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Not a Personal Files Folder ??

Posted on 2011-04-25
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Last Modified: 2013-02-13
I recently recreated a users profile. Before doing anything I copied the users original profile to an external  hard drive. I chose to show all hidden files and folders to make sure I got everything.

After the deletion and recreation of the profile, I moved everything back but the archive.pst file was not there. I ran a recovery tool, found two archive.pst files that got deleted and recovered both back to the computer. Only one would open as an Outlook Data file. But it's the other one I want and I only get the error "The file * is not a personal files folder".

File is not set to read-only; I've tried scanpst.exe, and Advanced Outlook Repair tool (demo) and nothing will repair it.

Is there anything else I can try? File is about 500mb.
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Question by:occ_user
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35459778
Do you still have the old profile on the external hard drive? And did you try recovering from there?

If so, and if you did that already, then there is not much more you can do.

What is strange is that a simple copy of the user's profile should not have deleted files. It is possible that the archive in question was damaged before you copied it.  ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35460147
I tried recovering from the hard drive. No luck.


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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35460177
Based on your description thus far, the archive was probably damaged earlier, and since the recovery tools did not produce any results, you are probably out of luck. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35460231
Just to clarify, I deleted the profile from the computer after making a copy to the external drive. The external drive did not contain the PST.

The archive.pst file I'm trying to open is from the original profile I deleted. I recovered the file using Zero Assumption Recovery. I found two, one opened no problem, the other sadly didn't.

I'm guessing the PST was corrupted before but may have just got damaged during the whole delete/recovery.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35463707
I think the reason is that Zero Assumption Recovery does not recover the second PST file properly, that file does not contain valid Outlook data, although it is named with a .pst extension. Can you post the second PST file for me to check?
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35466517
The second PST i was able to recover and open in Outlook were just items I emptied earlier that day from the user's Deleted Items folder. I have since gotten rid of that pst. The other folder of about 500mb is definitely the one I would like to recover. Not sure why the content would not be valid.
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35471787
If you can post the header of the invalid PST file, then I can find some clues.
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35474718
How do I do that?
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Expert Comment

by:chcw
ID: 35481315
Use WinHex at www.x-ways.net/winhex/ to open your PST file, go to the header of the file, then make a screenshot of the hexidecimal digits you see.
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35482891
file header?
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Accepted Solution

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chcw earned 1000 total points
ID: 35487943
The file contains random data that does not belong to a PST data file. So I don't believe it is recoverable.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points
ID: 35487967
So that means, as we surmised above, that the archive was damaged before trying to copy it as a backup.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:occ_user
ID: 35488226
:( Ok Thanks for the suggestions and guidance.

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