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Moving PST file to new PC

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#1
JorgeA

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Hello,

I'm moving my work operations to a new computer. If possible, I would like to move my current Outlook 2007 .PST file to a separate Outlook 2007 installation (different installation disk) on the new PC. So as to prevent a total mess, I would stop using Outlook on the old machine and get new e-mail on the new machine only, but I would also like to keep a live copy of the current .PST file on the old PC in case the process goes wrong.

So, what I'd like to know is this: can I simply copy the existing .PST file over to the corresponding Outlook directory on the new PC, fire up Outlook there, and go on my merry way? Or is there something else I need to do (and if so, what is it)?

And what I'd like to avoid is this: setting up the new Outlook to receive and send e-mail from my various accounts. IMX this is the single most obscure, frustrating and error-prone process involved in using a computer, so having done it once (for my current PC), if at all possible I would like to avoid having to go through that all over again!! In addition, by preserving the current .PST file I could still do searches for previous items on the one unified file, instead of having to search in a variety of .PST files.

FWIW, the old computer is Vista x64 Home Premium, while the new PC is Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.

Thanks very much for any tips or ideas.

--JorgeA


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#2
Tommy

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Since nobody has answered this I'll take a slight stab at it even though I never dealt with Outlook 2007 before.

I use Outlook 2003 and when I want to backup my outlook.pst file, I simply type in %appdata% in the address bar and for Vista, you'd have to get out of the roaming folder and go into the local folder, then I think it's Microsoft\Outlook, and copy the .pst file. However, I think in order to get it back into your install, you'll have to go through the File/Import in Outlook in order to have it transfer correctly (I think just copy and paste caused several problems for me). But I think your other settings will be lost and all that'll be preserved in the pst file is your email, contacts, calendar, etc. You'd have to set up any email accounts all over again. Good luck if you haven't figured this out already.

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#3
DonDamm

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Jorge, the short answer is yes you can just copy the pst file and use it in another computer. I do it all the time because I carry a copy with me when I travel. You can even interchange the pst files of Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 which wasn;t possible with earlier versions. So, you could use Outlook 2010 on your new machine with no problem. Now, to use it in the new machine is fairly simple, too. Set up the Outlook and create an account. Then go to your Outlook.pst file (the new one) and either delete it or as I do, just change the name by adding a .orig to the extension (Outlook.pst.orig). Now open Outlook. It will complain and complain that it can't find the file. It will ask you where it is and you then point it to the old pst file from the old machine which you copied and presumably put in its own folder (maybe on a drive D:?? - good idea!). Now close Outlook and restart it again. It will now show the old pst file as your default. :^)

Note: while they did increase the allowed size of the pst file beyond the old 2GB limit, I don't recommend allowing the file to get larger than 500-900MB. When it gets that large things tend to slow down loading and finding anything. Either archive everything before a certain date or create another pst file and move everything before a certain date into it. You can always open a second pst file if you need something or want to move stuff to it.

You can also use the import/export feature to accomplish basically the same thing. I just think it's foolish to keep important data on the C: drive. That drive should be for the OS and installed programs only. This is even more important with an solid state drive. I use one of 128GB for that and everything else is on either Drive D: or E: internally ( I use E for backup images), or an array of other external drives which I power up when I need them. That way if I get a nasty virus or the OS fails for another reason, I don't lose any data or emails and even if I have to put in a new disk and load an image, I'm up and running in a very short time with no data loss. Mirroring you pst file to an external disk will also protect you if that internal disk D: dies.

Good luck with it! :^)
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#4
JorgeA

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@SearanoX
@DonDamm

Wow, after a month of no replies, I come back after Christmas and there are two good responses. Thanks, guys!

SearanoX: what you said jibes with what I found in my research as I was waiting to hear back on the forum. I guess what we can do is to move over the PST file but not the account settings, which for some reason getting them to work right has always been a huge pain in the neck for me.

DonDamm: Funny you should mention solid state drives and the size of the PST file. My Outlook file is about 4.5GB in size :wacko: and the new PC has a SSD, so this is actually the one data file that I've been planning to put on the SSD, in the hope that it would speed up loading. (In my work I find myself often searching for stuff in old e-mails, and -- depending on the number of archive files -- searching has turned out to double or triple the amount of search steps I need to take.)

With what I've learned about Outlook in my web surfing, and the info both of you provided, I think i'm finally ready to make "the big move."

--JorgeA

#5
Tommy

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I'm not sure if you can back up your account settings, i've never tried. There must be some way of doing it but I really don't know since I just use gmail and I have all the settings memorized. Do you use a special company type email or a web email for Outlook?

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#6
JorgeA

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If there is a way, I haven't found it in my Web searches. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and re-enter the account settings by hand.

I'll wait for the next long weekend. ;)

--JorgeA

P.S. to answer your question, no -- I don't have anything special. Just an e-mail address from my ISP and then Outlook to download and store the e-mails. I'm not too keen on leaving e-mail indefinitely on a server somewhere, it could go POOF in the blink of an eye.

#7
cdob

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can I simply copy the existing .PST file over to the corresponding Outlook directory on the new PC

Yes, it's possible to copy a pst file.
Data are available at other outlook.


And what I'd like to avoid is this: setting up the new Outlook to receive and send e-mail from my various accounts.

Account data are not part of a pst file.

How To Backup Outlook 2010 Email Account Settings?
http://www.walkernew...count-settings/

Windows Easy Transfer is integrated in Windows 7 by default.
And there is a Vista version http://windows.micro...s-easy-transfer

Or export/import [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles]

#8
JorgeA

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Huh, very interesting. Maybe there IS a way after all!

Thanks very much.

--JorgeA




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