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How do you get at the data in an Outlook 2003 .ost file?

Posted on 2007-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
How can you access Outlook 2003 data in a .ost file, if it is the only copy of the data, and the user has been deleted from AD?  You cannot simply copy the file to another user's profile, as it will say the file was created for another user.  You cannot export from it, as the system only wants to do this from a .pst file.  How do you get at the data contained in it?
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Question by:chris_shaw
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by:Micah_B
ID: 18785631
This data is used by that profile in Outlook when "cached exchange mode" is enabled. It will be created automatically in a new profile with "Cached exchange mode" enabled.
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by:chris_shaw
ID: 18785955
Yes thanks I know that.  What I need to know is how to get at the data if it is the only copy of the Exchange data available. i.e no user in AD, so will not connect to the Exchange Server.
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MATTHEW_L earned 500 total points
ID: 18786087
There are a good number of OST to PST conversion tools available.  I just did a google search for them, but there are quite a few.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ost%20pst%20conversion
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by:MATTHEW_L
MATTHEW_L earned 500 total points
ID: 18786097
Another thought, is try opening Outlook while not connected to the Exchange server, this will be in offline mode.  You can view the contents of the PST and then just do a file import and export to a pst.  This would only be the case if you still had the client with outlook on it.  The account would not have to be active, just open outlook and you should see your email.  Of course work on copies of the OST with any of this so you don't accidentally loose something.
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Expert Comment

by:Exchange_Admin
ID: 18787025
Since an OST file is just a mirror copy of the data in a users mailbox, check the Exchange System Manager. Maybe that users mailbox is still there (with a red X on it)?
If so then attach this to a new AD account that has not been Exchange enabled.

Hope this helps you out.
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by:chris_shaw
ID: 18791841
Matthew.  Thanks for your reply.  I can check out these links.  It would be nice to know if any experts had any experience of, or could recommend, a good OST to PST converter.

Exchange Admin.  Thanks for your comments.  I did in fact resolve my problem that way, but the reason I asked the question was wondering what would I have done if the mailbox had not been there anymore, and the OST was the ONLY copy.
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