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restore Outlook 2000 pst files in windows xp

After a notebook hard drive crashed, it needed to be replaced.  I pulled all the data successfully off the drive using GetDataBack and it is stored on another computer.  I installed a new drive in the notebook, reinstalled Windows XP from the original manufacturer supplied disk and reinstalled Microsoft Office 2000 Premium with Outlook.  

Here is the problem.  I can't get my old Outlook files to work in the replaced installation of Outlook.  I get the error message "The file ...\outlook.pst is not compatible with this version of the Personal Folders information service.  Contact you administrator.", when I tried to insert old .pst files into new location.

It is the same Office suite and Operating system I had previously had on this computer.  I noticed that the Outlook files are distributed differently in the new install, but don't know how to get them back into Outlook.  They are important.

I also tried inserting the files into another working computer, running Windows Me, and using files and settings transfer wizard in Windows XP, to no avail.
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MarceusAurelious
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MarceusAurelious
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MarceusAureliousAuthor Commented:
Note:  This notebook had come with trial edition of Office 2003 pre-installed which I declined to use when I installed Office 2000.  
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northcideCommented:
get a 2003 cd and find OFFCLN.EXE.  this will help you to do a full removal of all versions of office.  once everything is removed reinstall 2000.
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MarceusAureliousAuthor Commented:
When I reinstalled OS and Applications, I did not include Office 2003.  Shouldn't the new install be free of any traces of Office 2003?  I don't know if the older version was changed somehow when it was installed, way back before the hard drive crash, by the previous installation of 2003.  Anyhow, that is why I added that the newer version was pre-installed and then uninstalled.  
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northcideCommented:
wait, after you wiped the notbook did 2003 become installed?
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MarceusAureliousAuthor Commented:
No, the recovery disk did not include the Office 2003 trial.
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northcideCommented:
open the pst file on a machine running 2003. then create a new data file in 2003 that is 97-2002 compatible...

to create a compatible pst,
select file | new | outlook data file | outlook 97-2002 personal folders file.

then move all data from the 2003 data file to the one you just created, then try to import that into 2000.
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MarceusAureliousAuthor Commented:
I saw this procedure in the Microsoft support database.  It requires that I have access to a computer with Office 2003 installed, which I don't unless I upgrade.  I was hoping there was a workaround to get these files.
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northcideCommented:
nope, thats the only workaround to get a unicode pst file to work in older versions.  install the 2003 trial edition and do it with that one.  do it on a different machine if you can just to keep the 2000 machine as clean as possible
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