Tech Support banner

21 - 35 of 35 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
41,823 Posts
I open Outlook app when I log on each morning and I close it when I'm logging off. This locks the PST file, so it would never get backed up.
Your Outlook Data file (.PST) is saved automatically every time you close Outlook. The default location of the Data file C:\Users\[UserName]\Outlook. If you create any Personal Folders in Outlook to save your Emails, they will create additional .pst files. Introduction to Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost) Any backup program that backs up your User files, also backs up the .pst files automatically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks spunk.funk

Can I clarify - As I said earlier, I currently use Windows File Explorer to "back up" my important data files. I do a simple copy/paste. I cannot do this for my PST files when Outlook is open. I currently have three PST files (one for each e-mail address and one for my Personal Folders)
I assumed that any backup app would encounter the same problem (and therefore am looking at above comments re Shadow Copy)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
41,823 Posts
You cannot backup any file that is open, If you had Adobe Acrobat open, you couldn't backup that PDF files. Same with Outlook, and the same with Shadow Copy, just close all programs before backing up,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
You cannot backup any file that is open, If you had Adobe Acrobat open, you couldn't backup that PDF files. Same with Outlook, and the same with Shadow Copy, just close all programs before backing up,
Thanks spunk.funk. Post #20 above suggests that "open" files can be copied, so I'm now confused.

Tommy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
41,823 Posts
A .pst file is not like an open .Txt file or .pdf, When Outlook is open, it locks the .pdf because new Emails are coming in or being sent. Copying a .pst file while Outlook is open can corrupt the data at it's worst and you will have incomplete data at best. this can be avoided if you just close Outlook while copying and use OWA for Email until the copy process has completed. Can copying a .PST file while outlook is open corrupt said PST.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
A .pst file is not like an open .Txt file or .pdf, When Outlook is open, it locks the .pdf because new Emails are coming in or being sent. Copying a .pst file while Outlook is open can corrupt the data at it's worst and you will have incomplete data at best. this can be avoided if you just close Outlook while copying and use OWA for Email until the copy process has completed. Can copying a .PST file while outlook is open corrupt said PST.
Thanks for the clarification spunk.funk. That's very handy to know.

I have started the copy/paste (File Explorer) when Outlook was open (by mistake) and the copy simply fails with a notification that the file is in use.
 

·
Team Manager, Microsoft Support
Joined
·
28,707 Posts
This is a built in safety feature of Outlook. It's called Message Error Prompt.
 

·
TSF Moderator , Hardware Team , Networking Team
Joined
·
7,825 Posts
Microsoft has had a service available since Windows XP called Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS). This is a copy-on-write driver that intercepts disk writes before they actually happen. The current contents of the disk are written to a shadow copy buffer before the write takes place. This enables a disk image to represent an exact point in time and not be affected by disk write activity during image creation.

Macrium Reflect uses VSS to enable disk images to be created and files to be backed up when in use.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I've used Macrium Reflect for years without problem. All tests show it works great, and the 2 times I've had to recover real system using MR backup files worked flawlessly. And yes...don't ASSUME a backup program works. You should verify backups can in fact be 100% restored in a suitable test.
In addition, in combination with scripts and Windows scheduler, MR can become extremely powerful and convenient, with automatic unattended scheduled monthly, weekly, and daily backups, and distribution to off-site storage as well, with emails sent to appropriate personnel as needed if they need to do something specific.
Depending on the type of data you backup, MR's compression feature MAY also significantly reduce the time required to backup the data by reducing the volume of data backed up before getting sent to the storage media and/or over the network to storage media. However, already highly-compressed files (like video files) benefit least from this feature.

Equally important in my opinion...
I also use Uninterrupted Power Supplies that provide at least 30 minutes of power if AC mains power is interrupted. That is enough time to kick-off automated scripts to do an incremental backup of critical files, if not the entire system. I use both APC and CyberPower 1325VA (~800Watts) Sine-wave UPS units. Keep in mind the more power your system and accessories consume, the less time a given UPS will provide power to them during a power failure.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
Top