Outlook 2003 XP Home backup and archiving problems: duplicate folders appearing, Calendar entries archived with email.

I have several problems which may be unrelated but occurred when I tried to use the MS Outlook backup utility. I downloaded and installed the utility from MS as instucted on MS support site.

In short:
1. Duplicate Personal Folders and Archive folders appear in Outlook
2. Nested Microsoft/outlook folders in application data
3. Calendar entries were archived by email archive and no archive file to be found (like it used to do ArchiveSent.pst etc)
When I tried to run the Backup utility, I noticed it was listing two Personal Folders and two Archive folders. The Personal Folders seem to contain the same things but the Archive folders do not. One contains stuff I archived under Outlook 2002 months ago. The other contained stuff archived under 2003 more recently. The properties for the two archive folders showed different "formats" One said 97-2002. This other format field was blank, so I assume it is 2003.

This seemed odd so I went to documents and settings/mimi/local settings/application data/microsoft/outlook/microsoft/outlook.
(Yes, the last two folders appear to be redundant nesting but that is indeed where the .pst files are and I don't know why).
I thought I would see two outlook.pst files and two archive.pst files; but I did not.

Read a solution for this duplicate folder thing on this site (Multiple Instances of Data File Open Oct 13, 2004) and decided to try it (basically copy .pst to a temp file and then build a new Outloook profile).
Decided to archive everything first. I archived from email, thinking I would only be archiving EMAIL objects. I was dismayed to see my Calendar data being archived!! Is this the way this thing called "mail archive" is SUPPOSED to work?

I am a pretty savy user but not a power user. I have had so many problems with Outlook 2003 I wonder if I should give up on it?
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I can't help you with problem 1, though it does sound that Outlook is being smart enough (and I use the word 'smart' loosely) to create separate folders for different file formats (97-2002 vs. 2003).  There are freeware utilities out there that can merge your .pst, .wab and archive files, though I haven't used any of them.  Try www.download.com, www.pcworld.com and www.pcmag.com.

2. See comments to 1. above.

3.  Personally, I like having my calendar entries that are in the past, archived.   There may be a setting buried deep in Outlook drop down menus that allow you to differentiate between archiving settings for e-mail versus calendar.  The best way I have found to try to solve these kinds of problems is to use Google Advanced search and use different kinds of phrases to describe the problem.  Not infrequently this takes me directly to a page or two that has the direct answer.

For your last question, I would advise that sooner or later Microsoft WILL get the main bugs out of Outlook 2003, and it shouldn't be long now, given that 2005 is just around the corner, so take some Rolaids and don't go backwards.

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