Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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hlewton
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Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

I will try to describe this the best I can. I back up my Outlook data files. the file is named Outlook.pst. Once I have compacted it, I close Outlook and copy Outlook.pst to external drives for safe keeping. In attempting to do this today I got a dialog box saying something to the effect of this file can’t be copied because another process has it locked.

Outlook was closed so how could I have determined what was stopping this copying process? What had it locked?

I tried copying it to 2 of my external drives and got the same message. So I rebooted and then was able to do the copying I wanted.

After rebooting, the 2 external drives I mentioned above apparently didn’t have the file Outlook.pst on them any longer because it copied direct to the drives without asking me if I wanted to replace the file that was supposed to be there. The remaining drives all copied as they should by asking me if I wanted to replace the file stored on them. Any idea what happened and why the files on these external drives seemed to have been deleted?

This is a weekly process for me and this has not happened in the past. I’d like to avoid it in the future if possible.

Thanks
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hlewton

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HansV
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by HansV »

About the first problem: one possible explanation is that an invisible copy of Outlook was still running, locking the .pst file.
Another is that Outlook failed to release the .pst file when it was closed; such things occur occasionally. Rebooting solved this problem.

I don't understand the second problem: if the file were copied directly to the external drive, I'd expect the copies to be present.
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Hans

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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HansV wrote:
11 Nov 2021, 13:56
I don't understand the second problem: if the file were copied directly to the external drive, I'd expect the copies to be present.
Thanks for the explanation.

Here is what I was trying to say. I keep a copy of that pst file on my external drives, all of them. The 2 external drives that I got that error message on when trying to copy the updated pst file to apparently no longer had those pst files on them. When I copied the file to them after rebooting it went immediately to them as if it were a new file for that drive. It did not ask me to replace one that already existed on it. Somehow when getting that error message it deleted the existing file on that particular drive I was trying to copy the new pst file to. I hope that explains what I am talking about. I know it is confusing.
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hlewton

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HansV
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by HansV »

When you attempted to copy the files the first time (when it failed), were you prompted to overwrite the existing files?
If so, and if you clicked Yes, Window first deleted the existing files from the external disk, then tried to copy the files from your hard disk and failed.
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Hans

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

HansV wrote:
11 Nov 2021, 16:32
When you attempted to copy the files the first time (when it failed), were you prompted to overwrite the existing files?
If so, and if you clicked Yes, Window first deleted the existing files from the external disk, then tried to copy the files from your hard disk and failed.
Yes I was prompted to overwrite them. I didn't know Windows first deleted the existing files when the copying process failed. But it makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
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hlewton

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John Gray
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by John Gray »

You might want to consider a backup mechanism which makes use of VSS, so that you don't need to close Outlook while making the backup of the PST file? That will avoid any problem with the PST file being locked...
John Gray

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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Thank you John Gray for the suggestion.
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hlewton

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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I didn't want to start a new thread so I hope it's OK to ask this here. If I block a sender or a domain within my Outlook program does it put that block in the blocked list of my ISP's webmail server where my emails come into before they are downloaded to my computer? I am thinking it doesn't because I see those I have blocked within Outlook go into my junk folder in Outlook. If they were blocked in the webmail server, I don't think they would reach my Outlook.

I just got off the phone with, what is supposed to be support from my ISP. There are a whole lot of blocked domains and email addresses in the settings of my webmail server. I know I never put them there and he claims they would not have just arbitrarily assigned blocked emails or domains. He thought maybe those I blocked in Outlook transferred to the webmail server. I don't believe that thus my above question.

How would I end up with so many blocked sites in my webmail server? I looked through all of them and there were none I would want to remove but, still, I have no idea how they got there to begin with.
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hlewton

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HansV
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by HansV »

I'm afraid I have no idea, sorry.
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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

HansV wrote:
11 Nov 2021, 19:10
I'm afraid I have no idea, sorry.
OK, thanks.
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hlewton

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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by JoeP »

AFAIK, Outlook does NOT automatically update server blocklists. Perhaps there was something when you setup the email account to import the list.
Is this an Exchange based mail?
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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JoeP wrote:
12 Nov 2021, 15:28
AFAIK, Outlook does NOT automatically update server blocklists. Perhaps there was something when you setup the email account to import the list.
Is this an Exchange based mail?
Joe I agree with you about updating the server because it only seems to make sense. I am not sure what an Exchange based mail is. I know when I set up the Outlook to receive my email it is POP/SMPT servers so I would think that means it is not an Exchange server. I never had a list of blocked accounts anywhere near as long as the one that exists on the webmail server. I have probably blocked less than 25 sites in all the time I have used Outlook and the list on the webmail server is in the hundreds. I never heard of any of them. That is what is really confusing.

Thanks
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by JoeP »

POP does not preclude having an Exchange server. Who is your email ISP?
Joe

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

Spectrum.
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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

JoeP wrote:
12 Nov 2021, 16:31
POP does not preclude having an Exchange server. Who is your email ISP?
Spectrum. I'll call them and see if they use an Exchange server because I know of no other way to find out.
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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

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OK I just talked to my ISP people and she had me so confused. First of she had no idea what I meant when I ask if the webmail server was an Exchange server. Her answer was it was a POP or IMAP server. But, she said my Outlook program was an exchange server. I didn't think so but didn't argue with her. I told her maybe she was thinking of Outlook.com because she said Outlook was like Hotmail.com.

She also wanted me to switch my Outlook settings from POP to IMAP. So I called the fellow who works on my computers. His answer was that the webmail server I get my emails from is a POP3 server, not an exchange server. He also said I should not switch from POP to IMAP. So bottom line, I believe I do not use an Exchange server.
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by JoeP »

In my experience with Spectrum, the first-level support people are terrible. They go from a script and do not deviate. Almost all of them no little about tech details. Spectrum is not an Exchange-based email system.

BTW, email detected as junk by Spectrum is handled based on a setting in your Spectrum email account. It may be delivered to Outlook if your setting supports that. You have to access their webmail interface to check and/or change the setting.
Joe

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hlewton
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Re: Backing Up Outlook PST Data Files

Post by hlewton »

JoeP wrote:
13 Nov 2021, 15:46
In my experience with Spectrum, the first-level support people are terrible. They go from a script and do not deviate. Almost all of them no little about tech details. Spectrum is not an Exchange-based email system.

BTW, email detected as junk by Spectrum is handled based on a setting in your Spectrum email account. It may be delivered to Outlook if your setting supports that. You have to access their webmail interface to check and/or change the setting.
Thanks Joe. You are so right about the first level support people. It seems the only way I can get past them is to ask to have a ticket created and then wait until someone calls me back. That is a pain in the rear.

I have been in my Spectrum's webmail the last couple days. I saw what I mentioned above, all those blocked accounts, that I didn't block. I asked them how they got there and they said I had to have done it. At that point I knew there was no sense in arguing about it. From what you just said, I am assuming that Spectrum decided these blocked accounts were junk, based on some setting, and placed them in the blocked folder. As far as getting them delivered to my Outlook, the only thing I saw that would accomplish that was to "remove" them individually from the blocked folder. I only removed one, support@paypal.com, because the rest I had never heard of.

Now I have to ask since I only addressed getting the blocked sites delivered to my Outlook, what setting in my webmail account would tell Spectrum what sites to block?
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hlewton