Outlook 2010 problems

The customer has a Dell PC that had been upgraded to Windows 10.  It would not boot up yesterday, so she called Dell and they spent three hours somehow having her reinstall the Windows 7 factory OS.  Some of her data was still intact,  while many files were gone.  All of her icons were gone, and I've been stepping her through reinstalling software.

She reinstalled Outlook 2010, and I guess her .pst was still intact, because all her emails came up.  However, she is missing all her contacts.  So, I am trying to help her by extracting her .pst from a recent Acronis backup.  I have read online that the contacts are included in the .pst in Outlook 2010.  Is this correct?

I extracted her .pst and put it in c:\OutlookFiles.  In Outlook account settings, on the Data Files tab, it was showing the IMAP account as the default, and this was the one that had apparently stayed intact after the help from Dell, in the usual \Users\Joe\AppData\Local\Microsoft...etc. folder.  

I clicked on Add, and pointed to the .pst I had just put in c:\OutlookFiles--just to make it easier for me to manage.  When I went to open it the first time, a password was required--which I don't understand--but I ran a utility on it that gave me the weird password.  It brought all that email in as well, where I can see the email for both .pst files, but neither one shows any contacts.

So, I figured I would back away from the mess I'm making,  but when I went to once again check 'Set as Default' on the .pst that remained on the PC in the usual folder, it had the Set as Default greyed out.  I don't understand how this can be, considering that it WAS the default before I began messing with it, but I do see stuff online saying that an IMAP account cannot be the default.  I am so confused.

So then I saw another Outlook Data File listed.  I don't know where it came from, but it is in c:\Users\Joe\Documents\Outlook Files\Outlook.pst.  I made IT the default, so that I could 'Remove' the one I had added to the list, which is my .pst file in c:\OutlookFiles.  But when I try to remove it, I get an error that says "You cannot delete this Outlook data files.  Configuration information in the file is being copied to your new default data file.  You can delete the file after this information is copied."

What the heck does THAT mean?

So my two questions are:

1) How can get the contacts restored from the full Acronis backup?  What file were they stored in?  Or, if they ARE stored in the .pst, any idea why I can't view them?

2) How can I get back to where all the Account Settings screen shows is that IMAP account (which is the only account shown on the EMail tab) as the default account, and get this .pst I added to c:\OutlookFiles off the Data Files tab altogether?  TIA
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sasllcAsked:
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VDGinfoCommented:
Hi there...

1) Contacts can be stored in a PST but for this to be the case, here original email account (saved to PST) would of had to be a POP/IMAP account and not an exchange account. With an exchange account the user would of had to manually transfer her contacts to the PST for them to be saved in that way.. So if there are no contacts appearing in the backed up PST, I would confirm with the user what type of email they had... If its POP/IMAP I would assume there is another PST somewhere that has not been found/accessed yet. If exchange, a restore can be performed from within the backup/exchange environment.

2) I would start with a fresh profile within outlook and then chose no email as an option when starting outlook and then just manually add the PST's to that new profile to analyze them. This can be done by first going to the Control Panel - Mail - and create a new profile. When asked if you want to add email, chose no.. Then specify that outlook only starts from that profile.

I hope this helps!

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Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
Are you sure it is not .ost?

Depending on your Exchange configuration the "Autodiscover" work internal or external.  Most use split-brain-dns now for Exchange 2010 and higher.

If IMAP is not allowed, it must be using RPC over HTTPS?  

Want to find out quick?
https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/ 

Click on Microsoft Exchange Web Services Test
Synchronization.....

All the other options are there, see PNG attached.

<When I went to open it the first time, a password was required--which I don't understand--but I ran a utility on it that gave me the weird password.  It brought all that email in as well, where I can see the email for both .pst files, but neither one shows any contacts.>

This is a PST file not OST.  The user set a "Password" on her PST file.  She or someone had to set that password.

<
2) How can I get back to where all the Account Settings screen shows is that IMAP account (which is the only account shown on the EMail tab) as the default account, and get this .pst I added to c:\OutlookFiles off the Data Files tab altogether?  TIA >

Use this link
https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/ 

Choose IMAP, use the user information your trying to configure.

It will spit out a report with all the information you need.

<1) How can get the contacts restored from the full Acronis backup?  What file were they stored in?  Or, if they ARE stored in the .pst, any idea why I can't view them?>

You cannot if the Acronis Backup was not configured to backup MAPI Client.

