Turning off PST compacting in Outlook?
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Thread: Turning off PST compacting in Outlook?

  1. #1
    oldie ric-o's Avatar
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    Question Turning off PST compacting in Outlook?

    I'm working a forensics issue and need Outlook help...

    Does anyone know how to turn off the auto compacting feature of Outlook? I've read that after a particular PST file has approx 20% whitespace (from deleted items) it starts compacting the file. I need it to not do this so I can recover any deleted items.

    I know the trick to use when trying to recover recent deleted items that are purged from the Deleted Items folder but need to keep Outlook from reusing that space and thus wiping out the deleted items.

    I Googled for hours looking for this info with no luck so I figured I'd see if any AO gurus knew the answer.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Do you mean Outlook proper or Outlook Express?

    Which version is it?

    Cheers

    EDIT: In Outlook Express (6.0) the wasted space factor in a .pst file is defaulted to 20%

    open the Inbox
    <tools>
    <options>
    <maintenance>

    I would uncheck the "compact messages in the background" box , and set the wasted space factor to 100%. That should stop it compacting even an "empty" folder, but you never can tell with MS.............it would be lousy programming if it did

    I have only had a chance to look at Outlook97. It does not seem to autocompact, it looks as if you have to do it manually. I am not sure of the versions that ship with Office2000, 2002 and 2003........................please let me know what you are using, I would expect the procedure to be pretty similar.
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  3. #3
    oldie ric-o's Avatar
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    Outlook 2002.

    Yeah, I found that tip for Outlook Express but Outlook 2002 doesn't have that.

  4. #4
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Are you talking of the Auto archive feature??
    Tools&gt;Options&gt;Other

    Not sure if I am on track here...sorry if I misunderstood your question
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Morgan~ autoarchive is where it saves older items that you WANT to keep. Compacting is the feature that "defrags" the current post box file.

    Ric-o as you confirm that you have Office/Outlook 2002 (sometimes known as Office XP) I have a machine like that I can set up for testing.

    You might have another issue though, as the deleted files are quite likely to get overwritten, just like any other file. You might consider unchecking the "empty deleted items folder on exiting" That means that today's deleted items won't get overwritten by tomorrow's

    Are you sure that Outlook 2002 actually has an autocompact feature.

    I can remember on many occasions having to talk people through compacting O. Express when they were having performance issues. I do not recall that problem with the full Outlook product.

    Are you sure that it actually does autocompact?

    Cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
    AO Guinness Monster MURACU's Avatar
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    As far as i know you have to manually compress your pst files in outlook 97 etc. the other thing to considier is if you are using exchange server.
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  7. #7
    AOs Resident Troll
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    I guess I misunderstood

    Anyway...we have users here that never empty out thier deleted items....
    they have deleted items that go 6 years back to when we first installed outlook and the Exchange server

    .so if you turn it off like nihil has suggested ...it should work....but whats stopping the user from emptying the deleted Items folder???

    One thing about .pst files is if they get past 2 gigs they can become corrupted. I guess thats where the Auto Achive feature may come in handy.


    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Morgan~ I think you might have discovered another issue.

    I think you would also need to disable:

    "empty the deleted items folder on exiting"

    "when online synchronise all folders upon exiting" and

    "delete expired items when AutoArchiving"

    Ric-o is this machine on a local mailserver using Exchange Server, or is it a machine that is stand alone and/or has an external mail provider.

    Cheers
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
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    Within Outlook 2003 if you go Tools&gt;Options&gt;Other&gt;Auto Archive at the bottom there is an area for Retention Policy. Not sure if this applies to 2002.

    Have not got time to investigate further. Hope this helps.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Yes jinxy it is there in 2002 as well, but the policy has to be set by the network administrator
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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