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How to recover deleted MS Outlook OST file?

Posted on 2012-08-27
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Last Modified: 2014-04-03
Dear EE experts,

We would like to ask for tech support on how to recover deleted .ost file?
We haven't backed-up the email, deleted the .ost file accidentally then when we open the MS Outlook, all the mails in the INBOX are gone...

Any tools, free tools that can be use?

Please advise, thank you!
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Question by:Stiebel Eltron
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16 Comments
 
LVL 52

Accepted Solution

by:
Manpreet SIngh Khatra earned 1000 total points
ID: 38339594
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Assisted Solution

by:alienvoice
alienvoice earned 1000 total points
ID: 38339601
Free tool I have used is called EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition, allows up to 1 Gb to be undeleted. Worked well for recovering files from a formatted drive last week for us.

http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/download.htm
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sushil Sonawane
ID: 38339604
Reconfigured your exchange account. Your all mails store on the exchange server and  a local hard drive it only another offline copy. OST file is Offline Storage Table file of Microsoft Outlook.

Please refer following link.

(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/introduction-to-outlook-data-files-pst-and-ost-HA010354876.aspx)
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38339610
You deleted the OST?

An ost is simply a cached copy of the exchange mailbox
If you deleted the OST

Simpy go into account settings

Turn Cached Exchange mode off

Close and restart Outlook
Outlook will reconnect to the exchange server, and you should see all the current emails in the mailbox

Now go back and turn on cached exchange mode
This will create a new PST with all the current Mailbox items in it
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38339612
Note:

If you had mail items visible in an OST and not in the users Mailbox
Its highly likely that the OST was not functioning correcty in the first place as it should be synced with the users Exchange Mailbox

i.e. email arrives in Inbox, a cached copy is save in OST
User deletes Item in Mailbox, the mailbox should sync with the OST removing the deleted item
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
ID: 38339616
If its in house exchange you can open Outlook cache it will re-create the OST or else you can once turn the Outlook to Online and aback to Cache to create the OST.

- Rancy
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Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 38339623
@sushil84 & apache09: The reason why we need to backup the emails while the outlook is in offline mode is because our exchange server got big problem and was reinstalled, so every client needs to be backed-up their OST file into PST file. We know that even u delete the OST, when u close and re-open the outlook, it will generate a new OST file and show the emails. But with our case, it's not like that...

So, we're trying other advises from other experts above... However, you're still welcome to give other possible solutions....

Thank you!
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sushil Sonawane
ID: 38339630
Try this tool to convert ost file to pst format

(http://www.microsoftosttopstconverter.com/)
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38339632
In that case im going to have to say

Unless you have implemented an backup process of the users local Drive, or location where the OST was stored

You not going to be able to recover an deleted ost

You could try the users deleted Items In Windows'

But if its not there your really SOL on this one unless you take the Drive(S) to a data recovery centre who can hopefully recover the OST which was deleted from the drive

Going forward, you shold realize that an OST /Cached exchange mode, is not an backup solution for outlook

If your using Outlook 2007 or earlier there is a Microsoft product out there you can use to backup users PSTs

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=9003
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:wolfcamel
ID: 38339673
if you have deleted the local ost file and checked the recycle bin, (and as you say you had server issues which is why you needed to export from the ost to pst)then you really need to use some file recovery software - there is a lot out there, but I like Kroll ontrack. The issue you will/may have is if you have been using this computer since the deletion then it is possible that the file has been overwritten with other data such as windows temp files.
Treat this as any normal deleted file recovery issue.
I would take the HDD out of the computer and connect it either internally or via a USB cradle, to another PC with ontrack (or other recovery tools) running. Then get the recovery software to scan the drive and cross your fingers that it finds the OST file in a useable state.

Then you just have other issues of how to open, convert it etc but that is a seperate issue
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Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 38339695
do you have link for Kroll ontrack wolfcamel?
and is it necessary to take the HDD out of that machine and connect it with other PC that have recovery program? what if we'll recover it from the same machine, is it ok?
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:wolfcamel
ID: 38339727
if you try to recover on the same machine then you are going to have to install the program on the HDD that has the lost data - increasing the chance that you overwrite the file you want to recover.
there are a number of free recovery tools available on download.com (CNET), ontrack is a commercial app.
this site also doesnt allow/permit/encourage to point you to other sources but they are out there - and really if your data is important the cost of these apps is relatively cheap - many have a free mode that will show you if the data is recoverable but you need to buy the software in order to recover it.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:MAS
ID: 38339771
Please check this site for once off recovery of OST for few bugs.
www.clickzones.net
They will help you online I guess
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Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 38340192
@abbasiftt: we checked the link that you advised, but the OST recovery that they have is recovering the OST and converting it into PST, we need it later after we recovered the OST. We must recover the OST first.

:(
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:MAS
ID: 38340266
They will recover your missing OST and convert it to PST if it is not overwritten
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Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 38344059
Though we didn't found the exact solution from the responses, but we got idea on what do we need to do...
We selected wolfcamel's comment as the best solution as we found our solution from the site that he advised (though we know it already, but we also give it a shot to check). Because from other expert's link, they can do searching/recovering, except the OST file. But we found one FREE software (totally free), that would search for OST as well...

The next step is by converting OST file into PST file, in whereas we already have that software program. So, our problem solved!

Thank you experts!
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