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Outlook PST

xmouser
xmouser used Ask the Experts™
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I have a user who no cannot connect to their PST file that they have successfully connected to in the past.

After running Scanpst, it did find ‘inconsistencies’ and repaired them. Then I attempted to open the PST from my account – different PC. I could connect successfully to it.
Them from the user in questions account and PC I attempted to connect to it and got the error message:

‘Errors have been detected in the file <path to file>.pst. Quit Outlook and all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair the file.’
This is the message they got originally.

I am now unable to connect to it from my account on my PC. I have yet to run Scanpst again.

Exchange 2003
Office 2007
Roaming profiles

What would be the quickest way to establish access using native MS tools?


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Commented:
You mentioned roaming profiles, are these PST files on a network drive? If they are get them off and put them on a local drive, run scanpst again and see if you can open.
PST files are not supported on network drives and will cause corruption in them.

Author

Commented:
We've had no probelm in the past with 100s of users.

Correction: They are on a shared drive not part of the roaming profile. They have to reconnect if they move to another PC.

'PST files are not supported on network drives and will cause corruption in them. '
Can you provide a link fro further info on this?
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
Why do you use pst files if you are using exchange server? If there are any files at all, they should be OST, and as mentioned above local on the PC. You don't have to connect tp the pst if you move to another PC, as all data is stored within exchange, and if necessary you could also connect directly to the exchange account via your web-browser, at least if exchange isn't an ancient version.

Author

Commented:
We don't have the space on our server for the files.

The thing is 'Why do you use pst files if you are using exchange server?' is something for another post. I agree. I need to solve this issue though.

Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
Just connect the user directly to the exchange server, as I said there is no need to connect to the PST and I can't see any reason why this should be in another post.

I also don't understand the first part of your post above "We don't have the space on our server for the files.". If you don't have the space, why are they then on the network and not local?
if u want remote access to the PC that has problem, u can use MS's remote desktop
it seems your user's files are stored in their home directory on the network
u already run scanpst to repair the pst file and able to access it from your PC
after u try access it from your user's PC, it got corrupted again
now u cannot connect it even from your PC
my recommendation is:
1. repair the pst again from your PC
2. export all messages from your PC if you can connect after repair
3. remove the Outlook account from the defected PC
4. create the Outlook account on the defected PC and see whether it can send/receive normally
5. import all messages back if no problem on the new account
i think there are a lot of reasons for having messages downloaded rather than keeping them on mail server. disk space of mail server is always the first consideration, server performance, single/multiple point of failure, mail archive policies, security, etc.
so just save it to another post, let's fix the current problem first

Author

Commented:
rindi:
'I also don't understand the first part of your post above "We don't have the space on our server for the files.". If you don't have the space, why are they then on the network and not local? '

Take this anyway you want. I'm interested in solving this issue not debate the merits or explain every minutia of how the system/domain/servers are set up. Again, that's for another question.

raysonlee:
I'm currently rerunning Scanpst. It's huge 11+ Gb so it's taking some time. Yes, the goal is to create a new PST and move/export the messages into another PST and try and get it to work with this user.

xmouser,

Verify to make sure that no other applications currently have access to that PST -- you may need to check open files on server.

Something I hope you already did is to create a backup and work on a backup PST, instead of your user's original mail archive.

Also, do you have a good PST file you can restore from your nightly/weekly backups?
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
The only reason would be archives, but those files are, as their name suggests, archives and therefore static (they don't change and are for looking up old data, and they would be local on the PC (you can save them on the server so backups are made, but if you use them on another PC you would copy them to that PC). I can't figure out your security point above, in my point of view it is less secure using individual pst's as you canuse them on any PC where security isn't enforced. Also that about the points of failure, an OST file would help there, and for something you also backup your servers. Server performance also would only make some sense if the pst's were local, which they aren't. So I can't agree with the above at all.

Apart from that the current issue would be fixed if no pst's were used...

Author

Commented:
bigmack333:

'Verify to make sure that no other applications currently have access to that PST -- you may need to check open files on server.'

Here's the thing I could open it on my PC with my accout. Then I went to the user and they got the error message highlighted above. What other applications would be opening/using this particular file?

'Also, do you have a good PST file you can restore from your nightly/weekly backups?'

That's the first thing I looked for - weren't being done.

'Something I hope you already did is to create a backup and work on a backup PST, instead of your user's original mail archive.'

Working from a copy.

well, u r already doing the right thing
xmouser,

Are you able to open the PST locally on your PC, but you get an error on the user's PC?

Or you can't open the PST copy from either the user's PC or your local PC?

Author

Commented:
Ran Scanpst again, no errors. I can open it fine. I copied it, renamed it and then had the user(s) in question open it on their PC - no issues.

What confuses me is that no error were reported back from Scanpst. However, the pst is being used and the backup administrator is going to include the pst in the daily back up.

Thanks for the help. I've tried to divide up the points failrly