Outlook is most likely set to Cache Mode.  Check out the 'othercoolscreenshot.png"

Check the user connection properties.

Click on Outlook Data File Settings
That is the OST file

All your contacts should sync again once connected.
exchange.png
other-cool-screenshot.png
Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
I'm not recommending this due to data loss but if you want to get rid of this:
[
So then I saw another Outlook Data File listed.  I don't know where it came from, but it is in c:\Users\Joe\Documents\Outlook Files\Outlook.pst.  I made IT the default, so that I could 'Remove' the one I had added to the list, which is my .pst file in c:\OutlookFiles.  But when I try to remove it, I get an error that says "You cannot delete this Outlook data files.  Configuration information in the file is being copied to your new default data file.  You can delete the file after this information is copied."

What the heck does THAT mean?
]

This is most likely a file like by PID called Outlook.exe

Open CMD Prompt

Type tasklist

or tasklist | find "OUTLOOK.EXE"

Then taskkill

Example
C:\>tasklist | find "OUTLOOK.EXE"
OUTLOOK.EXE                   4608 Console

C:\>taskkill /IM outlook.exe /F /T

See screenshot
taskkilloutlook.png
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Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
I extracted her .pst and put it in c:\OutlookFiles.  In Outlook account settings, on the Data Files tab, it was showing the IMAP account as the default, and this was the one that had apparently stayed intact after the help from Dell, in the usual \Users\Joe\AppData\Local\Microsoft...etc. folder.  

Response:
Problem with that is you cannot import back.  You need to use Exmerge.exe to import mail to and from PST files.

Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Merge Wizard (ExMerge)
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2743 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/174197 
https://smtpport25.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/exmerge-export-utility-for-edb-to-pst-conversion/
Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
She reinstalled Outlook 2010, and I guess her .pst was still intact, because all her emails came up.  However, she is missing all her contacts.  So, I am trying to help her by extracting her .pst from a recent Acronis backup.  I have read online that the contacts are included in the .pst in Outlook 2010.  Is this correct?


Before you do that, click on Start > Control Panel

Type Mail in the top right corner

On the left, Click Mail

Are there any profiles left?  If yes, copy the old one.  Done.


mail-profile.png
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My guess is that your user was not using Contacts at all. Contacts are definitely in a PST file and they are not there, so your user was not using Contacts.

Your user was probably using Autocomplete (Stream Autocomplete files) and these were probably lost in the reinstall or in a different profile.

Look in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache  

to see if you can find the autocomplete files.
Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
The autocomplete file name would be xxx.ns2

I believe it is in the location John mentioned but back one level in the outlook folder, not the roamcache folder.
The problem with this is Exchange/Outlook 2010 does not use a .NS2 file, so moving that to the new install won't make it work. What I have had to do is load the .NS2 file onto a fresh Outlook 2007 installation, load the User's mailbox, copy+paste the .NS2 file to the same folder location you obtained out, then go through the auto complete one recipient at a time within outlook, and R-Click - Add to Outlook contacts for each listing.

What this does, although time consuming, is allow you to access the auto complete list and save those recipients as actual contacts to the User's mailbox. Then when you load the User's mailbox on an outlook 2010 instance the contacts will populate.

Check out my article on the contact list and auto complete differences in outlook 2010 versus 2007.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/11912/Auto-Complete-Suggested-Contacts-in-Outlook-2010.html
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Outlook 2010 uses Stream Autocomplete files like:

Stream_Autocomplete_0_1035A917524BBC4CA43A84E31498D3B8.dat

These are the same for Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016.

I do not see NS files as Autocomplete.
sasllcAuthor Commented:
This is a just a single-user PC whose email is with windstream.net.  I am guessing that Windstream uses IMAP rather than POP, causing it to be set up as a IMAP account--but I don't know that for sure.

Assuming they never did have contacts, I would like to get them back the way they were, and hot have the .pst involved that I recovered from their Acronis image.  But as outlined above, Outlook is giving me multiple problems as I try to "disassociate" that .pst file.

What if I uninstall Outlook 2010, delete that recovered .pst from c:\OutlookFiles, and reinstall Outlook...will everything "work right" then, showing their IMAP .pst account as the default, just as it did before I started "trying to help"?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the user uses IMAP then if contacts were used, IMAP should have the contacts.

