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Remove pst reference in Outlook 2002, 2003, XP

Posted on 2007-10-17
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Last Modified: 2009-03-20
Exchange 2007 Server
Outlook Client is 2002, 2003, XP
Windows XP clients

I need to remove all profile pointers to PST files. I do NOT need to remove the PST files themselves.
I am needing to rename all pst files so that they are no longer accessible by the users; however, the pst reference is still in place so the user is given an error stating the file could not be found, thus prompting the user to create another pst which I do not want for it to do. is there a registry entry that can be removed so that the pst reference is no longer there?
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Question by:kassti
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13 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:thenone
ID: 20097425
if you rename the pst file then the user will have to create a new one.
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Expert Comment

by:scadieux
ID: 20097933
You could simply create a new outlook profile.
If you want it to be preconfigured for the users you can install 2003 Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit and run Run the Custom Installation Wizard. You will generate a .prf file and you'll need to setup a login script to apply it. Everything is documented here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/MS_Office/Outlook/Q_22031022.html

otherwise you could create a login script that would delete
HKCU\Software\Micrsoft\Office\Outlook key and the %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder.

The next time you start Outlook it will re-install the user.

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Expert Comment

by:scadieux
ID: 20097958
thinking of it you could create two files. One .reg containing that info:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Micrsoft\Office\Outlook]
save it as deleteoutlookkey.reg

Then create another one named outlook.cmd and use it as a login script. That file needs to have:
deleteoutlookkey.reg
copy "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst" "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlookold.pst"
del "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst"

During login, the cmd file will call the .reg file which will delete the key and outlook.pst will be renamed to outlookold.pst

I think this should do the trick.
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Expert Comment

by:bluetab
ID: 20098023
I'm assuming that you are using Exchange since this is posted in that zone.  If you have migrated all the users to an Exchange profile and then created an Exchange account you have to go to each workstation and "Disconnect" the PST file from Outlook.  The way to do this is to make sure that the Exchange Mailbox is the default folder in which mail is delivered.  Then you can open the Mail icon in the Contol Panel, click on Data Files, highlight the PST files and choose remove.  This does not delete the files, just simply removes them from the Outlook Profile.  Outlook will not attempt to reconnect to the PST files if they are removed from here.
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Author Comment

by:kassti
ID: 20100971
I do know that when I simply rename the pst, the user is then automatically prompted to create a new pst when they open Outlook. That is what I want to prevent from happening. I want to remove whatever reference to that Personal folder file or archive folder file. We have over 600 users that this needs to be done to, so going to each desktop is not an option. I'm looking to push this out via group policy or login script.

I do already have a .prf file that runs to configure NEW user Outlook profiles and I have modified it so that new users will not have a pst created; however, the prf doesn't remove the reference if someone already has a pst configured.

The reason I don't want to force a new profile for current users is because there are many who have customized settings such as signatures, wallpapers, etc and I'm trying to make this change as transparent as possible.
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Expert Comment

by:thenone
ID: 20101000
Are you doing a pop to smtp migration?
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Author Comment

by:kassti
ID: 20101099
Yes - prior to our implementation of Exchange all users had Outlook configured to pop their email which is why they all have pst files. Once we went live with exchange they were all advised to migrate their email, contacts, calendars, etc from their pst files to the exchange server. We are now in "phase 3" of the implementation in which we are removing the reference to the pst files and renaming the them so that mail is no longer stored locally on their pcs.
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Expert Comment

by:scadieux
ID: 20101149
If wondering if this would work:
make a script to combine procedure from my last post
and then add your script that uses the.prf file.
I think it's worth a try.
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Expert Comment

by:thenone
ID: 20101186
ok I have done two major exchange migrations from pop. Each time I had to import their .pst files into their mailbox manually.
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Accepted Solution

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scadieux earned 2000 total points
ID: 20101430
I'm sorry i gave you the wrong registry key.
I believe that clearing everything under:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles

will delete the outlook profiles. You can then use the .prf to create a new profile.
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Author Comment

by:kassti
ID: 20101881
I was trying to stay away from having to create a new profile but after some thought I think it's going to be the best way. I have other modifications I made to the .prf such as turning off "cached exchange mode" and including an "outlook address book" reference so when we remove and recreate all profiles those new settings should be in place.

I'm testing - thanks for the suggestions!!
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Expert Comment

by:thenone
ID: 20101947
kassti it might be very painful but I had to do it manually for two major migrations
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Expert Comment

by:scadieux
ID: 20101955
you could then push the .pst's to exchange with ExMerge if people need to have access to their old stuff
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