Weird .pst file size in Outlook 2007

Outlook 2007 on Windows XP with service pack 3

I know that .pst files are supposed to be able to reach 20 GB, have also read many things stating that when you reach about 4 GB Outlook 2007 can start to struggle.  This user is having trouble receiving emails 1MB or larger.

Their Outlook.pst was 4.3 GB
Their archive.pst was 1.6GP

I wanted to half the size of their Outlook .pst.
I backed everything up
I went to file > archive and told it to move everything from before 1/1/2008 to the archive folder

In outlook it is now saying the personal folders file is 1.8 GB, when I export that folder it says it is 1.8 GB, when I go to windows explorer (user/local settings/...) it says

Outlook.pst is 3.9 GB
Archive.pst is 3.5GB

What is going on here.  Outlook is still slow to open.

bradlee27514Asked:
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
I already did the "compact" function and scanpst.exe in the Office12 folder
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greg wardSystems EngineerCommented:
I would create a new pst file and half the archive into it, I dont think pst files are any good above 2 gig.
Also i would try and sort by size to see if there are any big emails the user does not need to have.
 
Greg
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
I can split up the archive if i need later, please re-read my post.  Outlook knows this file is 1.8GB, windows explorer says its 3.9 GB.  It still opens slowly.  That is the issue, not the size of the archive pst.  
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greg wardSystems EngineerCommented:
Can you clarify the size and the size on disk is the same?
You said the pst file had been compacted outlook.pst did you right click on the Archive.pst click properties and advanced and choose compact?
 
Greg

outlook.JPG
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AnnOminousCommented:
You probably have Outlook reporting that the file contains 1.8GB of useful content, but the OS is reporting that the file is still 3.9GB in size.

I've had poor success with compact reducing the actual size to the 'logical' size.

You might want to create a new PST file, copy the relevant emails over to it (i.e. ALL of them) and then either replace the current PST file with the new one, or delete all the email in the current one and then compact. You might have better success in that case. After it's compacted sensibly, copy the email back.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
deepdraw:,

your screenshot is blurry.  when i export the personal folders it is 1.8GB.  When I rightclick personal folders, go to proerties, click on folder size it says total is 1.8 gb.  

when i go to file management or browse to the outlook.pst file in explorer it says the file is 3.9 GB

I currently dont care about the archive folder, it may never even be checked.  Is your suggestion that compacting that .pst will fix my problem.  That just doesnt make sense to me.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
AnnOminous:,

so the new pst I would just need to make it the default in file management, then I could just delete the old one right?  Thats sounds like a  good idea!
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greg wardSystems EngineerCommented:
Did you click on the picture?
The outlook pst must have lost 2 gig of data as the archieve file has grown by that much.
Did you give it time to compact, it might take a while to remove these emails from the outlook.pst file
 
Greg
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greg wardSystems EngineerCommented:
And i also agree making new pst files should solve the issue.
 
Greg
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AnnOminousCommented:
It's not quite that easy as your calendar and contacts might not make it over. But if you copy the email out of the PST, then delete the email in the PST, then compact the PST file, you might get a very small file because most of the contents are now gone and fragmentation is less of an issue. If you do get a small file, then you can copy the email back to the original file and you are good to go.

You can transfer all your data to a new PST file (including Contacts and Calendar), but that requires a few more steps and would be best served by following a tutorial elsewhere just to be safe.

In either case, don't delete the original file (or make a copy and don't delete the copy), until you have a solution that works. That way, if it goes south, you can just copy your backup back in place of the broken version.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
AnnOminous:,
Thanks this is the bosses email account so obviously don't want to lose any calender or contact information.  Ill give this a go once i know they will be out of the office for a large enough time frame.
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AnnOminousCommented:
You can make a copy of the PST file and test your solution on another computer before trying it out on the boss. That way, you will actually look like you know what you are doing when you go in to do the 'live' work.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
No change.  On phone with ISP and its seems to be happening for all users who are  receiving emails with larger than about 500kb are being affected, which is a small subset of users.
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bradlee27514Author Commented:
Outlook.pst is now at 1.8 GB
Archive.pst is now at 3.6 GB

slight performance increase and this is definitely to be saved for future use.  However my underlying issue appears to be that as of Friday people are having trouble receiving emails larger than say 500kb.  No system changes recently.  Have a ticket with my email/webhoster but gotta spend the rest of the day trying to figure out that it is definitely not on my end.  Users get these emails just fine on their blackberrys.
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