Is there an easy and/or cost-efficient way of aggregating 5GB of .pst files into a searchable database?
December 17, 2003 2:17 PM   Subscribe

So I've got a stack of CDs with all kinds of miscellaneous data, but most importantly, 5 GBs plus of .pst files from Outlook. Is there an easy and/or cost-efficient way of aggregating these files into a searchable database?
posted by monju_bosatsu to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
This document gives you the general idea of how you can import a pst into Access. I hope that's helpful
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2003

I've been looking for a way to do this exact thing. I found a way to get it into Access, but it strips all the times and dates (and much of the other auxiliary data), which makes it worthless for me. I want all of the actual PST data.

dodgy, the link you posted looks good, but I think it's only for Office 2003, which not many people have yet.
posted by oissubke at 3:00 PM on December 17, 2003

I think MailNaviagator will do what you want. It's also a client, but you could just import the PSTs and use the search features.
posted by j.edwards at 5:21 PM on December 17, 2003

Access databases can be no larger than 2 GB. At 2GB, you will experience failing queries and odd, inconsistent errors. So, unless the data compresses 2.5 times (maybe you could throw away some of the fields and squeeze it in), you'd need something else, or multiple .mdb files linked together.
posted by crunchburger at 7:14 PM on December 17, 2003

You can, however, use Access to generate flat SQL files which you can then import into MySQL, which doesn't have a 2GB limit.
posted by SpecialK at 8:25 PM on December 17, 2003

I've never used it, but a couple of friends of mine who have a lot of stuff on CD to organize highly recommend cdfinder.
posted by majcher at 9:01 PM on December 17, 2003

A pst file is an Access database, to all intents and purposes.

If there's an answer, you'll probably find it at Slipstick, the resource for all things Outlooky.

I also found this and this.

I used to work with Outlook/Exchange for a living. If you have any skills at all in writing Visual Basic, it's incredibly easy to write code to export data in any form you desire. MSDN has tons of code samples, as does Slipstick (which may have a pre-written solution linked for your pleasure).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:59 AM on December 18, 2003

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