While working with offline folder files or OST files, you occasionally face synchronization problems that can only be resolved by creating a new OST file. However, one has to be careful that no data is lost in the process or that one does not end up damaging the information in the Exchange Server mailbox. Our article looks at how to create a new OST file so as to resolve synchronization issues.
If you have been using the offline folder feature in Outlook, you would have found it to be a very valuable feature since it lets you work even if you are not connected to the Exchange server or if the network gets disconnected. By allowing you to work with an identical copy of the contents of the mailbox stored on the Exchange Server, you can work without the fear of any interruptions. Further, since Outlook allows you to regularly synchronize the data between these locations, you can be sure of always working with the most current copy of the mailbox. At times though there can be synchronization problems that leave you with only option – to convert old OST to PST data and then create a new OST file.
When you start facing synchronization problems and suspect that there are problems with either the local OST file or the mailbox located on the Exchange Server, you could take the following steps to understand if the offline folders have been synchronized correctly. Check the properties of any folder and under the Synchronization tab, note what the statistics for the folder are. Note down details like when the folder was last synchronized and in particular, how many items the server folder contains and how many items the offline folder contains. If the synchronization has been working properly, you will find the same number of items in both the server and the offline folder. If there is any discrepancy, you can be sure that there is some problem with the synchronization feature. Save your old OST data by converting OST to PST and then see if you can create a new OST file to solve this problem.
At times, you may find that all folders other than the Inbox are getting synchronized or worse still, that the folders are not getting synchronized at all. This may have to do with a damaged OST file and to resolve this problem, you will have to create a new OST file. To do so, save the old OST file under another name. You can now click on the Send/Receive All button in Outlook to create a new OST file locally and start the synchronization process. Since the new OST file simply replicates the items stored in the Exchange Server mailbox, it does not damage any other information in the Server mailbox or in the old OST file.
So long as the old OST file is not damaged, you can still convert OST to PST data by copying the data into the personal folders file. You can then use Outlook to easily access this data. If the OST file is damaged, you may have to carry out a recovery process that will restore the data in the file else this information may be lost forever. One of the simplest ways of implementing this recovery process is by using tools specially developed for this purpose such as DataNumen Exchange Recovery from DataNumen. With the ability to carry out batch recovery as well, this tool will ensure that data loss from your damaged OST file is kept to a minimum.