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Backing Up Everything

Hi,

I am using Windows XP and Outlook 2003.  I need to back up a laptop in case of a hard disk crash.  What files do I need to backup (for Outlook) in order to ensure I don't lose anything (contacts, email messages, calendar entries, etc).  I need to be able to restore it completely.  I know you can export each thing separately and I also see a .pst file but it is huge.  Also, what does "purging" old items mean?  Are they still kept somewhere?  How can I get the .pst file smaller if that is what I need to backup?

Thank you for any help,
Joe
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joeslow
Asked:
joeslow
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2 Solutions
 
meintsiCommented:
On the File menu, click Data File Management.
Click the data file that you want to compact, and then click Settings.
Click Compact Now.

Other than that, check into achiving the older items.  This will create a second .pst file.
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travalCommented:
"Purge" is normally a term used with IMAP servers, in which the email is actually stored on the server.  If you are using IMAP then you can just access the mailbox from another machine and your email will be there.

You can empty the deleted items folder, by right clicking on it and choosing to do so.  If you don't want to save your deleted items then doing this and then compacting the PST file might help.

How big is your PST file?
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joeslowAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Thank you both for your suggestions.  Unfortunately I don't have the laptop with me so I can't check these out just yet.  I am going off memory but I think the pst file was over 400 MB.  Is backing that up better than exporting things to a comma separated file as far as size goes?  Is everything contained in the pst file?

Thank you again,
Joe
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travalCommented:
Since 400mb will fit on a CD, I say just save yourself the hassle and burn the PST file to CD-R.  And yes, all of your data is in the PST file, though your settings in Outlook are not.
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joeslowAuthor Commented:
It's funny you should mention that.  At first I tried copying the file to a server for safe keeping but it was taking forever.  Then I decided to burn it to a CD.  It got all the way to the end and then said, "Burn process failed, CD may not be usable" (or something to that effect).  I tried again with another CD and the exact same thing happened.  It was on a newer Dell laptop with Roxio I think (but that's another problem).  That's why I started thinking of ways to reduce the size of the pst.  Why on earth is it so big?  By the way, it's a friends laptop, not mine.

Thanks again,
Joe
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meintsiCommented:
You need to copy the .pst file with Outlook closed.
And after copying it back off the CD to the pc before using, remove the read-only tick.
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travalCommented:
As to the size of the PST file, from the folder list view right click on the personal folder, and choose properties.  Then choose folder size, and yoiu will see a nice breakdown of what folders are what size, which should help you determine if there is something you don't need so that you can delete it.
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joeslowAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for your suggestions and help.

Joe
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