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Recovering M$ Outlook email folders.....


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Logie

 
Member Since: Aug 16, 2011
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We had M$ Office Suite 11 installed on a MacBook Pro. The entire suite was uninstalled and then subsequently reinstalled. The Outlook email files from the first installation were not backed up. It was thought that they would not be deleted during the uninstall. However, after the reinstall, we have not been able to locate the old emails. Is there someplace within the Mac that I need to look for them? Would they have been deleted during the uninstall... without warning!?!?! Careers are hanging on this one.
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EvenStranger

 
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Microsoft stores its user data in the user's ~/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data folder. If the old information is anywhere, it should be there. However, if that folder was manually deleted, everything's gone, unless there's a backup somewhere. Boot Outlook holding down the Option key, and you should be able to select the appropriate user database if it's still there.

Oh... is Lion installed? If so, it's possible it did a TimeMachine backup to its internal drive and those files might be recoverable.
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Logie

 
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Thanks for the reply. Holding "Option" and opening Outlook didn't give a database choice. It just opened Outlook to the current identity that we now have set up on it.

This is the path we have searched for the old database files.
Users/administrator/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Database

There is a Database file there. It's size is 204 MB. Attempts to open the Database are met with failure. Perhaps this is normal? There is one sub-folder in the Main Identity folder that when opened leads to all of the emails that have come into Outlook since the re-install.

We know that the old email files were not manually deleted. Are we missing something? Should there be a folder called something other than Main Identity? Or, when we did the reinstall and set up a different email account, might that have overwritten the emails in the Main Identity folder (thus, rendering us screwed)?

And no.... Lion is has never been installed. However, there are now backup provisions in place to avoid future issues.... just still need to recover the past... Any and all suggetions are welcome.
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schweb

 
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Wow "M$" really? You'd probably get more help if you didn't feel the need to post things like that.

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Logie

 
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Just habit. Nobody ever seems to care on Windows forums.... it never occurred to me that anyone would care on a Mac forum.... forgive me if I offended.
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Is Administrator the only user on the computer? Each user will have their own directory, like Windows' Documents and Settings folders. If there is a second user (inside /Users), log in as the other user and try again. The files from one user won't be visible by the others, so Find and similar searches won't pick them up.
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Logie

 
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Administrator is the only user.

Is it likely that the old email files were still on the HD after the uninstall, but then obliterated when the new installation took place under the same Administrator ID?
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EvenStranger

 
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I've not seen that happen, but I guess it's possible. The only other thing I can think of is checking the trash to see if it might still be hanging out there. But apart from that, I'm not sure what to recommend. You could download the trial version of Data Rescue and see if it recovers anything... you wouldn't have to pay for it unless there was data you wanted to recover.

You might also open Terminal and type:
sudo find /Users -name "*olk*"
(enter password)
and see what it finds... maybe it got moved to another directory and is just hiding.
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Logie

 
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What is "*olk*"? I know it's a wildcard search, but for what?

BTW, thanks for hanging in there with me. This Mac thing is all new to me.
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EvenStranger

 
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No worries - It's a wildcard search for any olk based file, or Outlook - either mail or event.

Entourage, from Office 2008, kept all messages in a single database file. If that file got corrupted, all messages were lost. With 2011, the database file and the messages are separate. The database keeps track of them, and each message is a single file, similar to how mbox files are stored.
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Logie

 
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All of the files being returned are the email files that have come in since the reinstallation. Sounds to me like there is no hope. Agree?
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EvenStranger

 
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Agreed, unless Data Rescue finds something. Wish I had better news for ya. Hope it works out ok.
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Logie

 
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Thanks for everything. I don't hold out high hopes for the Data Rescue because the data files would have gone missing on July 1 and we are now just realizing it in mid-August. Live and learn....

Many thanks.
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