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How to setup .ost/.pst files to backup to a network drive?

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2015-04-08
We are currently using a hosted version of Microsoft Outlook Exchange. However, the service does not include email archiving.

I'm aware that Outlook Exchange creates a .ost data file on both the mail server and on the local PC. And I'm seeing a lot of people writing comments on forums saying that you don't have to backup a .ost file because you already have it in the mail server. But that's because they have their own mail server available to them, right?

How can I setup the copy of the .ost data file that goes to my local PC, to backup to a network drive? Or maybe convert the .ost to .pst and have it setup to automatically do all of this? Is there a way to do this? Please advise. Thank you.
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Question by:ram
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VB ITS earned 250 total points
ID: 40604495
I'm aware that Outlook Exchange creates a .ost data file on both the mail server and on the local PC. And I'm seeing a lot of people writing comments on forums saying that you don't have to backup a .OST file because you already have it in the mail server. But that's because they have their own mail server available to them, right?
Not exactly correct. The .OST file does not get created on the mail server end at all, they only get created on the client end when you use Outlook to connect to an Exchange server.

An .ost file is basically an offline copy of a mailbox hosted on an Exchange server. When you delete this file, it gets rebuilt automatically by re-downloading the content from the Exchange server as that's where your emails are stored. You don't need to back up this file at all as long as your Hosted Exchange provider is doing their job properly and backing up your emails.

Now there are third-party tools out there which can convert a .OST file to a .PST file format but these are generally used for recovery purposes should say the Exchange server blow up and you have no backups whatsoever.

Here are two of the most well-known products that can do these type of conversions:
http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/exchange-ost-recovery.html
http://www.stellar-info.com/ost-to-pst-converter.php

There is no need for concern if you lose your .OST file due to a computer meltdown, corruption, etc. It will get rebuilt automatically when you set up a new Outlook profile or connect from another machine.

I hope this clears things up for you.
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by:Alexa Jackson
Alexa Jackson earned 0 total points
ID: 40604999
Hi
As per the information and details provided by you, to setup .ost/.pst files to back-up to a network drive, please follow these steps: -

For back up the pst file; just copy the pst file to your safe location when Outlook is closed. A safe location can be one of the following: -
 
•      Another physical hard drive in your machine
•      Another physical hard drive in another machine
•      An external hard drive
•      A USB memory stick
•      A Flash memory card
•      A CD-R(W)
•      A DVD+/-R(W)
•      A backup tape
•      An online storage location such as Dropbox or SkyDrive


First test the backup. Testing and backup when knowing that the original still works a lot less stressful as well.
To restore your pst-file, copy the file to the location where you want to work with it like: -  D:\My Documents\My Outlook\Temp.

If you restored the file from CD/DVD, make sure you uncheck the “Read Only” file attributes by right clicking the file and choosing Properties.

Now open Outlook and connect to the file by choosing; File > Open > Outlook Data File.

Thanks and regards
Alexa@J

MODERATOR NOTE: this content was copy/pasted from http://www.howto-outlook.com/howto/backupandrestore.htm. It is left here for posterity. The poster's points have been zeroed and the question de-indexed.
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Author Comment

by:ram
ID: 40605521
VB ITS,

Thank you for responding. I may have phrased that incorrectly, but I do understand the concept. It's the reliability of the exchange host that is really in question here, and I just want to make sure that we're covered on our end. Thank you for providing the links, I will look into them right away.

Alexa Jackson,

I will try this out. Thank you.
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