How do I recover lost Outlook emails?

tjgquicken
tjgquicken used Ask the Experts™
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I had to perform a clean system install of Windows XP and everything went OK until I opened up Outlook and found that about a thousand of my old emails dating back to a year or so are missing. Before doing the clean install, I moved my Outlook's .pst files to another disk on a different computer on the network, and all of my contacts and calendar data are still intact, including the most recent contact and calendar updates. Does anybody have some idea what's going on here and what I can do about it?

Thank you very much.
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Top Expert 2009

Commented:
You will need to add you personal folders again and point it to your existing PST file

Cheers,

Bob...
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
However, copy your PST file back to your local pc first!

Cheers,

Bob...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If the above does not work, did you by any chance have Auto Archiving turned on (ON by default) and are the old emails in Archive PST files? If so and you saved them, you have to open these as well. ... Thinkpads_User

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Commented:
I did add the old Outlook.pst file back to the new Outlook -- I think that's why I was able to get all of my contacts and calendar data back. I also added the old archive.pst file back, but it only has a bunch of "Deleted Items" in it (i.e. the Inbox, Sent Mail, etc. are all empty). There's also an Outlook.ost file, and I don't know what that is, and a backup.pst file that is password protected (which I'm pretty sure I didn't password protect, and I don't know the password).

Is there any way that I can see the raw data contents of my Outlook.pst file, so I can see if the old emails are stored there and it's just Outlook that can't retrieve them, or to see if they're lost forever?
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
An OST file (.ost) is an offline folder file in Microsoft Outlook. Offline folders make it possible for the user to work offline and then to synchronise changes with the Exchange server the next time they connect.  Did you have this set up before?

If you have added your PST file, then outlook will display everything that is within it.  Did you definately copy all PST files from your PC before doing the clean install? I have a horrible feeling that you may have missed one, and that the one you need! :-(

Cheers,

Bob...

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