Using Outlook 2002 is not a choice but a compulsion as the organization is not willing to upgrade application version. Despite offering many benefits, the application is bounded with a major drawback and that is 2GB storage limitation. Exceeding this stipulated storage volume turns the file to inaccessible state.
Recently, I encountered this similar issue and as a result all my data goes out of the way. Initially, I thought of trying OST Crop tool but then I got to know that this utility work towards truncating 25 MB data from the file. In this instance, I could not afford to lose even a single bit of data so I dropped my decision.
While searching for third party solution, I found out OST Recovery tool and did a quick comparison of the features offered versus my requirements and priorities. I finally decided to deploy the tool as it seems to match majority of expectations.
The tool works towards recovering healthy data from offline folders and stores the recovered data components to PST. Apart from PST file format, the tool also provides the option to save email messages to EML and MSG formats. I decided to convert data to PST file after getting done with the recovery process.
Conversion to PST:
After recovery process is been completed, the tool displayed all the recovered items within its panel. I selected to convert data to PST file format as this way, all the mailbox components including emails, journals, notes, calendars, contacts, etc. can be restored into their respective folders. Further, this format can easily be accessed into Outlook and this also serves as backup.
Additional Features Offered while Saving to PST:
Split PST: The OST Recovery software is assembled with the feature of saving the PST file into smaller units. By selecting the fixed volume such as 1 GB; 2 GB; 5 GB and so on, data can be saved into smaller file volumes in case the original file carries larger data.
This property of the recovery software reduces the possibilities of corruption. The question arises ‘How’? This can better be understood with the help of an example;
Suppose, the affected PST file is ANSI type and stipulated storage limitation is the reason behind the existing corruption. While recovery and restoration procedure, this file can be saved into two partitions of 1 GB each. This way, the file can be prevented from future damage and the possibilities of data loss due to surpassing limit can be eradicated.
How EML Files are Helpful?
Here, the issue is that the PST files delivered by the tool are Unicode type and it is not supported in Outlook 2002. As I mentioned above that the tool has been employed after very careful analysis; this very issue can be resolved by converting email messages into EML or MSG format.
I further converted the email messages to EML files as they are considered the most flexible file format. EML files are highly adopted over Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and many other major Operating Systems. They can also be accessed over smart phones, tablets, desktop PCs, laptops, etc. Additionally, it is supported by both PC based as well as web based email apps.
Additional Features Offered while Saving to EML:
Naming Conventions: Single email message is saved per EML file and the tool provides the option to save each file with appropriate names. This characteristic feature not only offers more accessibility to emails but also offers to save the file in a organized structure.
Therefore, I converted the emails to this respective file format as then messages are not bounded with Outlook application only. I can now access my mail messages even on my smart phone.
Time Storage while Recovery & Restoration
The OST Recovery tool offers to restore email messages on priority basis. This means that the message that is of immense importance can be restored to the selected file format by providing the date particulars. Here, it is important to mention that the filters are available to emails data only and cannot be used for other mailbox components.
Suppose you have to recover emails from last 1 month span. Here, you can restore specified period email data by clicking on the checkbox available with ‘Mail Filter’ option. Next provide desired dates in the ‘From Date’ and ‘To Date’ columns. Select the destination path for storing the recovered data and it’s all done. The messages from last month will get restored on the selected location on the machine.
Export Selective Files\ Folders:
After completing recovery of integrated components from OST File, the tool displays the preview within the tool panel. Here, it provides the option to select specific items for recovery. This way, when selective items are exported, the task is done in a much faster speed. Moreover, it also provides the provision to export selective folders only so the unnecessary mailbox components such as ‘Shortcuts’ folder can be excluded from the list of items.
Ignore System Folders Option:
In addition to Email Filter, another time saving feature is that the tool also offers to ignore export of system folders. By clicking on the checkbox associated with this respective feature, system folder structure can be ignored and only the user folders can be exported to the selected file formats. Here, it is important to understand the concept of system folders.
What are System Folders?
While implementing Export process, different folders such as ‘IPM_COMMON_VIEWS’; ‘IPMRoots’; ‘IPM_VIEWS’; ‘Favourites’; ‘Finder’; ‘Recoverable Items’; etc. can be seen in the right pane of the tool. All these folders fall under ‘System Folders’ category.
Consecutively, the folders namely Inbox; Deleted Items; Calendars; Contacts; Drafts; Journals; Outbox; etc., comes under ‘User Folders’ section.
The latest version of the tool is v4.3 and it is available in the size of 16.2 MB. It can be downloaded on the machine configured with 1 GB RAM and 2.4 GHz system processor. The tool is flexible enough and can be installed on any version of Windows Operating System.
Corrupted OST files from all the version of Outlook application are supported, but the recovered files can only be accessed over 2003 and updated versions. Live Exchange environment is not required for recovery or restoration process as it supports orphan OST files too. On the contrary, it is mandatory that MS Outlook must be installed and configured with the web based email profile.
Opinion Based on Experience
The characteristic features of the OST Recovery software are that it not only recovers corrupted OST files, but also capable to support orphan offline folders. It provides additional storage features such as ‘Split PST’, ‘Naming Conventions’, ‘Email Filter’, etc. while restoring data to the selected file format. Thus, it can be concluded that the tool is an ultimate recovery solution assembled with complementary features that works with complete accuracy.