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Messages disappeared in personal PST file...

Posted on 2004-04-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
We are using Outlook 2000 w/ SP3 (9.0.0.6627) on a Win2K Pro desktop and we connect to a corporate Exchange server. When I setup email for my users, I setup the Exchange settings for their regular Inbox, and then I add the "Personal Folders" service, and setup the personal PST file on their local hard drive, since the Corporate policy is to delete msgs from their Exchange Inbox that are 30 days or older.

So I setup this personal folder on the user's local C: drive, and setup a rule to copy each msg to their personal Inbox folder as it arrives. This generally works great. However, our Plant Manager (figures it's gotta be the big boss) alerted me today that his personal Inbox was empty. He says he hasn't deleted anything, or changed anything. These were his msgs from the past 6 months. His level of knowledge is at basic user level, so he wouldn't know how to get into the setup and really change anything major.

I looked at the file, it is 143mb.  But when I open it (from any machine) and add it to Outlook (File/Open/Personal Folders File)  it shows an empty inbox. No msgs at all. I have tried SCANPST, which just reports no problem and exits.
I even tried the demo of Easy Recovery Pro, and the "fixed" file is still empty.   His Exchange Inbox is fine, and his email seems to work fine.
I also opened the file in Outlook and Compacted the database. Then the file size goes down to 45k.
I also viewed the file in Hex Workshop, and it appears to have data, that is, it is not blank data, anyway.
Any suggestions? My Plant Mgr wants to kill someone now, and I am hoping it's not me....


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Question by:mtsnyder
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8 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Mob-bom
ID: 10882640
Did you check to confirm the View settings are ok, no filters, show unread only, etc?  Did you check the deleted items?  Is archiving set up that may have been running automatically?
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by:mtsnyder
ID: 10882815
I checked the Archiving and it was turned off, and the  View/Current View is set on "Messages".
There is a Deleted Items folder included in his personal folders file, and that is empty also.

The Easy Recovery Pro "fixed" file does contain a few messages in the Deleted Items folder, about 3, I think, but the Personal Inbox is still empty.

thanks,
Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Mob-bom
ID: 10882908
Well, just because <<<View/Current View is set on "Messages". doesn't mean that there are no filters in place.  Check: View > Current View > Customize Current View Filter... = Off

AFAIK, once you run scanpst it, everything is more or less re-indexed and you can't do recovery :(

But you may want to take a look here at the suggestions to try here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/MS_Office/Outlook/Q_20893361.html

Hopefully other experts have some other ideas to try too!
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Author Comment

by:mtsnyder
ID: 10882988
Thanks. I just checked the Current View, and Filter is set to off.
I did the scanpst on a copy of the file, so I still have the original.

Thanks,
Mike
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Lopo Pegado
ID: 10891045
Try importing the pst to the outlook

Go to File| Import and export...

choose import from another or file
select  Personal Folder File (.pst)
browse for the pst file
choose the folders to import and the location (If it appears the folders in this part it's a good start)
Finnish

Hope it helps

Best regards

Botas
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Author Comment

by:mtsnyder
ID: 10893004
Thanks, Botas.
It didn't see the folders, and just listed the "Deleted Items" folder, which was empty.

So far, the only thing that showed the INBOX and SENT folders was the Easy Recovery Pro demo, but that only showed a few msgs in the DELETED folder. Plus the program is about $400 for 20 uses. That is, you use it 20 times and it's no longer usable....  


Much appreciation for these excellent suggestions.
Mike Snyder

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