TAG: Personal Storage Table

Outlook PST Files Should Not Be So Difficult To Work With, Still

Outlook07-LogoOh Microsoft, in February of 2010 you released the (now legendary) piece of documentation called the “Outlook Personal Folders (.pst) File Format“. In that you described the Personal Folders File format in glorious detail. Details that only a programmer or a Uber-Geek would love. When this came out I thought that we would usher in a new era of tools and interoperability on all platforms. We would see the end of all this hard-to-reach-data sitting in far flung PST files that most users wouldn’t be able to access. See, I’ve written often about Outlook and PST files. I want to see a day that users could open up PST files on a Windows computer like they might open a text file. Well, sadly, that day is not here yet.

Recovering data from Outlook OST files

Outlook07-LogoOne sort of Voodoo reserved for IT guys is the recovery of certain types of mail data. Outlook keeps mail data in two types of files – the PST (Personal Storage) file and the OST (Offline Storage) file. If you look to Microsoft for the “Official” word on getting mail data out of the OST file, you’ll be met with “not possible” or “not supported” or some version of those words. In the world of IT, when you need to get at user’s mail data – “not possible” is not going to cut it. Here’s how you can get some (or all) the mail data out of OST files.

How To Limit or Disable PST Use in Outlook (03, 07) with Group Policy

Microsoft Outlook 2007 LogoIt might seem somewhat difficult to find the information you’re looking for on restricting Personal Folder Storage file (PST) usage in Outlook – if that information also relates to using the Group Policy editor to achieve this – even worse. The Group Policy (especially in a Active Directory domain) is great for controlling certain settings for Windows or user applications. One particular situation the group policy is great for is to control some of the Office 2003/2007 settings that you might not want the user to mess with. Users often have the habit of just saying yes to questions like “Do you want to Autoarchive?” and then looking confounded when they can’t find important email messages.

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