Outlook XP no longer populates contacts in emails

I recently had to re-install Windows7 -64bit and Office XP. Now I find that when writing a new email, I cannot get the To: or CC: fields to be populated from Contacts. The Contacts file exists and is populated. It used to work before. Your help would be much appreciated.
Maren TalbotAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Just select an answer and select close question.  If you are not happy closing you can delete the question
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Have you got the old PST file? The contacts will be in that file.

Make a copy of it, name it backup.PST, put it in the Outlook folder and import the contacts
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also thinking back , look in Outlook XP Address book and point it to Contacts
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
John, thank you for your comments.
1) I do have the .pst file, I use it every day. I can make a copy of it but how do I put that into the Outlook folder? there is no Outlook folder I can see, just the .pst file. Am I looking in the wrong place, perhaps?
2) the Outlook Address book is pointing to Contacts.  
I attach a couple of pictures: the first shows my Contacts, nicely populated.
The second shows what happens when I start a new email and press To: to find a contact. As you can see, there is nothing there.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
1. The Outlook Folder is the location of the PST file. That is why I said give the copy a new name. Put the backup in the same folder as the PST file and try Importing Contacts again.

2. If the Address book is pointing to Contacts then import again.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also when you click on TO:  , make sure TO: selects the Contacts or Address book, whichever works.

Outlook XP was an early try for Microsoft and has some picky edges to it.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
OK, I've made the backup copy. I opened Outlook, File, Import/Export and then looked to import Contacts. However I was only offered the Personal Address Book or the .pst file for importing. I tried the Personal address book but that was not found. When I imported the .pst file, Outlook hung and I had to kill it. I'm clearly not doing it right and I appreciate it that you can't give me more detailed step by step instructions as you probably don't have this ancient version in front of you.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Outlook, File, Open, Import / Export , Import from another file, Outlook PST.

Now take care:  Select your file and scroll down to Contacts (Only) and use the option to Import items to the same folder as "Outlook"

That should work. Go carefully.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
I finally managed to get something being copied to Contacts. In fact, the first cycle took 30 minutes, then it started copying again, which took another 30 minutes, and now it has started copying again (without any intervention from me). I wonder if it's gone into a loop? should I wait or kill it? I suppose it won't do any harm. It's now after midnight here.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Just seen you latest comment. I did exactly as you suggest, and the third 'loop' of copying will probably take another 15 minutes. I'll wait.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It will not hurt to leave everything running until morning.

Also, keep your original PST file safe. If something goes wrong, you can delete the Outlook Profile on the new machine, delete the PST file and start again.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Thanks. Good night.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Please have a good evening and I will be here tomorrow.
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Daryl GawnSystem AdministratorCommented:
what version of exchange are you connecting to? sounds like the NK2 file maybe?
exchange 2010 and newer doesnt need the NK2 file that retains previous email addresses you sent to even when they arent saved in your contact.
If you are connecting to an older exchange version the Nk2 file would have held these addresses which you would have lost when you rebuilt the PC
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Hi Daryl, thank you for your interest. I am not using Microsoft Exchange, I am using stand alone Outlook 2002 on my PC as part of the MS Office XP Pro Special Edition release. The only file I can see is the .pst file which contains all my mail and contacts.

Since I re-installed the software on my Windows 7 64-bit PC, Outlook no longer seems to carry any data from the contacts file into newly created mail. When I create a new email and select the To: button to find the email address for the recipient, the Contact file that opens is empty.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Here is a picture of Outlook XP.

In a new Message, you can select Contacts or Outlook Address book. Be sure you followed my steps above to re-import Contacts and then make sure you use the correct selection in New Email.

Windows-XP-Contacts
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Hi John,
that's exactly the picture I get. Yours is empty too.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My picture is just the setup method. That is an old virtual machine with no contacts (deliberately)

If you truly have no contacts (old PST and new PST) then you have been living on type-ahead (dangerous) and you do not have contacts at all.

You can see if you can find your old NK2 file (Outlook XP uses that) and that may have type-ahead contacts in it. You need to recover the file and put it in the same location on the new machine
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
I attach results of search for NK2 files.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
I also ran the process of re-importing Contacts as you outlined earlier. I have documented what I did in the attached file. As you can see, nothing changed, The Contacts are clearly there. I can find a contact and use the New email facility from there, but it makes life very difficult when one wants to copy to other recipients.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
First, nothing attached, but no issue (yet).

1. If you are certain the old file has real contacts don't both with the NK2 file - that is just for type ahead.

2. Go slow.

Ensure the OLD PST file is intact and has email, calendar and contacts. Ensure this.
On the new computer, in Control Panel, Mail, DELETE the Outlook Profile.
On the new computer, DELETE the PST file.

Now restart the new computer and begin the import process again.

As you can see above, I have email working on Outlook XP on an XP machine. I do not need calendar and contacts on that box.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Let me try the attachment first. Are there any limits on size?
Re-importing-Contacts-into-Outlook-X.pdf
.nk2-files.png
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think no more than 20 GB
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
My situation is complicated in that my PST file sits on a file server and is accessed by four computers in my household, including a laptop. These run Windows 2000 (the best), Windows 7 (I use most), and Windows 10. All can access the PST Contacts from new emails. I even tried Outlook 2016 on the Windows 7 machine, and the Contacts worked fine. But then it trashed the Outlook XP, and having read that it's not a good idea to have them on the same machine, I took the Outlook 2016 off this machine.

When you say "On the new computer, DELETE the PST file", I'm not sure what you mean. What are the steps, please?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
When Outlook gets screwed up , deleting the Outlook Profile and the PST file allows you to rebuild Outlook on the new computer.

Keep Outlook locally on a computer. Do NOT share the PST file over a network. This can damage the PST file
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also Outlook 2016 is a different PST file format which is not backward compatible to Outlook XP

So you may need to give up Outlook XP (damaged) and stay with Outlook 2016
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Do I understand you correctly:

To remove .pst:       Outlook, Tools, Options, Mail Set Up, Data Files, Remove the file with the Comment "Mail delivery location"

To remove the profile:       Control Panel, Mail, General, Remove profile.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
My .pst file on the file server has been shared by various Outlook versions from W2K to W10 for the last two years without a hitch.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
1. You said you opened the file with Outlook 2016. That changes the format and it is not backward compatible.

2. My .pst file on the file server has been shared by various Outlook versions from W2K to W10 for the last two years without a hitch.  You were lucky - that's all. What you have done can damage the file (CAN damage not WILL damage). and is a very bad practice.  

Either from 1 or 2 above, the file is not any longer completely usable. Otherwise my tested solutions would work
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
John, you've given me much to think about.  I have many legacy systems to consider and how to change my entire workflow. Perhaps we should leave it here. Thank you for your advice. I'll come back if I need more help.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If there is nothing more to this question, you should close it and ask a new one.

You had not mentioned all the legacy systems and the PST networking that is going on.
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Would it have made any difference? The network is simply a LAN in my house, linking various PCs to my fileserver. My laptop has access via WIFI.

I get the message that you think my .pst file is corrupt and unable to be fixed. I have to accept that. It doesn't solve my problem, but I appreciate your contribution. Thank you again.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Even on a fast LAN networked PST files can fail. I have had to clean these messes up before
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
Perhaps you can tell me how to get out of here, please. I've tried to close the question as you suggested, but I am being taken round and round ticking boxes. Will you ever let me go?
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Maren TalbotAuthor Commented:
I really appreciate your taking the trouble although your suggested solution does not make me happy - that's life.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks. Sometimes things just cannot be done.
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