Fix, Repair & Backup Exchange OST file to PST Outlook 2010

What is OST file and PST file? What is the difference between Outlook System Files (.ost) and .pst files? What is the location of OST file and PST file? What is the reason of OST file corruption? How to fix OST file? These are some of the questions that users look for on the internet. So this article will provide each and every information with appropriate solution.

MS Outlook delivers an extensive range of messaging needs of a business organization and is widely used in offices for both internal as well as external communication.

When making use of Microsoft Outlook, all the mailbox items such as email messages, notes, tasks, calendars, and other items get saved on a mail server, on your computer or both. And the items that are saved on your computer, are kept in an Outlook Data File (.pst and .ost)

About Outlook Data Files (.ost and .pst)

There are two different types of Outlook Data Files used by MS Outlook. PST is one of the Outlook Data File which is used for most accounts. If you are working on a Microsoft Exchange account, all your items will get delivered and saved on the mail server. This allows you to work with your messages even when you unable to connect on the mail server. Another type of Outlook Data File that is Offline Outlook Data File (.ost) which is kept on your computer.

Difference between Outlook System Files (.ost) and .pst files

PST Outlook Data Files are utilized by POP3, IMAP and other web-based email accounts. When it becomes necessary for you to create archives or back up Outlook folders and items on your computer, like Exchange accounts, you must create and make use of additional PST files.

OST Offline Outlook Data Files are used when you are having Exchange Account and you want to work offline or use the Default Cached Exchange Mode. Such type of data file is also utilized for accounts that you set up with the Outlook Connector for (previously Hotmail). OST Offline Outlook Data Files are always copies of items that are saved on a mail server and do not have to be backed up like PST Outlook Data Files.

OST Offline Outlook Data File

Usually, when using Microsoft Exchange Server account, your mail messages, notes, contacts, calendars and other items are delivered to and stored on the server. Outlook can be configured if you want to keep a local copy of your items on the computer in an Outlook Data File i.e. Offline Outlook Data File (.ost). This allows you to work offline or make use of Cached Exchange Mode when a connection to Exchange computer is impossible. And when the connection is available then the OST file will get synchronised with the Exchange computer.

Offline Folders are the copies of the folders which are present in the mailbox on the computer that runs Microsoft Exchange. This allow to extract the folder from the server location, works with the contents of the folder that are not connected to the server and again when you connect with the server, update the folder and its corresponding folders to make the contents of both folders identical. This process is known as folder synchronization.

You can add, delete and change the offline folder content exactly as you can for a folder on a server. For example, you can move and change items between folders, send messages which are included in the offline Outbox and read offline public folders content. In the meantime, new messages are stored in Inbox on the server.

File location of Offline Outlook Data File (.ost)

OST files get synchronized with the items on the server that runs Exchange. As data remains on the Exchange Server that can re-create the .ost file on the computer without backing up the .ost file.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive: \Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP     drive: \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

PST Outlook Data File

PST is the most common and most used file format in which the information of Outlook mail items are saved by home users or in small organizations. And usually home users utilize ISP i.e. Internet Service Provider in order to connect to the internet. This also provides more than one email accounts. The most common account types are mentioned to by their Internet protocol names i.e. POP3 and IMAP. Other types of accounts are HTTP or web based that works exactly the same like IMAP email accounts. All three account types use a .pst file.

The Outlook mailbox items can also be moved or archived to a .pst Outlook Data File. Because .pst file is kept on your computer, it is not subject to size limit of a mailbox on the mail server. By moving .pst file items on your computer, you can free the storage space in the mailbox on your mail server. You can configure Outlook if you want to deliver new items to a .pst file, but if you perform this you will see several drawbacks.

File location of Outlook Data File (.pst)

Windows 7 and Windows Vista     drive: \Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows XP     drive: \Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

However, there are circumstances when OST mails or the mail items become inaccessible. In such a situation, users need to convert OST to PST file format.

Some of the reasons when it became necessary to import OST to PST are described below:

  1. Sudden crash of MS Exchange server due to power failure, malicious software, virus attacks or any other reason. 
  2. Because of Exchange Server downtime or Exchange Server maintenance, users will not be able to access mailbox data
  3. Converting OST to PST might result in the recovery of OST data even after the accidental deletion of mailbox of users on the Exchange Server
  4. OST file to PST conversion would help the user to migrate the data from one place to another.
  5. OST file corruption due to software related issues, abnormal termination, server breakdown, Trojan infections, virus attacks, unintentional deletion of user accounts and etc. 

How to repair OST file and convert OST to PST?

There are two methods to perform the required task i.e. Manual Method and Third Party Utility. Manual method is easy to implement but also a time consuming process and not reliable. Third party utility is safe to use and a time saving process. OST to PST Converter is one of the most used application to convert OST to PST file within seconds. It is capable to convert multiple OST files at once with no loss of information and in exact form.

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