location of Outlook data file on server

I am running Outlook 2007 on my computer, and am connected to an Exchange Server.  My computer hard drive was recently replaced and the back up did not work.  Thus I have lost my local .ost file.

I am trying to work out where the Outlook data would be stored on the server.  As I shared Calendars there must have been some data on the server (presumably).  

So far a search for .pst and .ost files on the server have been unrewarding.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

Regards,

mary
cushionpuffAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

x
 
top_rungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
yeah, it was all local so only a backup of your local can restore those files.   Server file restoration is another thing.

Your web access would be something along the lines of HTTPS://mail.yourdomain.com/exchange


Before your post, I was typing the following to help a bit....


Maybe this will help with a big picture of things (very general)..

A domain provides centralization for users and the network environment.  Active Directory manages the users.  Exchange (which integrates tightly with AD), manages the mail.  In this scenario, when users are added to the domain by an administrator(via active directory), the option to create an Exchange mailbox is provided.  Once the mailbox is created, it is stored in an Exchange database (the information store) on the server.    Now that is the server(s) part of things.

From the users side of things, they log onto their computers with a username/password that was created in Active Directory.  Once authentication occurs, that creates a user profile on the workstation.   In that profile, you configure Outlook to connect to the Exchange server.  This email account (mail, calendar, etc) is stored on the server.  However, if the Outlook account is set to cached mode, an OST is created on the workstation that is a local copy (offline copy) of the server-stored mailbox .  That let's the user work in Outlook if not connected to the domain.   When the computer/user connect back to the domain, the information in the OST is synchronized with the server.  Now, on the user's side, the mail can also be archived to a local PST file.  When an email is moved from the Exchange server's mailbox to the PST file, it is removed from the server to that PST file.   That PST file is typically located on the users's computer.

Now if you had a shared calendar that was part of your exchange account, all the information is also part of your mailbox on the server.  Anyone authorized users would have access to that if they are on the domain or synchronizing with it on a regular basis.  If you are away from the office and using outlook, a good test for you would be to create a calendar entry and see if someone else in the office who is currently connected can see it fairly immediately.  If so, then your outlook account might be configure to use your internet connection to securely connect back to the Exchange server (something known as RPC over HTTP).  

Of course, this is a very general explanation, and many customizations can be made.  I hope at the least this helps you understand the process a little clearer.
0
 
lamaslanyCommented:
The .ost file is just a cached copy of your mailbox.  It is only used if you use cached exchange mode.
0
 
lamaslanyCommented:
PS:  You should take a look in %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
0
Easily manage email signatures in Office 365

Managing email signatures in Office 365 can be a challenging task if you don't have the right tool. CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 will help you implement a unified email signature look, no matter what email client is used by users. Test it for free!

 
brent_caskeyCommented:
lamaslany is correct.

You will also need to set your Outlook settings on your computer to be in cached exchange mode.
0
 
cushionpuffAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys,

as I can and could see my outlook information when not connected to the server I presume it was in cached exchage mode.  

The problem with the first answer is that I cannot find my user profile on the server!  Any suggestions as to where I should look.  I can see one user on the server but not others, but we do share calendars.  
0
 
ryansotoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The .ost is stored on the client machine so your dead hard drive
0
 
mds-cosConnect With a Mentor Commented:
On the server all mailboxes are stored in the priv and pub databases.  You will not find .ost or .pst files on the server (unless you from a user level have redirected these files from their default location on the local computer to a mapped network drive).

As far as your "profile" goes, the Exchange server does not store your profile (things like who you are, what mailboxes / calendars to open when Outlook starts, client-side rules, etc).  Only your mailbox is on the server, which is attached to your user account in Active directory.
0
 
top_rungCommented:
Mds-cos beat me to it.. I was going to say the same.  Unless you were archiving mail from your Exchange server to a local PST, then everything would be stored on the server (withing the information store)   Your profile also would be local unless your company was utilizing roaming profiles in which case your profile would be stored somewhere on a designated server.  It doesn't sound like you are using roaming profiles because it would be based on your domain account and once you logged in, you would have used your existing profile.

So, if you were archiving your email to a local pst and you lost the drive, the only way to recover that data is from a backup of that local drive, or from backups that may have been made on the exchange server prior to you archiving the mail locally.

0
 
cushionpuffAuthor Commented:
thanks,
when I am out of the office and not connected how do other peope see my calendar?  Is that through the database?  Or in the mailbox?

It is challenging to ask the question in a way that makes sense.  At the end of the day I guess I am trying to understand outlook and how it interacts wtih server 2003, but more specifically if there is any chance of recovering some of my calendar and email information from the server.

How do I find my user account in the active directory?  Is there a fie extension I can search for?  I have searched the server for a file or folder that includes my name.

