs, work e-mail.xml

    The .nk2 file is about 400kbytes. The rest are very small, between 2 and 6 kbytes. I think the .nk2 is his contact list (that would be useful to obtain too, I imagine), but I can't find a trace of emails archived or not.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Dahak

    Dahak Diamond Member

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    You need to look for the .pst or the .ost(exchange local cache) file. This is the whole outlook file, which contains the emails, contact, calendar, tasks, notes
    Once you find it you can open it, or import it

    Usually located in the hidden folder documents and settings\main user\Local Settings\application data\Microsoft\Outlook
     
  5. Aristotelian

    Aristotelian Golden Member

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    Okay, there is a PersonalFolders(1).pst that is 4 gigabytes (I'm doing a double take, here, surely I'm tired - it's 4 million kilobytes), and a 248 megabyte outlook.ost.

    Is there a neat way to unpack these and have them stored as readable documents on his hard drive? Or am I going to need to transfer these ost and pst files to him somehow, and then copy them over to another Outlook install, where he will open them there?
     
  6. Elias824

    Elias824 Golden Member

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    You should be able to just run the import from his new outlook and pull out all of the old emails into his new outlook install.
     
  7. Fardringle

    Fardringle Diamond Member

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    Or if he doesn't want everything from the old file, just use File>Open and open the old PST file directly in Outlook so he can pick and choose which messages he wants to move to the current PST file.
     
  8. Chiefcrowe

    Chiefcrowe Diamond Member

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    also, you may want to run the Scanpst tool on this file after you copy it off since it came from a flaky drive.
     
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