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outlook.ost file never gets backed up on daily backup. Why? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I backup my WIN 7-64 company laptop daily with WHS-2011 which hasn't given me any issues.

    I have been having some problems with Oulook 2010 archive files that are corrupted. So I thought I would restore a couple month old outlook.ost files which are typically 300MB in size and reside in the c:/Users/myname/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Outlook directory. However, I just realized that WHS2011 never ever backs up the outlook.ost file for some odd reason - all other files in that directory are there. This is the Outlook Exchange Server file that essentially represents a snapshot of the inbox and folders of Outlook at the last time Outlook was last launched. This way one can work offline as if connected to the Exchange Server.

    Can someone explain why the file never gets backed up by WHS2011 and is there a way to do this?

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012 10:20 PM

Answers

  • OST files are useless without the Exchange profile they're associated with, and the full contents of the file should be stored by Exchange anyway, so backing it up isn't really useful. If you need to "restore", you can recreate it using Outlook and Exchange.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Sunday, January 15, 2012 11:07 PM
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:56 AM
  • At the risk of repeating what has been said already: an .ost file is useless; it can and will be recreated from the server if and when needed. The .pst file is what you should care for, because that is not stored elsewhere
    -- Thx & Best Regards Hubert Daubmeier
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Sunday, January 15, 2012 11:07 PM
    Friday, January 13, 2012 1:14 PM

All replies

  • OST files are useless without the Exchange profile they're associated with, and the full contents of the file should be stored by Exchange anyway, so backing it up isn't really useful. If you need to "restore", you can recreate it using Outlook and Exchange.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Sunday, January 15, 2012 11:07 PM
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 2:56 AM
  • I also backup all my most important files with ViceVersa Pro every two weeks. So the outlook.ost file gets backed up but it also gets overwritten every two weeks.

    When I rename the current outlook.ost file to outlook.ost.new and then copy over the two week old outlook.ost file I can recover the state of my inbox and all adjacent folder containing older email.  Obviously after I am done saving some emails I will delete the outlook.ost file and rename the file outlook.ost.new to outlook.ost and things are back to the way before.

    There are no issues with the Exchange profile unless the profile changes which only happens if I had to change jobs or the file get moved over to another WIN PC. My company file rentenion policy is only good for 28 days. So I cannot recover a 2 month old inbox email from the exchanger server. If I had a 2 month old outlook.ost file I certainly can do that. Or from the archive file if it is not corrupted.

    I consider the outlook.ost file one of the most important files on my hard disk to protect. What other important files does WHS2011 not backup? I find this total surprise and amazing. I got to find a way arount that.

     

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 5:27 AM
  • At the risk of repeating what has been said already: an .ost file is useless; it can and will be recreated from the server if and when needed. The .pst file is what you should care for, because that is not stored elsewhere
    -- Thx & Best Regards Hubert Daubmeier
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Sunday, January 15, 2012 11:07 PM
    Friday, January 13, 2012 1:14 PM
  • I agree; this is completely absurd. I use Outlook to sync with my gmail accounts. I've recently deleted emails in Outlook that I later needed. When I went through the process of looking into restoring the .ost files through file restore I found out they were never backed up. In this case, I can't restore the files from the server; Outlook synced and deleted them from the server.

    I also want to know what other files WHS2011 doesn't backup. For years WHS has been there to save me when I've needed it. This is the first time it's completely failed me. I'm more than a little disappointed.

    Sunday, September 1, 2013 9:08 AM
  • I suggest using third party tool which can convert OST file into PST which can easily recover in all kind of windows platform. You may use as I had done with :

    http://www.ost-pst.info/download-ost-pst-conversion-software.html

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:40 AM
  • I have also just discovered this issue. I replaced my hard disk and it is true that the ost file is recreated from the server but it doesn't include "tasks". I am using Windows 8.1Pro , Office 2013 (Office365 Home Premium) and my Microsoft (i.e. Hotmail/Outlook.com) account on the desktop and WHS2011 on the server.

    It is strange that almost everything else as far as I can see (email, calendar entries) are stored on Exchange but not tasks. I suspect Notes are also not stored on the Exchange Server but haven't checked that.

     
    Saturday, April 5, 2014 7:51 AM