Restored (from backup) Outlook PST file is missing 2 years of mail. Has '02; some '03 but no more but current msgs. ALL files backed up prior to OS reload. No other PST files are in the backup data.

Posted on 2005-05-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
User's system was reloaded (Win XP). All files (system, hidden, ALL) were backed up prior to the reload. Backup uneventful. Now, after a 600 MB PST file restoral to Docs and Settings, the user reports all of 2004 and all of 2005 messages (until after reload) are missing.

Is there some other place (file) they could possibly be?  I've done a full sweep on all files on the backup drive.

This is Win XP with Office/Outlook 2000 using POP/SMTP from RoadRunner.

Question by:_bladerunner_
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    You might try running the inbox repair tool on this file.  To do this, search the hard drive for "scanpst.exe" (without the quotes).  Then double click it and browse to the .pst file and have it scan the file.  It may find errors and fix them.  

    Are you sure that this was the correct .pst file?  You could have verified that by going into this user's Outlook, right clicking on "Outlook Today - Personal Folders", then clicking Properties.  Then click Advanced and verify the path.

    That's the way to verify that you've got the correct .pst file(s).

    Let me know if that helps.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply, Mark. I had to wait two days to get the computer back from the user to try SCANPST, but it did not work. He still has a huge gap in email from the end of 2002 until April 2005. Absolutely no other PST files were on that system, and only one user/account was used. It's really baffling.

    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    I'm sorry bladerunner, but I don't know if there is much more that can be done.  Honestly, I still have a strong feeling that this is not the .pst file that contains this user's data, but even if it is, I don't know that there's much more that can be done.  Sorry about that.


    Author Comment

    Yeah, I can't believe that's the file either, but I backed up the whole damn drive before blowing it away and there were absolutely no other PST files on that hard drive. I don't see how that's possible, but since the user had used only one account (Admin), has no real understanding of PST files and how to keep another one somewhere it is baffling. I'm sure he wouldn't have created a new one. And since he was only using one account, that should have been the PST file. Even if he used another account, he would have had to configure that account for POP and SMPT which he claims not to have. And EVEN THEN, if that were the case, he should have another PST file on the drive somwhere under Docs and Settings. Do you know of any other possible extension that the file could have been saved under? There's none, right. Must be a PST.

    Anyway, thanks for your help. I figured it was a lost cause, but since I work alone here (1 person shop with 45 users), I needed some feedback.



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