Open a different pst file in Outlook 2007

I have a client who has an old Outlook .pst file on their desktop that a previous tech left there.

The client wants to "open" that file in order to view older emails.

I'm afraid of opening Pandora's Box by letting him do that, or even trying to import mail from that file into his current working pst. I'm concerned about massive doubles and bloating his pst into a gigantic size.

Is there a best practice for this? Is it possible to control an import (if importing is what I should do), or is is feasible [wise] to just open up the old pst, deal with the email, then close that pst to go beck to normal?

XP Pro on a small domain network
No Exchange
OUtlook 2007, pst stored on local drive

Thank you!
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You can simply open the old pst file to view the emails, and when done, close it again. This will not affect any current emails or result in duplicate emails.

See here:
Don't import. Creating a new mail profile and configure it to use your old .pst file.
You do not have to import this, you can attach it as a data file and it will show up as a seperate item in his Personal Folders.

Make sure the user has full permissions on the security tab of the older pst.

Then follow these instructions :

Outlook 2007 : Add pst file
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Jackie ManCommented:
It is feasible [wise] to just open up the old pst, deal with the email, then close that pst to go beck to normal.

My practice is that if a new employee needs to access his/her predecessor's emails in outlook. Just rename the old pst file and open a new outlook.pst file for the new employee. Of course, the old pst file has been archived for compliance issue with legal requirement. The new employee can just browse the old emails and can copy those emails which are relevant for working.
Jeff PerryWindows AdministratorCommented:
You could easily use the import function and choose to ignore duplicates.

At that point I would "archive" the old pst for the user in the round file.
evanmcnallyIT ConsultantCommented:
As long as the current PST was created in unicode mode, then there is no longer a 2GB size limit to PSTs.  Consequently, importing the old emails into the current PST should not be a big deal if that's what the user wants.  Have a few GB of retained emails is pretty common these days.  The old days of keeping users at a few hundred MB for all their saved messages were over a few years ago :)

I second the idea of skipping diupes, but you can also import the folder tree from the old PST into a new sub folder in the current PST (meaning you do not have to merge to folders with the same name in the old with the ones in the new).
bricar1PresidentAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I'm the OP. I've been quite sick and unable to keep up with everything.

I'd like to award the points to Flubbster for his simple, easy-to-understand solution.

Can you re-open so I can award him the points?
bricar1PresidentAuthor Commented:
You were the first with a very easy to understand solution.

Thanks to all who replied!
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