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Recovered Outlook public folder has no contents

Posted on 2014-11-09
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Last Modified: 2014-11-22
Hi,

A public folder in Outlook was accidentally deleted and we are unsure when this did happen.  What I did to recover said folder was use the "Recover Deleted Data" inside Outlook.  However, the recovered folder is missing 99% of its supposed contents.  What would be my next steps in recovering the data in the public folder?  I am a beginner in Exchange.

Thanks,

Mark
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Question by:blutonetech
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Expert Comment

by:alanccw
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Actually the data are stored in a local OST file and what you need to retrieve the data is just convert and recover the data from the local OST file or from the Exchange account on the server.

There are several methods to convert OST file to PST file.


First, Microsoft does not provide an official tool to do the conversion. However, if you can access the contents of the OST file in your Outlook, then you can perform the conversion manually, as follows:


1. Start Outlook. Make sure you can access all the contents in the OST file to be converted.
2. Create a new PST file.
3. Go to the OST file, select and copy all the contents to be converted with your mouse.
4. Go back to the new PST file, then paste all the contents into the PST file


That will do the conversion.


You can also perform the conversion by export the contents of the OST file to a PST file by following the instructions at:


http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/outlook-help/export-outlook-items-to-an-outlook-data-file-pst-HA102534110.aspx


Second, if you can access the Exchange server containing the account data for the OST file, then you can use Export-Mailbox command to export the data into a PST file, similar to convert your OST file into a PST file. Below is the article about doing that:


http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb266964.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc535123.aspx


Third, if you cannot access the OST file via Outlook, neither can you access the Exchange Server, then you can refer to Outlook MVPs' website discussing about this issue:


http://www.slipstick.com/problems/pst-repair/convert-an-exchange-offline-file-ost-to-a-personal-file-pst/


Forth, there are many third-party OST to PST conversion tools you can try, below is a list of them:


http://www.datanumen.com/exchange-recovery/compare.htm


Nearly all these tools provide a free trial so you can try first to see if a tool works before purchase it.


Good luck!
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
Comment Utility
What version of Exchange or SBS are you using? You can use the PFDAVAdmin tool to recover the deleted items in SBS 2003 and SBS 2008. You'll need to use ExFolders for SBS 2011.

Instructions for recovering deleted items using PFDAVAdmin and ExFolders are well documented on the web. Here are some articles for your reference:

PFDAVAdmin: http://support2.microsoft.com/default.aspx?id=924044
ExFolders: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2009/12/04/3408943.aspx

ExFolders is basically a port of PFDAVAdmin which was made to work with Exchange 2010 (which is part of SBS 2011) as PFDAVAdmin only supports up to Exchange 2007 (part of SBS 2008).

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to give you the download links for both tools.

PFDAVAdmin download link: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=22427
ExFolders download link: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/Exchange-2010-SP1-ExFolders-e6bfd405
Note that you'll need to have at least Exchange SP1 installed in order to use ExFolders.
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
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Hi VB ITS,

SBS 2008.. Outlook already made a recovery (although with missing contents), hence PFDAVAdmin didn't find any folder to recover further.

Hi alanccw,

I will also try your suggestion and let you know.

Thanks guys!
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
Comment Utility
I'm pretty sure alanccw's steps are to recover the contents of a mailbox and not public folders, but I could be wrong.

blutonetech, if there's no content in the recovered folder then I suggest deleting it again and then try to restore it using PFDAVAdmin.
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
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Hi alanccw,

I have copied over to a pst file the recovered public folder, but I am thinking it would not recover the missing elements, and that is what happened next.  Am I missing something from your instructions?

Thanks,

Mark
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
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Hi VB ITS,

OK I will try your suggestion and let you know.

Thanks!

Mark
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
Comment Utility
Hi VB ITS,

I have deleted the same folder, ran PFDAVAdmin, and it did not find the deleted file.  It may not be working correctly.

I have .Net 1 installed on a Windows 7 machine, and it is there that I am running PFDAVAdmin. I dont have an XP machine to replicate OS incompatibility possibility.

Thanks,

Mark
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
Comment Utility
You never specified what version of SBS you are using, is it SBS 2008 or SBS 2011? SBS 2008 uses Exchange 2007, which PFDAVAdmin will work with.

SBS 2011 uses Exchange 2010, which PFDAVAdmin won't work with - you'll need to use its replacement tool called ExFolders instead.

When you went to restore the missing files, did you right click on the folder within Public Folders then click on Deleted contents box at the bottom, in the Items tab?
Capture.PNG
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
Comment Utility
VB ITS,

My apologies, I am working with with Windows Server 2008 with Exchange 2007.  I am now able to recover the re-deleted folder by right-clicking on the top folder and choosing Show deleted subfolders, then by recovering what is showed in red (deleted items) on the left column.  I actually created and delted a test folder beforehand, and I was able to recover that too.

The folder in issue, although able to be recovered via Outlook or PFDAVAdmin still is missing 99% of its contents, unfortunately.  Any other ideas?

Thanks,

Mark
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
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After you recovered the deleted subfolder, did you go to the Items tab then click on Deleted contents at the bottom as illustrated in the screenshot in my previous post?
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Author Comment

by:blutonetech
Comment Utility
VB ITS,

Yes. No contents except for the 1% that can be recovered

Thanks,

Mark
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Accepted Solution

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blutonetech earned 0 total points
Comment Utility
I have recovered and restored from a backup as a last option to fix my problem
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Author Closing Comment

by:blutonetech
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No one has replied with a solution in a timely period.  I have researched and found the solution to my problem outside of Experts-Exchange
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