Thursday, 18 September 2014

Resolve OST error issues and retrieve its data by converting into PST

MS Outlook and Exchange server together makes the business communication via email quite seamless and smooth. For every user, MS Exchange server creates a user profile which is unique in itself and can be accessed on MS Outlook. When the user profile is created for the account, an OST file is automatically created that maintains an exact copy of the mailbox which is present on the exchange server. It can be accessed in the offline mode and gets synchronized when the connection is setup.

All goes well until the synchronization of OST gets automatically done with the exchange server but when the OST starts showing abrupt behavior such as no synchronization even after the connection is set up or does not opens up easily then it implies that OST has probably gone corrupt. Sometimes the reason of OST file corruption is exchange server crash, exchange server downtime, accidental user account deletion, database corruption, virus intrusion, etc. but at other instances the occurrence of errors notifies that something has went wrong. 

Let us consider a real life scenario where a user tries to open an OST file to access the data items but due to security issues, was unable to do so. Upon trying he encounters the following error: 
Unable to open your default e-mail folder. The file
C:/Documents and Settings/User Name/Local Settings Application
cannot be accessed. You must connect to your MS Exchange Server at least once before you can use your offline folder file.
To get rid of this issue you can manually export this file to PST format and can try accessing it. To perform the steps by your own, follow the steps below:
  1. Launch the MS Outlook application
  2. Go to Tools Menu -> Account settings -> Email account -> More settings
  3. Now click on the Advanced tab and then select ‘Use cached Exchange Mode’ checkbox.
  4. Click Offline Folder File Settings and then locate the OST file by clicking on Browse button
  5. Start Outlook again.
  6. Now, click File -> Import and Export -> Export to a file -> Personal Folder File (.pst)
However, if these steps still does not enable you to access the OST file data items then you are left with only one option. That is, OST to PST conversion by using a commercial OST to PST converter tool. But the major question here is, how to choose the appropriate software amongst the variety of them available in the market? Well, you have to set your priority list based on which you can select the right tool for your needs.

First and foremost, the software should be able to deliver the precise results and should be compatible with the MS Outlook and Windows versions which you are using. Secondly, it should perform the task quickly and should be able to recover multiple files simultaneously so as to save time. To analyze the worth of the software before purchase, you can download and try its free demo version. One such proficient tool which is available with a free demo is Kernel for OST to PST software. It is an efficacious tool that recovers the corrupt OST along with all its data items quite accurately. Also, it allows recovery and conversion of multiple OST files simultaneously. Read more : -

Thursday, 4 September 2014

How to Recreate an Offline Outlook Data (OST) File in MS Outlook 2010

When you use an Exchange account, your emails and other mailbox items are stored on a mail server. If you want to work offline when Outlook is not connected to Exchange, you can do this by configuring offline mode (or Cached Exchange Mode) in Outlook. The offline working in Outlook is facilitated by OST. In offline or Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook keeps a local copy of emails and other mailbox items as offline Outlook Data File (OST).

Offline Outlook Data File (OST)

While working in the offline mode, the OST files hold the data of the Outlook profile. When Exchange connection is established, OST files are synchronized with the Exchange mailbox to make their data identical. As OST file is a replica of the Exchange mailbox, there is no need to back up OST. When necessary, Outlook can create it from the Exchange mailbox.

Synchronization Errors in Outlook

Sometimes you may find that items are missing or inaccessible in OST file or Exchange mailbox even after synchronization. This is because of errors in the synchronization. In earlier versions of Outlook, Scanost.exe (OST Integrity Check Tool) was available to fix the synchronization issues. However, it is not available in Outlook 2010. But users can re-create the OST file to fix the issue.

OST Corruption

If you are not able to open the OST file, you can presume that it is corrupt. Upon trying to open a corrupt OST, you may receive messages of the type:
  • OST file cannot be accessed in Outlook
  • Microsoft Exchange Server reported Error
  • Unable to expand the folder
  • Cannot open the emails folder. ‘The file xxx.ost  is not an offline file’
How Recreate OST File in Outlook 2010

Exit the Outlook application completely, before starting to create a new copy of the OST file.
  1. Go to Control Panel and click/double-click Mail.

  2. The Mail Setup dialogue box with the name of the current profile appears; click E-mail Accounts….
Note: To change to a different profile, click Show Profiles; select the required profile and click Properties.
  1. On the E-mail tab (of the Account Settings dialogue box), select the Exchange account; click Change.

  2. Clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode checkbox; click More Settings…

  3. Click Offline Folder File Settings on the Advanced tab.

  4. Click Disable Offline Use; click Yes in the appearing dialogue box.

  5. Again, click Offline Folder File Settings; click OK.

  6. Click Yes in the appearing dialogue box.

  7. Select the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box under Cached Exchange Mode Settings.

  8. Click OK; click Next; finally click Finish.

  9. Click Close in the Account Settings and Mail Setup dialog boxes
How to Fix OST Corruption Issues after Exchange Disasters and Crashes

It is not possible to recreate the OST file at a time when Exchange is down due to crash or disaster. But it is possible for you to use the offline files to establish the Outlook communication. For this you need to convert your OST files to PST using a professional tool like Kernel for OST to PST. To know more about this tool visit here:
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