Can I safely delete multiple PST files before upgrading to Office 2010 from Office 2007?

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E

elektragoddess

I have the following PST files in my >Local>Microsoft>Outlook> folder:

Outlook.pst - 254MB

Outlook1.pst - 1.1GB

Archive.pst - 2.4GB

Archive1.pst - 34MB

Archive2.pst - 537MB

All these files seem to be updating simultaneously, all the time.

In the Account Settings>Data Files, the Outlook1.pst is the default.

I think all these pst files appeared when I upgraded from 2003 to 2007.

(I also keep key .ost data files separately in a folder under My Documents.)

My questions: I am about to upgrade to Office 2010. Can I safely delete any of the pst files other than the default one? Also, should I completely uninstall Outlook 2007 (and all the other office products) before installing 2010. I have seen contradictory advice on this forum about upgrading.

Thanks

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

Probably a bad time to go about deleting files when you don't know what they contain.

Outlook does not support an upgrade sceanario. You must install Outlook clean and you must create a new Outlook profile from scratch after the new installation. Even if you uninstall Outlook, your old profile will remain and the new installation will attempt to use its settings even though they are no longer valid. Connect your new profile to your current Outlook data file using the instructions we post here every day:

Moving Outlook to a New Computer

http://www.howto-outlook.com/Howto/backupandrestore.htm

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA010771141033.aspx

Note that some of the information on the Microsoft page is outdated and contains errors, particularly when applied to Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010. Specifically:

1. Ignore any advice to copy your PST file to Outlook's default location to connect it to your profile. Doing so will often corrupt your Outlook profile. Copy it anywhere BUT the default location and then open it within your Outlook profile.

2. Ignore any advice that tells you to use export or import to transfer an entire Outlook data file. That has never been sound advice, but the process has become too deeply flawed to be trusted.

Also, when you use manual configuration for your mail accounts in Outlook 2010 (always preferable) it has a nice new option that lets you connect to a pre-existing data file when creating a new profile instead of having to jump through all the hoops of creating a new file, connecting to the pre-existing file, then disconnecting the new file.

Once you're done, open your other Outlook data files in the new profile to see if any of them contain information you still want or need.

Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

Russ,

Thanks very much for your comprehensive answer and advice re upgrading to 2010.

Outlook was the most challenging program to configure when I went from 2003 to 2007, and it seems that 2007 to 2010 requires a similar level of care and attention.

Do you mind if I ask another Outlook question?

When composing an email to an individual, Outlook invokes the Auto Suggest feature and nearly always shows email addresses for that individual that are ancient, and not in my current Contacts.

To date, that has been a minor irritant, except where the address suggested refers to someone who is dead and definitely deleted from my Contacts.

I understand that these Auto Suggested addresses come from the cache file outcmd.dat. I read on one of the sites you mention above that I should change theoutcmd.dat to .old and that will get rid of the problem. Is that correct?

Also, I have found that when synchronising with a Blackberry, all those old email addresses transfer to my Blackberry contacts list.

Do you have any comments or suggestions on resolving this caching problem?

Many thanks

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

Off by a mile. Autocomplete entries are stored in an NK2 file. Outcmd.dat is not in play. It stores customizations made to your toolbar.

Remove individual addresses from the autocompletion cache by highlighting the entry when presented in the suggested names list (use your arrow key to migrate to the entry) and then hitting your Delete key before you tab out of the field. To clear the entire cache, follow the instructions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/Q287623

Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

Thanks for the clarification.

I got confused by the info on this page http://www.msoutlook.info/question/24 and thought the solution was to reset the outcmd.dat file as described on this page http://www.msoutlook.info/question/19

I tried to remove the individual addresses as you suggest but after highlighting the entry, couldn't delete. The delete button didn't do anything.

So I will clear the entire cache as you suggest in your second para.

One further question...concerning synching contacts and calendar items with my Blackberry. On synching via the USB, I end up with duplicate addresses, duplicate emails often with (..) around them and duplicate calendar items.

Many thanks again for your wonderful support!

Tess
 
E

elektragoddess

Sorry, just one further question re installing the new 2010...

Should I uninstall the entire Office 2007 Suite?

Thanks

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

You must use the arrow key to highlight an autocompletion entry. If you use anything else, it won't delete.

Outlook plays no role in syncing whatsoever. Problems with syncing can only be solved by Blackberry. There's nothing anyone can do from the Outlook end of things.

Russ Valentine
 
R

Russ Valentine

The more completely you uninstall the better. Your data will not be removed, but always make sure you know where it is and back it up just in case whenever you change Office versions.Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

Russ, I am baffled.

I followed the instructions above to clear the entire cache by renaming the NK2 file.

This initially seemed to work but I just tested it again by typing the first name of someone I deleted some years ago from Contacts (because he's dead) and his old email address popped up.

Can you suggest what I do next?

Tess
 
E

elektragoddess

I have used the arrow key but pressing the delete button doesn't delete the address.

Also, as I've posted earlier, clearing the cache didn't work either.

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

You appear not to have renamed the NK2 file that is associated with that Outlook profile. Make sure you know which profile you are using and delete the NK2 file that bears its name.Russ Valentine
 
R

Russ Valentine

Then you have other problems with your Outlook profile. You may need to create a new one.

Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

Thanks Russ

I guess I'll wait until I install 2010 before creating a new profile.

Tess
 
E

elektragoddess

Russ, I have one further question about archive files.

I have three in the local folder. All have the same modified date.

What happens to them when I install the new 2010 version? Should I just re-locate them to a backup drive and let new Outlook create new ones?

Can you point me to a resource on the topic?

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

Open each of the archive files in Outlook to see what they contain. Consolidate any information you want to keep into one and back that file up.Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

Should I create the new profile first, and then open the archive files, or open them with the current profile?

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

Shouldn't matter unless you're having other problems with your profile besides corrupt autocompletion cache.Russ Valentine
 
E

elektragoddess

OK, thanks.

The autocompletion cache is the only problem that I can see.

Re consolidating the three archive files, is there a neat tip you can give me for that? :)

Tess
 
R

Russ Valentine

Nothing special. Just open each archive file in Outlook (File > Open > Outlook Data File...). See which one has the most items you want to keep. Drag and drop items items in the other files that you want into that one file. Make sure you close each file within Outlook before you delete any of them from Windows Explorer.Russ Valentine
 
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