How to Convert OST to PST?
Offline Storage Table (OST) files are the mirror-images or replicas of your user mailbox on the Exchange Server. If the user mailbox is deleted from the Server, the OST file saved on your computer becomes orphaned. In such a case, if the original MS Exchange profile is not altered then user can still work with the MS Exchange client (MS Outlook) offline using the OST file created earlier.
The data in the old OST can be easily recovered by moving the messages from OST to PST. However, in this case, if the old profile too is deleted or altered (by logging on to a different mailbox or creating a new profile) then the data saved in OST file is lost.
You can try recovering email items stored in an OST, in case you have not altered the profile that was using the old OST file. However, just in case you already made any changes in the profile that was used for creating OST file has been modified to a new mailbox, then there is always a possibility of losing the information present in the OST file.
Knowledge Tablet- If the profile is altered the data in the OST file is lost forever. Why? This is because of the security that works on an OST file. Owing to this security, Windows NT authentication cannot be used when you are working offline. Therefore, you need to authenticate your logon in Server-based mailbox before you gain access to the OST file.
For this Exchange Server creates a secure "key" from your server-based mailbox's unique entry ID when you are successfully logged-on the Exchange Server. This key is then saved in your Exchange Server profile. This key serves the purpose of authentication, hence each time a user accesses the OST file it checks your profile for the existence of the key.
If you alter the user profile or try connecting to a new mailbox or a new server using the present user profile, then Exchange Server will replace the unique key with a new value from the newly created mailbox on the server. This will make you lose the data that was contained in the OST created using the first mailbox.
You can recover your previous email data from OST files, if you have not modified the profile or have not tries to log on to the new mailbox. Mentioned below are the steps that will help you copy the messages in your OST to PST flawlessly:
- Start MS Outlook offline
- On the Tools menu, click Services
- Click the Add option
- Add a Personal Folders (PST) service
- Select the email messages that you want to copy
- On the File menu, click the Copy option
- In the Copy to dialog, select the Personal Folders (PST) that you created.
- Click the OK option.
- Repeat the steps for copying and saving the email items from each folder containing email messages.
At this point in time, the email messages of OST file are copied to the newly created PST file. You can create a new profile and log on to the new server-based mailbox and after this; you can perform the steps given above to copy the email messages from the OST to PST. The messages saved in PST can be again saved back to the server-based mailbox.
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