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After doing a backup, then a reinstall of a client's Windows XP computer I forgot to create a .pst of their mail from outlook 2003. I have all the data from the old installation but I don't know where Outlook 2003 stores its data.

Where abouts can I find this data?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

c:\documents and settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

by default for PSTs

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Outlook 2003 saves its data in so called "Personal Folder Files" .pst, which is an acryonym for "Personal Storage Table."

The .pst personal folder file is stored in a folder of your Windows profile. If you don't change the path manually, the standard path on a Windows XP installation is

C:\Documents and Settings\PROFILE_NAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

One important advice: if the user had "auto archive" enabled, there could be another (or more) .pst in your backup: archive.pst. The file contains objects which were exported in order to keep the main .pst file from growing too large. Search for all *.pst files.

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If the data hadn't been backed up, the default file for the Outlook account files won't be .PST, but .OST. Only backups and archives will have the .PST file extension.

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.ost: if you're using Exchange with offline cache. I guess he wouldn't need a backup, if the data is still on an Exchange server. – splattne May 27 '09 at 6:12

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