If the contacts were Autocomplete (as suggested above and VERY commonly used) then the contacts may be gone.
Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
@John: you are correct..
Seeing how this was changed in outlook 2010 from autocomplete .ns2, to Suggested Contacts oab files, the multiple references to autocomplete immediately had me thinking in outlook2007 mode.
Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
So, they have a third-party hosted solution for email?  I’m not familiar with Windstream but Google, Yahoo, Office 365 all have “web portals” and they also support IMAP, POP3.  And Office 365 does IMAP, POP3, and RPC over HTTPS with autodiscover.

When you sync contacts to Outlook it is an empty shell and most of the time, 99% of the time since Outlook 2010 the default is to “store offline” and that is OST file.  Not PST file.

The OST file gives you the same look and feel of Outlook with Exchange but POP3 option does not sync contacts.  If she created all the contacts in Outlook not Windstream and you cannot find the OST file, they are gone.

This is why I asked you to check the “Profile” under Control Panel, Mail applet.

Would have saved a lot of time.

Outlook will do IMAP and POP3, just like Thunderbird (Mozilla).  But the folders and such are controlled by the third-party.  Exchange Server is the only MAPI compliant solution that synchronizes Contacts, Address Book, Public Folders, yadda yadda.

You don’t get that with POP3 or IMAP.  Not with Outlook 2010 or 2016 which I run today.

IMAP was designed with the goal of permitting complete management of an email box by multiple email clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, Yadda).

So, the clients generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them.

Hence, offline storage or OST for Outlook.  Allows you to store mail on the local system.

The POP protocol requires the currently connected client to be the only client connected to the mailbox.  One client, one mailbox.  

IMAP is multi-client, one mailbox.  Or, stated different, allows simultaneous access by multiple clients and provides mechanisms for clients to detect changes made to the mailbox by other, concurrently connected, clients. IMAP clients require a TCP/IP connection to be notified of new mail.

Huge……….difference.

Regardless, the common denominator is the mailbox resides somewhere else, not Outlook.

Gmail, Lotus Notes, Exchange – all support IMAP and POP.

Exchange and Outlook utilize a proprietary protocol called MAPI, made and played by Microsoft.  

Outlook to exchange is MAPI, RPC.  Exchange to everything else is SMTP.

SMTP is used for POP and IMAP with outgoing mail from the user mailbox.

Some of the links I provided above would help you determine IMAP or POP.

Or, the easy free way is download Wireshark from www.wireshark.org

Install it, run it.

Here is the display reference:
https://www.wireshark.org/docs/dfref/i/imap.html

Or, you can filter by port:
An IMAP server typically listens on well-known port 143. IMAP over SSL (IMAPS) is assigned well-known port number 993.

Here is the RFC Reference
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3501#section-2.1
Brian MurphyIT ArchitectCommented:
Wireshark is a slam dunk.  Easiest possible way to know.  But if you want something more difficult, here are some IMAP and POP 3 online tools.  First thing you need to do is find out the Domain Registrar.  The website listed does not appear to host email.

If it was IMAP, the third-party still has the contacts.  Unless she created the contact in Outlook, they would not synchronize.  Somewhere out there in Internet land is an IMAP mailbox with her name on it.  Wireshark is fastest way.  But here are three others.

IMAP Detect and Configuration Tools – Online
http://www.athensfbc.com/imap_tools/ 
https://pingability.com/mailtest.jsp (POP and IMAP)
http://checktls.com/ 

This is the harder way but I’m just trying to get you help.  I’ll keep throwing options at you until you decide to catch one.
sasllcAuthor Commented:
Based on the expert advice, here is what I did:

1) I restored the NK2 autocomplete file, and now she is seeing all her email addresses pop up as she begins to type the name.  I believe the path was mentioned above, but I had also seen it listed at http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nk2_file_location.html in the past, as follows:

For Outlook 2010/2013 with Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows server 2008:
The nk2 file is located in C:\Users\[User Profile]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache
The name of the NK2 file is in the following format: Stream_Autocomplete_X_AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.dat The X is the file index (usually 0) and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA is a random 16-byte key in hexadecimal format.

2) As advised, she was able to get some (or all) contacts from Windstream, who is her provider for her IMAP email system.

3) After waiting 24 hours more, I was able to delete the extra .pst file that I needlessly restored, from the list in Outlook settings.   It never did allow me to choose the IMAP account as the default account, but now all seems to be working fine.
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