MS Exchange Server is a powerful mail server from Microsoft and it stores data as EDB files. Outlook data files (.ost) are used when we want to work offline with Exchange Account or to use Default Cached Exchange Mode. OST is the exact replica of an individual mailbox in EDB file and so it contains all the details such as emails contacts, tasks, journals etc. Sometimes the access to OST files may not be possible.
Reasons for OST Inaccessibility
Corrupted Files: MS Outlook cannot access the corrupted OST files since its properties are altered. There are various reasons for OST file corruption. Some of them are:
Error in network connection leads to abortion of Synchronization process of OST with Exchange Server. This may corrupt the OST files.
Hard disk failure due to bad sectors on the disks may corrupt the files. This makes the OST files read only or shows some error messages while accessing the files.
Virus attack or Malwares may damage the Exchange OST files. Always install a good quality Anti-virus to protect the Outlook OST files from virus attack.
Abnormal termination of Outlook can take place because of the power failure or accidental closing of Outlook while accessing OST can corrupt the files.
Orphaned OST Files: Suppose the Exchange server administrator accidently deletes the mailbox from server. The OST files with Outlook becomes Orphan. The access of these orphan files to Outlook is not possible, it shows error message.
The hard drive failure at server side may also lead the OST to an orphan state. The hard disk failure can be due to physical damage or due to bad sectors on the disk.
There exists an encryption key between MAPI and Outlook profile to synchronize the OST files. The OST files become orphan if the Encryption key is lost.
Transfer Outlook OST to PST: A Solution!
PST files are more flexible than OST files, so transferring data from OST to PST will be beneficial. PST files can be accessed in any Outlook profile and can work offline too. PST files can hold Emails, calendars, journals, tasks etc i.e. similar to OST files.
Archiving is one of the methods to converting data from OST to PST. Archiving is the process of moving data to safer location as backup. Archiving can be done in five steps:
Click File option then Archive.
Select the file or folder to Archive.
Browse the location to Store the Archived file in PST.
Method 2: Exporting
Exporting of the OST files to PST is another method of transferring data from OST to PST. For exporting follow the below mentioned steps:
Go to File and then select Import and Export
Select Export to a file.
Then choose PST format
NOTE: The Manual conversion of OST to PST is possible only if the Account exists in Exchange Server. Outlook must be Installed and connected to the Exchange Server in the local system.
The manual conversion may not be solution for corrupted files or Orphan Files. Third party conversion tools such as OST Recovery may assist to convert the OST files to PST files. This provides options to convert OST to PST/MSG/EML. It is recommended to try the demo version and purchase the tools if it meets all the requirements.