Uninstalling Office 2013 and keeping all of the Outlook data

J.R. Sitman
J.R. Sitman used Ask the Experts™
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We have a corrupt office 2013, or more specifically Outlook.  I've tried the "repair" and it is done within 1 minute so I know that it actually didn't do a repair.

I'm planning on uninstalling Office and reinstalling it.  I have a major concern of losing the additional folders that the user has created.  She is the Executive secretary and I can't risk anything being lost.

Your advice will be appreciated.  Also if you think there is possibly another way to fix it, I'm open to suggestion.  Below is the error.

Faulting application name: OUTLOOK.EXE, version: 15.0.4779.1001, time stamp: 0x564c29f2
Faulting module name: ole32.dll, version: 6.1.7601.18915, time stamp: 0x55981b9e
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x00066b2c
Faulting process id: 0xfa4
Faulting application start time: 0x01d1499f49213ab8
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OUTLOOK.EXE
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\ole32.dll
Report Id: abcb8f27-b592-11e5-9ae9-b8ac6f4b32d8
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Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Uninstalling Office has never (over the years) lost any data. No documents, no PST files. That said, always back things up for safety's sake. But you can uninstall Office, restart, install Office and keep everything.

What else? As likely as not (so 50% chance) the Windows User Profile is damaged. Create a new, test Windows User Profile (Account). Log into the new Windows Account and try Outlook. See if it works.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
good suggestion.  I'll try that.
Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer
Commented:
I would manually back up your PST files by finding them in either of the two locations if you're a little worried:

C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Outlook Files\

But has John explained, you shouldn't lose anything.
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J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I'm exporting to a PST now.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I just looked in the location and there is an Archive.pst file from 12/30 and a 365.ost from today.  The ost is very large.  Is that the backup of outlook?
Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer

Commented:
An OST file is an offline folder file in Microsoft Outlook. Offline folders make it possible for the user to work offline and then to synchronize changes with the Exchange server the next time they connect. The ability to work offline is useful in environments with limited or unreliable connectivity.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
@john.  I just thought if I create a new user it is really going to impact her work because she won't have all her desktop stuff.  Your thoughts?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I am suggest a new Windows user as a test. If the profile is damaged and you have to re-create, then yes, you will have to re-create her desktop, shortcuts and program associations.

That is why the test. Broken or damaged Windows profiles cannot be repaired.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
please clarify for my own piece of mind.  Uninstalling and reinstalling Office will recreate all of the Outlook data, e.g. folders.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Folders are part of the PST file, so yes reinstalling Outlook will keep the folders as well as the emails, but NOT the email accounts.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
ok.  I'm going to think about the test.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
So the Archive.pst dated 12/30/15 is what is will use?  shouldn't there be a newer one in the folder?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
If you are using POP3, yes there should be a newer file.
If you are using Exchange, the data is on the server and cannot be lost by uninstalling Outlook.
If you are using IMAP, the data is also on the server but I would think there might be a local PST file if you download from IMAP. If not there may be an OST file. There will be an OST file in the case of Exchange.

None of these should be harmed by uninstalling Office.
Rob LeaverSr. Network & Server Engineer

Commented:
There should be a .PST file called Username.PST

Maybe its in another location, it depends where you set the PST file to store in outlook. But if you can't access outlook then we won't know where you set that file location.

I think you maybe able to get into your mail profile through control panel and review the pst file location

I agree with John though, you shouldn't reaaaaaaaaaly need to do this.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
we don't have an in house Exchange server.  We use Office 365, so which of your scenarios would apply?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Office 365 is Exchange if you are using Microsoft services. So the Exchange scenario applies.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
no current PST files anywhere on the computer except the one I manually created.  I'll create another before I do this just in case.  

I'll leave this open until I actually do the process.

Thanks
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
@john, what makes you think it might be a profile issue?  She hasn't had any other issues.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Outlook specifically and Office in general are very picky about Windows Profiles and a computer working normally otherwise can have issues with Office and Windows Profiles. I have seen this before which is why I suggest it.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
thanks, just curious

I'll be uninstalling on Tuesday, when I'm in the office.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I didn't get to this as planned.  I'll post an update when I do.  Sorry for the delay.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
uninstall and reinstall worked.

Thanks
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thank you for the update and I was happy to help.

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