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How do I make a back-up of Outlook 2000 to an external drive

by paulinepip / March 21, 2007 2:54 AM PDT

I need to know how I can manually back up my Office 2000 Outlook (particularly my calendar and contacts), to an external drive. I can find how to do it if it were Outlook 2003 or later but not 2000. Can anyone help please? Many thanks.

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Type this into
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2007 2:58 AM PDT


It's documented well enough for me.


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Re: outlook 2000 back up
by paulinepip / March 21, 2007 8:39 AM PDT

Thanks Bob. Gone to web page and ploughing my way through it all! Pauline

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Your Outlook message store and contacts...

are all located within your outlook.pst files.

To make back ups you simply search your hard drive for all *.pst files and back them up as and when you like. (if you boot your PC daily a simple batch file to perform the backup located in your startup folder will do the job.)

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Re Outlook 2000 back up
by paulinepip / March 21, 2007 7:54 AM PDT

Thank you Edward, Have located Outlook pst files and copied them to my external drive but when I try to open them in there I get a window saying "Windows cannot open this file. Windows needs to know what programme created it, Windows can go on line to do it automatically or you an manually select from a list of programmes on your computer etc etc". Am I missing something here or should I be able to see an exact copy of my calendar on my external drive? Pauline

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Backup is one thing. To restore you put this file back to
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2007 8:00 AM PDT

Put it back to where it belongs. Outlook could be very confused if you did manage to open this file. Please don't do that.


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Re: outlook 2000 back-up
by paulinepip / March 21, 2007 8:55 AM PDT

Right. I think I was getting a bit confused between back up and making a copy of my calendar. Am I correct in thinking that I can't make a straight-forward copy onto an external drive(as presumably the software isn't loaded there), but I can copy the file over to my external drive, as a back-up, and then if my computer dies on me, or if I lost all the contents of my calendar for example, I could copy the file back to my computer? Pauline

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Yes. Exactly.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2007 10:14 AM PDT

Copy the file or files to the backup drive. To restore them, install Outlook on the host machine, quit Outlook, copy the file back and then start Outlook.


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Re: Outlook 2000 back-up
by paulinepip / March 21, 2007 8:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes. Exactly.

Hi Bob
Thank you for confirming what I thought. I've copied the files to my external drive and they will sit there until I (hopefully won't!) need them.
Thank you for your help. Pauline

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Actually you CAN open those files...
by Edward ODaniel / March 22, 2007 2:38 AM PDT

without moving them back into the Outlook message store directory they were in.

FIRST you simply need to RENAME THEM to something other than Outlook.pst (or whatever name they had) because that "confuses" Outlook.

After renaming them you open Outlook then click on the File menu then select Open then opt for the "Personal folders File (pst)..." at which time the Open Personal Folders window pops up and you can use it to browse to wherever your copies are located, select the one you want and open it. It will show in the Folder List column and allow you to read it, copy files and even folders between it and your "Outlook Today (Personal folders)".

Are you taking advantage of Outlook's capability to ARCHIVE messages into PST files you name? That makes for a good temporary working "backup" that keeps your actual Outlook.pst file from becoming too large and unweildy.

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I don't suggest doing this since...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 22, 2007 2:59 AM PDT

Over 1/2 that did were complaining to me about confusion in Outlook about the folders. You'll have both the old and new and the mayhem was just not worth it. So I'll just help get the backup done, supply how to put it back and stop there.

You can imagine why I do that.


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Re: Outlook 2000 back up
by paulinepip / March 22, 2007 3:06 AM PDT

Hi Bob. Thank you. I really appreciate your advice and think I will just copy to back-up as you suggest. Pauline

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Re: Outook 2000 back up
by paulinepip / March 22, 2007 3:09 AM PDT

Thank you Edward. I'm sure it's not as complicated as it sounds (!), but I think I will just back-them up to my external drive rather than cause myself more confusion!! I am really very grateful to you for taking the time to explain all this to me. Pauline

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Outlook gets confused
by nickrusso / March 23, 2007 11:41 AM PDT

It sure does...

