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agorman_co

Outlook archive.pst file

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I notice that my outlook archive file gets backed up everyday. For some reason files modification date gets updated each time I use outlook even thought there does not appear to be any archive actions taking place. Has anyone noticed this? Is there a graceful way to avoid this--or do I just need to exclude that file from the daily backup and maybe create a weekly backup that gets this file?

 

 

 

Any advice?

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Everytime you receive mail, send mail or make any change within Outlook, the entire file will change.

 

 

 

If the file is too big to backup daily, excluding the .pst and backing up weekly is a good strategy.

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You likely have multiple Personal Folder files in outlook. I am suspecting your archive.pst is written by Outlooks automatic archiving utility.

 

 

 

Any personal folder file opened by Outlook, whether or not it was changed or viewed by you once inside the program, will have the modified date updated. Outlook treats its Personal Folder file as a binary database and, as such, updates some control information every time it is opened -- whether or not you actually view, modify or otherwise touch the file. The only way to prevent Outlook from doing this is to not have outlook open the .pst file at all. That is, "close" the .pst file and exit outlook. Only "open" the file when you really need it.

 

 

 

As I do not use the archiver in Outlook, I have not checked whether it works if the Personal Folder you want to archive to is not open. You can tell the archiver to prompt before starting which may give you a chance to open the archive file, if necessary.

 

 

 

As the .pst file is a binary format file and Retrospect is a file based backup system, Retrospect backs up the entire file once it sees even one byte changed out of potentially 100's of megabytes. The only way Retrospect could get around this would be to do a byte by byte "diff" of the before and after and try to detect minor changes. But usually binary files like the Outlook database do not have simple changes when apparently simple changes are made to the contents. This is due to the binary nature of the file (embedded index pointers to other byte locations, etc). This is especially true of encrypted or encoded files where one byte change may change the whole file. Basically, a work-around to this is not likely to come (unless Microsoft changes its format from a single file to a directory/file based system like Eudora or other mail programs).

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