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Contacts missing after importing PST file

Posted on 2013-01-08
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Last Modified: 2013-01-09
I moved Outlook to a new system and imported the PST file, emails are fine, but no contacts were imported.  I have several archive PST files, I opened those (didn't import) and I contacts weren't there.  

In contacts, in the left column, it shows the the particular PST file is open and gives you the option to view them but, again, none are there.  

I've never had this issue in the past.  Are contacts saved in all PST files?  eg: achive files.
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Question by:CraigSNYC
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 38756671
Contacts are saved in the PST file and (to the best of my knowledge) they are not archived. Contacts are not date sensitive.

If you did not first export to the PST (that is, if you just went and got the PST file) then go and get it again and try importing contacts.

If this is Outlook 2010, this version sets up a new PST file for each new account. So there may be more PST files on the old system for you to get.

Finally, I assume there were contacts and not just type-aheads.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756696
Sorry, I'm running Outlook 2010.
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756705
I imported the PST file that was being used.  Not the archives.  

Yes, there were contacts, not just type aheads.  

Thanks
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38756714
Check in the Users folder (Documents) for other PST files. Outlook 2010 does that.

Otherwise, the PST file always has Contacts. Make sure they did not hide under another folder (look for + signs to the left of folders) or under another folder tree (profile tree).

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756797
There are some old PST files in the Docs folder.

Shouldn't contacts appear on the Contacts tab in the left column when a PST file is opened or imported?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38756828
What I would do is bring all the PST files to the new PC into a non-Outlook location - say c:\temp.

Then start the import process for each PST file. Limit the import to just Contacts. Look through each PST file and see what you find.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756829
I tried to import just the contacts from the largest archive file and got the following error:

the server responded; invalid mailbox name

???
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38756853
I don't understand why the error, but contacts won't be in an archive file. They could be in another main email PST file set up by Outlook 2010.

You can open an archive (copy the archive to your Outlook folder and open it with Outlook). Have a look around the archive to see what is there.

The places to look are:

1. Email PST files created by Outlook 2010 (but not archives).
2. Hidden under another folder in Outlook (because Contacts are a folder).

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756879
FYI: If I open the archive PST there are emails back to 2009.  However, if I import the same file the emails don't appear.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38756900
I don't think you can import an Archive because it is an incremental file, not a main Outlook file.  I have 3 archives that are alway open in my Outlook 2010.

Now when you open an Archive, you can see the folder tree down the left. You should not see any Contact folders. That was my point of "looking around" the Archive.

Are there, in Documents, on the old machine, in folders: Other email PST files?  There may not be. But I suggest you check.

If there are no other PST files, and Contact have not been hidden under a folder in the new machine, then they may be lost. However I know no reason why contacts should be lost. Such has never happened to me in all the transitions between versions and machines.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38756910
I think I figured out the problem.  Are contacts saved if the email addy is setup as IMAP?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38756928
I assumed you were using POP3. IMAP may store the contact in the host IMAP file at your ISP.

..... Thinkapds_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38757029
@T_U: sorry for not mentioning that.  

About 1.5 years ago I moved from POP to IMAP and kept the same PST file.  I think that did something with the contacts.  I just read that there can be issues importing a PST into an IMAP account.  The article suggests using Scanpst to make sure the PST is not corrupt.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38757206
Let us know after SCANPST. I didn't think that would affect contacts but you never know.
..... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38759026
Update:

SCANPST errored out while scanning the PST that had the contacts.  

I could OPEN the PST file with the contacts but not IMPORT.  So, I opened the file, exported the contacts from it and imported them back into the folder for the email address.

A really round about why to do the import.  Why not just leave the file as opened?  I'm really OCD about things and it's nice and neat just having the contact imported.

The take away for me: Don't rely on being able to import a POP pst into a IMAP pst.  It's documented that it can be troublesome.
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38759051
And as an FYI:

I'd never paid attention to this before; archive does not save contacts.  They have to be exported in order to have a copy/backup made.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38759223
As I mentioned above, contacts are not in Archives. I wanted you to check but I did say contacts are not in Archives.

So I guess at this point, you should close the questions. You have the contacts (even if an ugly workaround) and I did my best for you to help find the contacts.

Thanks and good luck going forward. .... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38759414
You did mention that.  But, as I said I never paid attention to it before, how archive deals, or does not deal, with contacts.

After more thought, the reason they were an an old PST file was because it was a copy of the entire PST file before changing over to IMAP.

You answered the question when you when you said contacts aren't save in an archive so as far as I'm concerned that's the answer.

Thanks so much!  I continue to learn how many little nuances Outlook has to it.

C
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Author Closing Comment

by:CraigSNYC
ID: 38759425
The takeaway from this, at least for me, is that contacts aren't saved in an archive.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38759460
Thanks so much!  I continue to learn how many little nuances Outlook has to it

I was definitely happy to help! .... Thinkpads_User
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