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PST File Inflates

Posted on 2014-01-15
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Last Modified: 2014-01-15
I set up a client with a new laptop (Windows 7, Office 2013). I took 3 old PST files from his old machine (Windows XP, Office 2003) and consolidated them into a new single PST file on the Office 2013 machine by selecting individual folders in the old PST files, and using Move To... to move them to the new PST file. The old PST files had a combined size of 4.5 GB. The new PST file is now 47 GB in size.

I used the "Compact Now" process that Microsoft has posted here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289987. This had almost no affect on the file. (It's still 47 GB in size.)

Suggestions?

It's worth noting that I backed up the old PST files before I gutted them. Deleting the 47 GB PST file and reconnecting to the old files is an option.
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Question by:jdana
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by:paulmacd
paulmacd earned 173 total points
ID: 39782483
The most likely scenario is that the user put 42.5GB worth of stuff into the archive file.  Another possibility is that the .PST is corrupt, but I think this is less likely.
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John Hurst earned 172 total points
ID: 39782501
The PST format is new since Outlook V2003, but that will not inflate PST files by a factor of 10. I have moved PST files along from V2003 to V2007 to V2010 to V2010 and they stay the same size.

Are you sure you measured the source correctly?  To the point above, did you include Archive.pst files in your source measurement?

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:piattnd
ID: 39782532
If you ran the compact tool, that makes me think the file actually has that much data in it.  In order to accurately trace what happened, you need to have an unmodified copy of the source PSTs to confirm their data size.  You can then compare some of the largest folders that would have been moved over and compare the size before and after the copy.  As Thinkpads said, I too have merged items into PSTs many times from many versions and I've not seen this issue.

I personally do not combine all items down into 1 single PST.  With heavy mail users, I usually have them split it up into quarters of the year and we archive any of that off to DVD for restore purposes only.  If you follow this format, PSTs of the past will never change, thus you can back them up to physical media once and always have a valid copy (no new items should ever be placed in the PST).  While they may have multiple PSTs to now deal with, they do not have to search through years of mail just to find items from a particular date range and they do not lose all of their items should something happen to a file.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39783177
@jdana - Thanks, and I was happy to help.

... Thinkpads_User
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