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PST files across a network drive

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  • PST files across a network drive

    If PST files should not be opened across the network, what is a good method for securing archive.pst given the likely hood of local hard disk failures?

    I have a customer that keeps his archive.pst open across the network in Microsoft Outlook. If I tell him to keep the PST file local, what do the users do if their hard drive crashes? Should individuals be backing up their archive.pst files to memory sticks while everything else is centralized on the server? What is the suggested method?

    Network Engineers do IT under the desk

  • #2
    Re: PST files across a network drive

    Since the archive should not change regularly, I would recommend:
    1) User archives to local PST every week/month/whatever
    2) Script (scheduled or user initiated) runs to copy PST to server

    In the event of a crash, copy the most recent PST back to the machine after rebuild.
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
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    Ossian Ltd

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    • #3
      Re: PST files across a network drive

      The only answer is to not use PST files.
      Due to the nature of PST files, even taking backups will not guarantee that you have a good copy, as corruption can occur at any time, even during the initial setup. If the file has ever been used across a network then I would consider the file to be corrupt.

      If the data needs to be retained, then either upgrade to Exchange 2007 so that you have technically unlimited storage or invest in a proper archiving product.
      If the data isn't that important, then keep it local, and the drive fails, tough.

      Simon Butler
      Exchange MVP

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      • #4
        Re: PST files across a network drive

        Thanks for the input. I had the customer put the archive.pst file back on the local computer and I scheduled a task on his computer to copy the archive file to his home folder on the server once a week.
        Network Engineers do IT under the desk


        • #5
          Re: PST files across a network drive

          The problem with copying PST files is that they have to be closed (ie Outlook has to have released them) in order for the schedule task to work.
          IIRC there is a utility on that ensures that Outlook closes and releases the PST file before the scheduled task.

          Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]

          Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

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