Archive Outlook folders to removable media

I was asked by a colleague using Outlook 2003 to archive some of his email to relieve pressure on his large email database. He got me to archive one of the largest folders to a flash drive, which I did. Outlook then of course automatically created a new Data File for the pst file for the archived folder in location E:\. But of course now every time he launches Outlook without the flash drive being present, he gets a message “The path specified for xxx.pst is not valid.” I don’t see a way round this and have suggested we abandon the idea, however he insists he had someone do this for him previously without issue and even claims that he was able to access the emails archived on the flash drive without having to even open Outlook. I’m very unconvinced. Any comments?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Start Outlook with the flash drive inserted.  In the FOLDERS list, find "Archive Folders".  Right click on Archive Folders and Close the folder.  This will tell Outlook to no longer keep opening the Archive set automatically.
Alternatively, you could probably do this within Control Panel > Mail > Data Folders...
As far as the archive goes, unless I was running out of space on the local drives, I would archive to the default location, and make a copy of the archive to portable device because Exchange is no longer backing that file up (this is assuming you are using exchange).

As for reading the Archived folder, you can always read your archived mail so long as they are in the configured archive folder, so assuming you archived directly to a portable device, and the device was always plugged in, It seems feasible. That is my experience and understanding of it anyway :)

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Definitely unconvinced. What he experienced before must've been a file on his hard disk. The usb drive solution and how it currently works (including errors and prompts) is by design. Outlook cannot magically get emails from an archive on the usb if that usb is not plugged in.

If there's any IT budget left though, I'd suggest investing in a wonderful product named MailStore. Try the free version first on a test pc (free only for personal use). Configure the archive with word excel and pdf extension, and be amazed.
If amazement sets in, ask a quotation for the server version, it's not that expensive on user base.
Any update on this?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.