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Outlook 2007 Orphaned OST

Posted on 2012-04-10
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Last Modified: 2012-04-16
We recently offlined a client's Exchange server.  I had intended to export the remaining office users' OSTs to PSTs and migrate them to a POP email system.  I had intended to do the exports before we offlined the server, but the client jumped the gun and disconnected the server before we were really ready to do that.  Despite this, the export worked well for some users, but for reasons I cannot resolve, two users are not able to open Outlook while attached to their pre-existing OSTs.  

Upon opening Outlook, it prompts for credentials, spins for a while, tries to verify the user name with the Exchange server, then throws the error message "Cannot open your default e-mail folders. The server is not available. Contact your administrator of this condition persists." Outlook then immediately closes.

I need to find a way to open Outlook with the OSTs' mail in it so that I can export it to a PST.  Both users are running Vista Ultimate with Outlook 2007.  The Exchange server was Exchange 2007.

-I have set Outlook to always run in Offline Mode using the "Mail" section of the control panel
-I have tried renaming the "extend.dat" file in Users > "username" > AppData > Local > Microsoft > Outlook
-I have tried to locate an OST to PST converter, but none of these that actually work are free

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Alan Hardisty earned 1500 total points
ID: 37830680
Login to the computer - unplug the LAN cable, fire up Outlook and it will think it is offline, then you should be able to gain access to the account happily and Export the contents to a .PST file.

As long as you have the profile in Outlook and haven't deleted it, this should work happily.
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Author Comment

by:Leverage IT Consulting
ID: 37830695
Thanks!  I'll give that a try.  Unfortunately, one of the users, in a mad attempt to fix it himself, blew away his Exchange profile.  I'm going to try a system restore for his PC though.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37830716
Oops - then you need to resort to some 3rd party software to convert the .OST to a .PST.

System Restore only restores the Windows Environment and Programs, not data, so I doubt that will help, but rude not to try (I could be wrong - never tried it myself).
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 37830860
You do not need to run system restore.

Just right click the folder of Outlook in "C:\Users > "username" > AppData > Local > Microsoft" and select the tab for "Previous Versions" and you will find the ost file of his Exchange profile.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37831296
That is not why a system restore is being run.  The .ost file is always going to be there without needing a 'Previous Version'.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Leverage IT Consulting
ID: 37832921
Exactly.  The OST is there, I just can't get it to open in Outlook.  System restore did not restore his Outllook Exhange profile.  Any ideas that don't involve paying $200 (or any amount) for a converter?
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37834851
How big is the .OST file?
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Author Comment

by:Leverage IT Consulting
ID: 37834865
1.5GB.  Something of a doozy.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37834970
Not tried this one personally, but it suggests it will work and is free!

http://www.ost2.com/?pcode=2032908229f54ul
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:Leverage IT Consulting
Leverage IT Consulting earned 0 total points
ID: 37835226
Sadly, it's only the "trial version' that's free.  To recover the actual mail, you need to buy it :(  I am just going to set up their Exchange server in our office and update NAT rules and DNS records.  Thanks everyone for the help!
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:Leverage IT Consulting
ID: 37850387
Accepted my own comment as an assisted solution because there was no easy workaround to this and I had to reinstate the decommissioned server to resolve this.
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