Can't open newer PST files
May 2, 2007 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I have .PST files created via Outlook (Win) 2003 that I need to look into. However, I have Outlook (Win) 2000 on this computer, and it can't read a newer version (thanks, Redmond). Is there some other way to open these?
posted by pax digita to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I believe your only answer is to get outlook 2003, or export the stuff in the PST to some kind of interchange format from the computer with OL2003.
posted by aubilenon at 12:13 PM on May 2, 2007

There are some computer forensic tools that do this. One is Paraben E-mail examiner. It normally costs $200, but there is a demo with limited functionality that will let you look inside, but not export. This might suit your needs.
posted by procrastination at 12:18 PM on May 2, 2007

If you have easy access to go back to the system with Outlook 2003 on it, do what aubilenon says and export it to a different file format that Outlook 2000 will accept. I would guess CSV is a good option.

If you can never get back to that system and re-export, there are some utilities that will help.
posted by poppo at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2007

of you cant get back to the system with outlook 2000. download a trial of office 2007 import then export as cvs
posted by moochoo at 12:44 PM on May 2, 2007

I think you can still get a test version of Office 2007.
posted by theora55 at 12:55 PM on May 2, 2007

as moochoo said, of course...
posted by theora55 at 12:56 PM on May 2, 2007

You'll need Outlook 2003, obviously.. but the easiest method I have found is:

1. Using OL 2003, Create a PST file in the old format (2000). You should then have two "Personal Folder" trees on your list on the left hand side of the main Outlook window: One in 2003 format and one in 2000 format.

2. Drag and drop folders from the 2003 format folder tree to the the 2000 format folder tree.
posted by wesley at 2:53 PM on May 2, 2007

Response by poster: OK, Outlook 2003 is unavailable to me. The Paraben utility did not recognize the .PST files natively, and I got "MAPI login failed" when I tried it. Aid4Mail also did not recognize any messages in the .PST files, so we'll see what we get when the Office '07 trial finishes's freaking huge.
posted by pax digita at 5:56 PM on May 2, 2007

Um, there's a tool written for converting .PST files to a standard .mbox format, which is accessible by things like Thunderbird. It's called O2M (Outlook to Mac), it's $10.00 shareware, and it worked flawlessly for me when I switched. From the Thunderbird FAQ:
How do I export e-mail messages to another mail program or computer?

Thunderbird's mail files are in the standard plain text "mbox" format, which almost all mail programs can use or import. Many proprietary mail programs have a function to import from Eudora, which also uses the "mbox" format; this function should read your Mozilla mail files properly.

Your mail files are inside your profile (see the Profile Folder), in the Mail and (if you use IMAP) ImapMail folders. Each mail folder (Inbox, Sent, etc.) is stored as two files — one with no extension (e.g. INBOX), which is the mail file itself (in "mbox" format), and one with an .msf extension (e.g. INBOX.msf), which is the index (Mail Summary File) to the mail file. Tell the other program to import mail from the file with no extension.

If you want to transfer a mail file to another Mozilla profile or another installation of Mozilla, simply put the mail file into the other installation's Mail folder.
It's a long way around, but it's cheap / free, no limitations, and quicker download than the Office 2007 demo. Hope this helps!
posted by ZakDaddy at 6:24 PM on May 2, 2007

mozilla has an excellent article on converting pst to mbox
Import .pst files - MozillaZine Knowledge Base
There is also some excellent tools and ways to do it on this page he has all sorts of mailbox conversion tools on there

Mark Lyon's GMail Loader (GML) - Import Your Mail into GMail

If you are just sold on outlook and don't want to use thunderbird you can use outlook express to import mbox files and than move them into outlook 2000 or use a tool to convert your mbox file to a more compatible pst
posted by the_binary_blues at 8:32 AM on May 17, 2007

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