Using a .PST file from another drive

Problems, and the ways around them.

Users create a .pst (personal store file) to store messages that they consider important somewhere other than on

the Exchange server. Because of the criticality of the information, users may decide to "back up" the .pst file to some removable medium, such as a CD-ROM, for long-term storage.

That's a good idea, but there's a problem. When the user is ready to read the file from the CD-ROM, he can get messages such as "Properties for this information service must be defined prior to use," or "File access is denied. You do not have the permission required to access the file." The CD-ROM being read-only, and that prevents information from being written to the drive, because Outlook requires write access to .pst files.

If a user has a .pst file copied onto a CD-ROM and needs to use this file, then what can be done is to copy the file onto a directory of the workstation's hard drive and then under Services in Outlook, point the personal folders to use this file. When the user has completed using the file, copy the updated .pst file onto the CD-ROM, giving the file a different name so it would not conflict with the original one.

Or you can get the user a CD-RW disc and copy the .pst file onto this disc. In this way when the user wants to access the .pst file, all that has to be done is to point Outlook to access the file from the CD-RW disc.

The main thing to remember is that a .pst file can be read from any disc so long as you have write access to that disc.


Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.


This was first published in June 2003

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