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Outlook 2003 Personal Folders vanished . . . are they still there?

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by Anahid_ha, Jun 30, 2010.

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  1. Anahid_ha

    Anahid_ha Thread Starter

    Jun 24, 2005
    I see from previous threads that Outlook 2003 .pst folders appear generally problematic, but cannot extract an answer to my specific problem--perhaps it is beyond a novice? Appreciate any advice:

    Since installing Windows 7 I have received frequent notification upon opening Outlook 2003 that my "Personal Folders were not closed properly; they are being checked for errors." Since it always eventually opened, assumed it was just an annoying glitch to be endured.

    Most recently, however, Outlook could not open Personal Folders because they were "not available." After rebooting and retrying several times, I somehow apparently managed to force open new Personal Folders from which all my previous folder trees, mail contents, tasks, calendar, etc. are absent. (Mysteriously, several thousand e-mails dating back to February downloaded into the newly created folders.) Although the new Contacts folder is empty when I open it directly, I somehow retain addresses previously in my address book through the memory feature in the To box for new messages.

    Taking advice through previous threads, I located the mailbox.pst file, renamed it (mymailbox.pst) and saved it to my desktop. What I cannot now seem to do is restore it as it was back in Outlook again. Have tried "Open," "Data File Management" options, and "Import" all without success. The latter gave me back some of my folders (deposited under "Deleted Items"), but all folders were empty.

    On the further recommendation of previous threads, I downloaded the [supposedly!!] free trial version of Stellar Phoenix Recovery Pro to confirm that my data is intact within the file, but cannot save it without paying $129.00. This I will happily do if there is no other solution, but would appreciate any guidance if there is anything less costly I can do myself to restore my folders as the file does not seem to be corrupted--just unavailable! (Also, any words of wisdom on how better to safeguard data stored in PST files in future? My whole system backs up to an external drive automatically every week, but cannot seem to locate the missing .pst files on that drive right now--is there a better way?)

    Much appreciate any guidance--thanks!

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