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Successfully restored 4GB PST

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  • Successfully restored 4GB PST

    I'm still relatively new in my job, and today I discovered that .pst files can't be larger than 2 GB.

    Imagine my horror when I discovered a user with a corrupt outlook profile had a .pst archive that was 4GB.

    With a sinking feeling in my stomach I decided to try to to restore the .pst anyways (after creating a new profile) and to my surprise it seemed to work!

    From my understanding as soon as a .pst file exceeded 2GB for Outlook 2003 / Windows XP the file was corrupt.

    Is this completely unprecedented? I thought I was all-but-screwed, but the file seems to have restored properly and I'm currently in the process of making several smaller .pst's from the original.

    Has anyone else done this before?

  • #2
    Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

    Hopefully this will answer your questions:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830336

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    • #3
      Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

      Thank you for the link Joe,

      So this means that .pst files from an exchange server on Outlook 2003 can be up to 20 GB?

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      • #4
        Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

        If the pst file is in Unicode format then yes, but I'd recommend against letting it get that big.

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        • #5
          Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

          Thanks Joe,

          I've got a user with a pst file thats 9.5 gb! needless to say I'll be asking her to start a new archive file.

          We're running Outlook 2003 / Exchange 2003 so I would assume that we're running Unicode. I haven't made any changes to state that it should be ANSI so Unicode is the default mode (i believe).

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          • #6
            Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

            If you are running Exchange, then why do you have PST files? Are the clients not setup to use Offline files, .OST ?
            1 1 was a racehorse.
            2 2 was 1 2.
            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
            2 2 1 1 2

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            • #7
              Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

              I'm not sure about the .ost files to be honest.

              The people are archiving to reduce server load...at least that's what was set up before I arrived.

              Emails are archived and stored on a private shared drive for each user, which we back up nightly.

              Is this bad practice?

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              • #8
                Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

                Originally posted by DKNUCKLES View Post
                I'm not sure about the .ost files to be honest.

                The people are archiving to reduce server load...at least that's what was set up before I arrived.

                Emails are archived and stored on a private shared drive for each user, which we back up nightly.

                Is this bad practice?
                Correct. .pst's by design should only be accessed from local storage. There not officially supported by MS from fileshares as there prone to corruption when accessed over the network. Your best option is to invest in a 3rd party archiving solution. Additionally the .ost is only an offline copy of the mailbox which allows the users mailbox to be accesible when there is no connection to exchange. It wont help much with your issue.

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                • #9
                  Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

                  What about disabling auto-archiving and manually archiving once every 6 months and then copying and pasting the .pst on the shared drive for backup purposes and leaving the copy that would be accessed on the users computer?

                  A third-party archiving solution will be something I'll have to pitch to my boss...do you think the above would be a suitable interim solution?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

                    I have a medical condition at the moment that is leaving me a bit thick so I can't understand whay you have PST files on an Exchange Server email system. (Sorry that sounds like crap)

                    How does Outlook get its mail from Exchange?
                    Can you post screenshots of the Outlook setup?

                    I wonder if Outlook is setup correctly with offline file OST but someone has set the incoming mail to move to a local PST as the Default mailbox.
                    Have a look at the Outlook and look for 2 Mailboxes. You should see it when you open Outlook with Folder List view selected otherwise you will see it where you setup the Accounts (Tools, E-mail Accounts, View or change existing accounts) and see which is the Exchange (Default) account, assuming that there is two accounts listed.
                    1 1 was a racehorse.
                    2 2 was 1 2.
                    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                    2 2 1 1 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

                      .OST files are being created but the administrator before me set up auto-archiving for a bunch of the staff before I signed on to reduce the database sizes of the exchange server.

                      My understanding is that auto-archive removes emails from the server that are 6 months or older and places them in a .pst format, stored on the local users computer. In order to avoid loss of data the admin set up auto-archiving to a shared drive instead of the default location (on the C:\Documents and Settings\...).

                      Needless to say this issue is stressing me out because the last thing I need is users with corrupt .pst's or missing emails.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Successfully restored 4GB PST

                        Ouch thats gonna hurt when things go tits up.

                        First thing i disable in outlook is auto archive.

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