Friday, December 17, 2010

Extract Personal Emails and data from OST file after deleting the Mailbox

OST files are the exact replica of Server based folder and allows you to work in offline mode. Considering this relationship, OST file is just a slave and if somehow Master is deleted slave become orphaned. If mailbox has been deleted but profile is not deleted or modified then still you can recover ost file data. You can start the Microsoft Exchange client with the old OST and recover the data by moving messages from OST to PST file. You may also use third party ost to pst conversion software to convert orphaned OST file to PST file.

How to copy offline messages from OST to PST file:

1. Start the Exchange Client OFFLINE.
2. To add PST service click Services On the Tools menu.
3. Select the messages that you want to copy.
4. On the File menu, click Copy.
5. In the Copy to dialog box, select the personal folders (PST) that you have just created in step 2.
6. Click OK.
7. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for messages you want to copy from each folder.

The reason behind lost ost file data when profile has been modified is that security on an OST works so that Windows NT authentication cannot be used when you work offline.To ensure that you are allowed to log onto the master folder before local access to ost file, Exchange Server creates an encrypted "cookie" from your mailbox's unique entry ID when you are successfully loged in and this cookie is securely stored in your Exchange Server profile. Every time you try to access the OST file, it checks your profile for the existence of this key.

This way you can access the OST file data, if your mailbox is deleted but profile has not been modified. But when you modified the profile Microsoft Exchange replaces this key with a new value from the mailbox that was created and you can not access the data that was contained in the OST created against the first mailbox. in this case you can convert ost pst file to access the data of first mailbox.