Why OST File Cannot Be Retrieved – Reasons & Solutions

There are two types of file made while you work in Microsoft Outlook. One is PST (Personal Storage Table) and other is OST (Offline Storage Table). PST is made in local machine but, OST is made when local machine is connected to the Server. Since, OST file is associated with Server, it may sometimes happen that user is unable to retrieve OST file. So, for each such case, there are different possibilities and different solutions exist for them. Here we will discuss various situations and various solutions for these methods.
Why OST file cannot be retrieved?
OST file works on a particular MAPI profile. So, when you want to open a particular OST file, this can only be done when you log in to your account used to create OST file which you want to retrieve. Without doing this, Outlook application cannot open the Exchange OST file. It happens so because a particular user account for which user want to retrieve the OST file stores an encoded cookie in the register. This cookie is generated from unique ID of mailbox. The unique mailbox ID can only be retrieved when the machine is connected to the Exchange Server. So, it is clear that a connection has to be established previously in order to create the cookie and store it in MAPI profile. Hence, whenever a user connects in Offline mode, entire profile is checked to determine whether the cookie exist or not. If the profile is unavailable, OST will deny to load file. Along with it, a warning is also issued stating that connection to the server must be made to recreate the cookie.
Now Lets discuss various techniques depending upon various scenarios to retrieve emails from OST file.
Various Method for Retrieving Data from .ost File
Case1: The Exchange Account is in working state
As the matter of fact, OST file cannot be converted to PST directly. As stated above, OST is tied to a particular MAPI profile for which it is created. In order to follow the process, MAPI profile must be in working state and you have to log in with original MAPI profile at the same time. Once you are logged in, you can convert OST to PST file format. Go through the mentioned steps:
  1. Launch MS Outlook
  2. Open file and then Import Export Option
  3. Choose Export to a File from the various listed down options.
  4. Then select Personal Folder File (.pst)
  5. From the window, select mailbox folders to be exported to PST.
  6. Browse the location to save PST file.
  7. Go to Finish.
Note: This method is valid only when Exchange Server is in Working state and it has proper 
connection with MS Outlook.
Case2: Exchange Server is available but OST file to be retrieved is Corrupted
OST file is a complete replica of data saved on the Exchange Server. This implies, if the OST file is corrupted but the Exchange Server is working well, the file can be recreated and retrieved by downloading all the data again. OST is stamped with a unique ID so, some necessary steps have to be followed to recreate it. The steps are as:Locate desired OST file on disk.
  1. Right click on the file and select Rename.
  2. Change the extension of the file from .ost to .ost.old and click Enter.
  3. Now, access your Exchange Server profile and launch MS Outlook.
  4. MS Outlook will reconfigure the data file.
  5. The new OST file is free from any corruption and it can be retrieved without any errors.
  6. At this point, you have a healthy OST file and now you can follow steps in Procedure 1 to convert OST to PST data.
Case3: OST file is corrupted and the Exchange account is unavailable
The various reasons due to which the Exchange Account is unavailable are:
  • Exchange account is deleted by mistake
  • There is some issue with Exchange database
  • The exchange server is corrupted or crashed.
  • MS Exchange is upgraded or under maintenance and so, accounts are unavailable for access.
In this situation, user can go for a third party software i.e. OST Recovery. This provides an efficient and effective way to retrieve OST files. According to Experts, this is the master solution for retrieving emails from OST file.
In order to recover data from OST file, there are three different scenarios. And, for each scenario there are different solutions available. In case, OST file and the Exchange Account, both are active, then, recovery can be done using Import Export Option. In second case, OST file is corrupted but the Exchange is in healthy state, here, OST file can be retrieved. But, if both, the Exchange Server and OST file are in inactive state, at that time, user need to go for third party solution such as OST to PST Converter Software. Its can effective, accurate and fast solution. 

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