I have a bit of a problem, I am running Exchange 2010 on my network - The majority of the machines on the network are running windows 7 pro on AD w/ a local exchange server.

about a month ago i was asked to replace an aging computer for someone in accounting, i did exactly that however the new machine was a windows 10 machine, the user was not concerned about anything on the old machine so i grabbed desktop items and since we have exchange i setup their mailbox and let exchange do the syncing and then i put the old computer back into service after reinstalling a fresh copy of win 7 pro on it.

That user up and quit, apparently the user liked storing passwords to websites in the local contact's folder in outlook 2010 on the old machine.

I have been asked to resurrect the contacts she had on the previous machine.

Now, I have the drive here with me, i have used recuva to scan the disk for deleted files and non deleted (wiped drive) files - the problem is i cannot locate or do not know where the contact are stored locally. i have read it's in the pst file, there is no pst file and my dumb self did not back it up before wiping.

I was able to recover an OST file, but i am told that an OST file is just a copy of what exchange has on the server.

Am i missing something? does outlook 2010 not sync all contact you enter in to the software with exchange? am i missing a step or is it right under my nose? do i even need the old drive? sorry for sounding frantic, apparently this person possessed some important passwords and prior to my arrival here nothing was ever backed up and no disaster recovery was ever put into place.

thank you for your help.


Contacts and Suggested Contacts are stored in the users mailbox when using Outlook 2010 with Exchange. If the mailbox still exists then you can export the Contacts from the mailbox.

Also, If you have the OST file and the user account still exists you can log on as the user and open the OST file with Outlook and check for the Contacts in the OST file.

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    New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox AccountantAlias -IncludeFolders “#Contacts#” - ExcludeDumpster -filepath AccountantContacts.pst – Dylan Knoll Sep 23 '16 at 23:11

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