Migrate outlook.ost to a new profile

Posted on 2005-04-06
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello all, I am running office 2003 running in cached exchange mode on my pc and link it to an exchange server.  The exchange server in question is being removed and we are moving to an entirely new domain.  The mail on the server was xmerged off and merged onto the new server.  That worked great.  The problem is now on my laptop when I configure the new server and mailbox for exchange mail settings, I want to be able to link it to the ost file that was previously created on my laptop.  

Basically, I don't want to have to cache my entire mailbox all over again on my local pc because it is like a gig and I would have to pull that through a vpn...  Instead, I want to use my existing cache folder that is already there.  Thanks for the help.
Question by:adsnetcurve
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment


    Have you tried exporting your .pst file to a folder, and importing it back to your laptop?

    You can do that by following these steps:

    1- Fid where your Outlook.pst is stored, in my computer is stored in C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst

    2- Once you know where Outlook.pst is stored, navigate to that folder, then shut down Outlook.

    3- Using the backup method of your choice, store a copy of Outlook.pst in a safe place. As long as Outlook is closed, you can copy and paste Outlook.pst just like any other file. But you nned to pay attention to the size of the file. Mine is 1.15 Gigs.

    4- If Outlook.pst is a bit too big for your abailable backup options, consider compacting it, then trying to back it up again. Depending on a variety of factors, compacting Outlook.pst can significantly reduce its size. Using Winzip I redyced mine to 385 MB.

    To load it to your laptop just perform the opposite.

    You can also Export the file as a .pst using Outlook:

    1- In the Outlook eindow Menu got to File, Import and Export.
    2- The Import and Export Wizard appears, Select Export to a File and click NEXT.
    3- Select Personal Folder File (.pst) and click NEXT
    4- Select MAilbox - User Name at the top, and select Include Subfolders at the bottom, click NEXT
    5- Type in the path and file name for your file, or Browse to a location of your preference, click FINISH.

    Importing the file is te opposite, follow the instructions in MENU, File, Import and Export.

    I hope this helps you. Let me know.

    LVL 27

    Accepted Solution

    You cannot transfer an OSt file between different profiles/mailboxes.
    OST files are linked to an explicit mailbox id AND profile. This is by design for security reasons.

    As was stated earlier, you can logon OFFLINE and export to a PST(s) file.
    Remember that if you are using any version of Outlook PRIOR to 2003 the maximum size that a PST file can be is 2 GB.

    Then after creating a new profile pointing to the new server you can import the data back in.

    But on second thought this may create duplicate items (messages, contacts, calendar, etc.). The messages you import into the new OST from your PST will probably be treated as a new message and will be uploaded to the server mailbox even if it already exists.

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