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Urgent: President's Outlook crashed. Pending emails and meetings all lost...Ideas to recover?

Posted on 2016-08-11
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Last Modified: 2016-08-14
The President uses email to organize his day by opening about a hundred messages and then marking: read/unread and responding. No joke. He and the secretary created hundreds of calendar items (meeting requests) and called me because these items were not "syncing". I walked into a land mine and when I went to restart outlook of course it crashed. When outlook came back up the items ALL resynced however the "pending" items all disappeared. The president/secretary are now holding me accountable for getting these items back. However I don't think since there were communication issues that these items EVER made it back to Exchange (and to a backup). I can try to open/repair the PST (cached mode) but am NOT confident at all that anything is still there even locally. Any ideas before I get the "pink slip". There is no way of telling them "best practice, etc." They just need the meeting entries etc. recovered: no excuses.
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Question by:admitech
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13 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:FOX
ID: 41752031
Was his email pulling from an exchange server?  If so see if it opens in OWA to verify if it is all there.
If he was pulling his email down to a .pst file yes, try the repair.
This probably just a problem on the outlook client.
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Assisted Solution

by:Manuel Flores
Manuel Flores earned 83 total points
ID: 41752045
Preserve the .ost file (exchange local cache).  It should have had that entries, how ever after the resync maybe it was cleared.  I would try.
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Author Comment

by:admitech
ID: 41752065
Unfortunately as both of you said, the problem seems local and the .pst/ost needs to be preserved. No idea what do if I backup both and an import into another client doesn't show anything. Didn't make it to OWA (nothing there...) heading over
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Expert Comment

by:Manuel Flores
ID: 41752082
Well, things happens.  Not syncing as they know it was happening, is a clue that things were already broken when you arrived.  Outlook couldn't manage so many quantity of open objects.  Even it crashed (I could bet) in a top-notch computer.  In the future they must proceed otherwise, and I'm sure they will.

..MFlores..
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 251 total points
ID: 41752107
I went to restart outlook of course it crashed. When outlook came back up the items ALL resynced however the "pending" items all disappeared. The president/secretary are now holding me accountable for getting these items back

Patch Tuesday is this week, there ARE updates, and so the computer and Outlook will restart.

Why are you responsible for patch Tuesday?
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Assisted Solution

by:ScottCha
ScottCha earned 83 total points
ID: 41752163
If the items weren't synching, then there was a problem before you walked in.  Restarting Outlook was a valid move.

But since the items weren't synched, they didn't get saved.

They can blame who they want to, and not want "best practices" mentioned, but the same results would have happened no matter who was working on it.
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Author Comment

by:admitech
ID: 41752235
Thanks guys. Just got back, she could not come up with ONE missing item. Unfortunately I am still taking heat and have a meeting with our director today (not good). 110% user error. When Outlook crashed, which actually had to be rebooted anyways (; the 76 emails she had open closed and she ASSUMED they were gone and communicated that to everyone that matters. Glad you guys: Scott, John, Manual are logical and see things right way! I literally asked "what can I do to help you? (since there was nothing)"....crickets....
We'll see what happens.
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Author Comment

by:admitech
ID: 41752239
Made a backup of her PST file anyhow as well.
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 41752757
The boss is an idiot and no matter how hard you try ,at the end of the day he'll still be an idiot.

At best you could do a post mortem to try and find out why it crashed and explain the situation,but it looks like you're in a position of trying to reason with farm animals.

As to why it crashed ,it's M$ ,and to me that's as legit an excuse there is.
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Expert Comment

by:ScottCha
ID: 41752868
Keep your cool with your director and suggest he ask her what is missing.

Your director needs to be in your corner and once it is determined that NOTHING is missing he should then communicate to everyone that matters that she was incorrect.

And having 76 emails open at the same time is just plain silly.  Sounds like she needs to learn some organizational skills.
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Assisted Solution

by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 83 total points
ID: 41753292
It looks like they have to cast the blame on someone and since it crashed after your hands touched it you are the scape goat.... and get all the blame although it is not really your fault. Blame it on MS patch tuesday may also not satisfied users who are not computer savvy, especially when updates cause reboots as this past Tuesday did it was quite an update. Of course doing a system restore will not affect user's files so that will not even help you. Since the office creates so many calendar events and processes so many emails everyday, it may not be possible to recover everything that was lost. Especially when so many emails may have been opened at one time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:admitech
ID: 41755474
Thanks all!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41755488
You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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