MS Outlook uses Offline Storage Table (OST) file when the cached mode is enabled from an Outlook account that will associate it with Exchange Server. This file allows user to work in offline mode without connection to the Exchange Server. Any alterations made in the mailbox during this mode will be synchronized to Server when there is connection. However, due to several issues related to the OST file, most of the users wish to migrate OST to PST file. The article will be discussing methods on how user can carry out the migration from an OST file to PST file.
Methods to Migrate OST to PST
1. Using Import and Export Feature
Since MS Outlook does not provide any direct utility for the conversion of microsoft OST to PST file, we can use a workaround that will help users to export the data in OST file to PST file by following the steps below:
1. Click on Start> All Programs >MS Outlook
2. Select File Tab on the uppermost menu bar and click Open> Import
3. The Import and Export Wizard will be launched, where user will select ‘export to a File’ option and click on Next
4. Choose Outlook Data file (PST) among the available file formats given in the list and click on Next to proceed
5. Browse the mailbox folder from where the data needs to be export from and select Next
6. Define the destination location where the new PST file need to be saved and click on Finish
7. Ensure that new Outlook PST file is present in the location that has been defined by the user.
The drawbacks of using this approach is usage of the import and export feature needs user to have technical knowledge that most of the user lacks. Another point is it also needs the connection of MS Exchange Server in order to carry out the migration process.
2. Drag and Drop Items to new PST
The second approach involves user to create a new PST file in MS Outlook. We will select the desired mailbox items from OST, drag and drop them to the newly created PST file.
However, this method has weaknesses too that is user can migrate only the individual items from the OST file to the new PST file. In addition to this, folder structure and the default folders like inbox, drafts, contacts, etc. cannot be migrated. Instead, user can create another new PST file and reorganize all data accordingly. This approach is not much effective as it involves drag and drop of the individual items that can consume lots of unnecessary time.
Both the above methods do not support conversion of corrupted OST to PST files. However, MS Outlook provides an Inbuilt Repair Utility for the repair of damaged or corrupt OST and PST files. Earlier, scanost.exe was used to repair the OST files, which was later replaced by scanpst.exe in MS Outlook 2010 for repairing both OST and PST files. Though using this repair utility makes the corrupted OST file a healthy one, it cannot recover the complete data and takes unnecessary time. This utility will delete the corrupt part of the OST file making the file healthy and recovering only the uncorrupted part.
After considering all the methods that has some or other drawbacks, users can go for one third-party solution that overcomes all the drawbacks of the above manual methods i.e., Microsoft OST to PST Solution. It is an effective tool for the conversion of any OST file to PST and other file formats without any data loss. The software has been equipped with such feature that deals with any type of OST files regardless of their states from healthy to highly corrupted files. It ensures that the original formatting or the Meta-properties of all the data items in OST file is preserved after it has been converted to PST file. The tool supports selective export of the mailbox items in OST file and does not impose any size limitation on OST file. The best feature of the tool is that it extracts & recovers permanently deleted messages from OST file and presence of MS Outlook is not necessary for the migration.