First, you should be aware that your Account Settings are NOT contained in the .pst files. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THIS IS ALL THE TECHNICAL STUFF THAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET OUTLOOK TO SEND AND RECEIVE EMAIL (POP3, SMTP, authentication, port numbers, passwords, etc), instead of sitting there doing nothing. If I remember correctly, in Outlook 2000 (you're lucky here, 2003 doesn't let you do this), you can go into Tools - Email Accounts and export your account settings. If I'm wrong, you will have to go into the same place and take screen shots (ALT+PrtScr) and paste (CTRL+V) them into a document (Word or Wordpad) of every single setting screen (don't forget to click the More Settings... button to get all of it). You want to keep this in a safe place with your other backups, and possibly print it out for reference. Also, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD(S) ARE. You can't see them on the dialog because they're stars.

I highly recommend making an Outlook Data folder in your My Documents folder. Make sure Outlook is not in memory (you may have to log out or reboot, or if you know how to stop the service in Task Manager), search you drive for all *.pst files, and move them from the search window into the new Outlook Data folder. You may want to rename your main Outlook.pst to "yourname.pst." Easier to keep track of it.

Now, when you start Outlook, it will have a fit! Don't worry, just browse to the new folder where you put your pst files and select your main Outlook pst file (even if you renamed it). It will connect and regenerate the shortcuts it needs.

You can then go to "File - Open - Outlook Data File" to connect to any other psts you have.

You should then get to your Autoarchive settings and tell Outlook where your archive file is now (in ...My Documents\Outlook Data). Otherwise it will start making a new one buried where you moved out of in the first place.

So why all this fuss?

First, Because MS designed Outlook so it couldn't open its own native files in the conventional way.

Then, in their infinite and inscrutable wisdom,they decided that instead of putting all your important documents (that's really what a pst file is) into the My Documents folder (which they invented for that purpose), they decided to put it into C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data, in this case C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook! Ever wonder where your Quick Launch folder is? Try C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch.

Well if you're geeky enough, you can reset most of this with tweaking tools and registry hacks (don't even go there) and put things in places that make SENSE to a human.

You had the right idea when you decided to make a FULL drive backup.

But between backups, if you just back up your My Documents folder (fast and easy), you shouold be cool with Outlook now. Acronis True Image ( is great for full backups, really easy, and very reasonably priced. Syncback (, free) makes folder backups fast and easy.

No, I don't have any investments in them!

Some good observations made by Edward ODaniel. And this is NOT as complicated as it sounds. MS is the one that made it complicated. If you follow these steps (jump in with any suggestions or corrections, anyone) it will then become really simple the way it should have been to begin with.

Well, good luck, Pauline, and always TEST your backups!

When in doubt, reboot...

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Thank you Nick
by paulinepip / March 25, 2007 8:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Outlook gets confused

You have really gone to a lot of trouble to give me advice and I do appreciate it. Away for several days so not able to digest all what you have said at this time. Will attempt to digest it when I get back! In the meantime many thanks for taking the time and trouble to help me. Pauline

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Personal Folder Backup
by wltseng / March 23, 2007 5:29 PM PDT
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Thank you Wong
by paulinepip / March 25, 2007 7:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Personal Folder Backup

for your help. Am away for several days so will try your suggestion when I return. Many thanks. Pauline

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Get yourself a copy of TopLang OE Backup v4.0

If you are only looking to back up the data files from Outlook, this is the easiest solution I can offer. Here is the BLURB on the product;
TopLang OE Backup utility is a backup tool for MS Outlook Express and MS Outlook. it can backup your mails, address book, signatures, message rules, block senders, accounts etc for Outlook Express and MS Outlook software. with its easy to use wizard interface, you can easily backup or restore your email data with Outlook and Outlook Express. It supports Outlook 97/98/2000/XP/2003 and Outlook Express 5.x/6.x.
The price of the program is only $27.75, and is the best program I've found. Here is the Web address for it;
Hope this helps,

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Thank you TMV
by paulinepip / March 25, 2007 8:09 AM PDT

I now seem have a massive load of info to help me with my problem! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I am away for several days but will look into what you suggest when I get back. Thank you so much again. I really appreciate your time - and everyone elses - for all the information I have received. I knew the CNET forum wouldn't let me down! Pauline

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