The whole outlook server interaction remains a mystery, and it seems to come up fairly regularly as a question, in one way or another, in our small business.

Mary
0
 
lamaslanyCommented:
"when I am out of the office and not connected how do other peope see my calendar?  Is that through the database?  Or in the mailbox?"

They get the information from your mailbox.


"It is challenging to ask the question in a way that makes sense.  At the end of the day I guess I am trying to understand outlook and how it interacts wtih server 2003, but more specifically if there is any chance of recovering some of my calendar and email information from the server."

I feel that there is more to this that we have yet to uncover.

How was Outlook set up on your old laptop?  If your email was delivered to your mailbox and Outlook was configured to leave it in the mailbox and use Cached Exchange mode then all of your data should still be in your mailbox.  Setting up Outlook again and re-entering your details should connect you to your mailbox and it will synchronise your local cache with the mailbox.

Do you know if Outlook Web Access (OWA) has been enabled on your server?  If it is this will be a very quick way to see whether your data is still on the server.


"How do I find my user account in the active directory?  Is there a fie extension I can search for?  I have searched the server for a file or folder that includes my name."
You should not need to touch Active Directory.  If your account in active directory has been deleted then we have another problem entirely.  Active Directory is a database of objects in your domain including user accounts, computer accounts, configurations and settings.


"The whole outlook server interaction remains a mystery, and it seems to come up fairly regularly as a question, in one way or another, in our small business."
The problem is that there are multiple ways Exchange can be configured which can change the way Outlook interacts with Exchange.  We can go into that at a later date though.
0
 
cushionpuffAuthor Commented:
The configuration was
archive.pst on the D drive (C and D partitions) and the .ost file under documents and settings etc.  I had thought the .ost file was on the d drive as well but not so.  The back up system I had for the C drive has failed, bugger.

Just to complicate matters, after reinstalling all of the things I needed to reinstall on the computer I could not reconnect to the server.  In the end I deleted my profile and put on a new one.  So that might have mucked up any mailbox.

However we do have a rotating back up of the server on an external hard drive, so I if there is someway I can understand what to look for I might be able to retrieve from the back up.

Re server for the web, I think it is configured for that but we have struggled to work out how to access, so we haven't.  but we were able to at some point in the past.  Any hints on how to try out the outlook web access, or where to look for the settings on the server.

Mary
0
 
lamaslanyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
"The configuration was
archive.pst on the D drive (C and D partitions) and the .ost file under documents and settings etc.  I had thought the .ost file was on the d drive as well but not so.  The back up system I had for the C drive has failed, bugger."

You should be okay - if it was an .ost file on the C: drive then you will only have lost the cached copy of the data - the original is still in your mailbox.  The bit that you needed to get was the .pst file: do you have this?

To confirm: are the C: and D: partitions you are referring to on the old hard drive or on the server?

"Just to complicate matters, after reinstalling all of the things I needed to reinstall on the computer I could not reconnect to the server.  In the end I deleted my profile and put on a new one.  So that might have mucked up any mailbox."

Are you talking about an Outlook profile?  If so this shouldn't be a problem.


"However we do have a rotating back up of the server on an external hard drive, so I if there is someway I can understand what to look for I might be able to retrieve from the back up."

First thing to do is make sure that the backup you need isn't about to be overwritten as part of the rotation.


"Re server for the web, I think it is configured for that but we have struggled to work out how to access, so we haven't.  but we were able to at some point in the past.  Any hints on how to try out the outlook web access, or where to look for the settings on the server."

As top_rung suggested you should be able to access it through a web browser, at least internally, on https://mail.yourdomain.com/exchange.  If not try https://servername/exchange.

Note: the use of https rather than http is important; only the former will work.
0
 
cushionpuffAuthor Commented:
ho hom, thank you all very much for this information.  I am getting a much better idea of the way outlook and the server work.

Unfortunately I deleted my profile on the server, then created another.  Not just the outlook one, the whole one.

And I have checked tonight, the server back up is daily.  I deleted the profile ten days ago so the back up has well and truly overwritten it.

I did get my hard drive back from Dell, only to find they had deleted the hard drive data.  There is 6gb data remaining in the recycle bin; the files that I had deleted before I did a back up of the hard drive before it was replaced.

Re the set up of Outlook, this afternoon whilst at the office I moved my ost file from docs and settings on my computer to the other drive.  Then opened outlook.  A new ost file was created, file with the outlook information that was there this am.  So the explanations above about Outlook data being in the mailbox on the server make sense.

I am now running some data recovery software programs on the old hard drive.  They seem to be interested in pst recovery but not ost recovery.

But now I feel I am rambling.  Thank you all very much for the info on Outlook and the server.  It is great to understand all of this for the future.

Cheers,

Mary
0
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.