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How do you move .ost files from one computer to another?

Posted on 2008-10-14
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Last Modified: 2008-10-15
Hi,

We have a client that uses hosted exchange and is moving to having there own SBS server.
They are using hosted exchange with cached mode and we will be replicating that on the SBS server.

How would we go about moving .ost files from one location to another?
From one exchange server to another?

Any help would be greatfull

Thanks
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Question by:YellowbusTeam
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Expert Comment

by:waynewilliams
ID: 22712503
Simply use Outlook to export their email to PST files.

In Outlook go to File>Import and Export and then export to PST.

You can then import these PST files in the same way when they have their Outlook configured for the new SBS server.

There are utilities that will allow you to convert ost files to pst files but they arent free.  I found one here: http://www.ost2pst.net/  I can't vouch for it though as I have never used it.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 22712524
Hello YellowbusTeam,

You will have to convert the OST file to PST file, then move to new computer. There you can import the data into Outlook.

Here is a conversion tool
http://migrate-ost-files.qarchive.org/

Hope this helps!
war1
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 22712554
waynewilliams,

ost2pst works only with pre-Outlook 2003 format OST file, ANSII format.
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Author Comment

by:YellowbusTeam
ID: 22712570
war1
Hi,
Would you then go through the import file route?
Also how do you then get it back into an OST file?

Are these OST to PST file converters reliable?
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Expert Comment

by:waynewilliams
ID: 22712618
In my experience it is much easier to just export to PST using Outlook.  You can then be sure that the PST will import again on the new system.

Third-party programs can sometimes cause compatibility issues so make sure you test thoroughly first.
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Author Comment

by:YellowbusTeam
ID: 22712698
When i tried exporting the mail box it went out fine as backup, but once i tried to import it inot the new location it could not find the file as it had saved as a .OST file?

Any ideas as to how that may of happend?
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Accepted Solution

by:
war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 22713295
>> Would you then go through the import file route?

You can import the PST, or you can open the PST as a new Personal Folder. Then you can drag and drop the emails you want to default Personal Folder.

>> Also how do you then get it back into an OST file?

Why would you want to convert it back to OST file.  You have backup of the data in PST file format.

>> Are these OST to PST file converters reliable?

Yes, they are reliable, but a little pricy.
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Assisted Solution

by:waynewilliams
waynewilliams earned 250 total points
ID: 22714929
If you use the Outlook export to PST feature it doesn't save it as an .ost file.  It definitely does this as I have done this many times.  

You dont need to convert it back to an .ost file as when you set up your new Outlook profile for your new SBS server it will automatically set up a new .ost file.  You will then need to import the .pst file in to the Exchange mailbox (using Outlook) and it will automatically add it to the new .ost file.  

This is a method I have used many times so I know it works and is reliable.  As I said earlier, I haven't used any of the third-party ost file converters as I havent had the need.  Why pay for something that is included by default with Outlook?
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Author Comment

by:YellowbusTeam
ID: 22721825
Very fair point chaps, thanks for the advice
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