Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

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Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:07 am

I had the bright idea of putting a client's Outlook pst file in dropbox, figuring that when Outlook was existed, that It would then sync up to the cloud and I'd have an offsite backup. Unfortunately I found out 3 months later that the file was having trouble syncing (5 GB's in size, has the paid version) and then something stopped trying to sync up and it synced down and overwrote the local PST file with the 3 month old copy. Usually I see in Dropbox that if there is a question of which file should be saved, that it makes a backup and you have two files. Not this time. I also had setup up a nightly image backup to a usb hard drive. The usb hard drive was removed, then plugged back in, but did not get the automatic drive letter, so the backup failed. I also setup another computer to get a freefilesync of all the data files including the pst file, but the computer shutdown and they did not notice. So I had what I thought was an offsite backup, usb backup, and another computer in the network backup that all failed. I would have noticed this if I were there more often, but they like to "save things up" for me, to maximize their visit from me. So the question revolves around any idea why Dropbox overwrite the local? Is the local maybe damaged and a scan might bring back the lost folders and contacts? Any ideas how to recover from this?
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:14 am

bigjohn888jb wrote:I had the bright idea of putting a client's Outlook pst file in dropbox, figuring that when Outlook was existed, that It would then sync up to the cloud and I'd have an offsite backup. Unfortunately I found out 3 months later that the file was having trouble syncing (5 GB's in size, has the paid version) and then something stopped trying to sync up and it synced down and overwrote the local PST file with the 3 month old copy. Usually I see in Dropbox that if there is a question of which file should be saved, that it makes a backup and you have two files. Not this time. I also had setup up a nightly image backup to a usb hard drive. The usb hard drive was removed, then plugged back in, but did not get the automatic drive letter, so the backup failed. I also setup another computer to get a freefilesync of all the data files including the pst file, but the computer shutdown and they did not notice. So I had what I thought was an offsite backup, usb backup, and another computer in the network backup that all failed. I would have noticed this if I were there more often, but they like to "save things up" for me, to maximize their visit from me. So the question revolves around any idea why Dropbox overwrite the local? Is the local maybe damaged and a scan might bring back the lost folders and contacts? Any ideas how to recover from this?



Have you tried SpiderOak? I ditched DropBox for it.

Here's a referral code: https://spideroak.com/download/referral ... 4b162a5156

I found it via a referral chain on SomethingAwful
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:38 am

I wouldn't try syncing such a big file, that is in active use. One of the downsides of PST's is a single e-mail will cause the entire file to need to be re-backed-up. So there is no incremental backup.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:03 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:I wouldn't try syncing such a big file, that is in active use. One of the downsides of PST's is a single e-mail will cause the entire file to need to be re-backed-up. So there is no incremental backup.

Yup... and this is an absolute nightmare for network admins because lack of incrementals means PST backups take up huge amounts of space on the backup media.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:07 am

Surely a backup program that takes deltas would still work acceptably with PSTs. ISTR that DropBox is such a program.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:09 am

just brew it! wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:I wouldn't try syncing such a big file, that is in active use. One of the downsides of PST's is a single e-mail will cause the entire file to need to be re-backed-up. So there is no incremental backup.

Yup... and this is an absolute nightmare for network admins because lack of incrementals means PST backups take up huge amounts of space on the backup media.

I can understand that. Hopefully Microsoft will change their mentality a little bit and at least add the option for breaking it down somehow. I'm not sure going the full 1 file/email is the best approach, but something in between at least.
For my work mail, I have 4 different PST files that I've created. 3 are basically archives, so don't change very regularly. The other isn't that large and so shouldn't take up much space to backup. My whole box is 16.8 GB though, for 6 years of employment.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:29 am

bthylafh wrote:Surely a backup program that takes deltas would still work acceptably with PSTs. ISTR that DropBox is such a program.

It might, I honestly don't know. What I do know is that none of the incremental solutions we've used where I work were able to handle large PSTs in a reasonable manner. It's a binary format, and Outlook just goes and randomly touches stuff in the PST file if it is attached, even if you don't open any of the e-mails in it. An incremental solution that handles PSTs decently would either need to understand the internal format of the PST file, or go block-by-block, detecting (presumably via some sort of per-block hash) and sending only the blocks which have changed.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:52 am

I've been using Areca Backup in delta mode. I don't use Outhouse myself, so I can't say if that'd be worthwhile for your work, but it does work well on my Steam catalog - saves a lot of space when Valve updates the big TF2 blob frequently. It has a commercial plugin that handles volume shadow copies so you can back up a PST that's open:

http://www.areca-backup.org/
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:16 pm

Just to add my 2c, but regarding SpiderOak, it's backup options are FAR superior to Dropbox (Dropbox and any other purely sync service should never be looked at as any kind of backup whatsoever), but it'll fall flat on its face with PST's, due to what others have said.

I don't actually know for certain how my own IT guy backs ours up, or if there even is one. We've migrated to some variant of Exchange that lives in MS's cloud, and as far as I can see, when I setup my e-mail on a new machine (an Office 365 Pro client, we are), the mailbox seems to stream from the cloud, not from inside our network.

Anyway, we're at 46gb total for approx 1 years worth of e-mail, so frankly I don't worry about it too much. I get involved with every other IT aspect for my division, but PSTs look like such a pain, I let corporate worry (or not) about those. But sadly, no, SpiderOak could do better then DropBox but it's still not the optimal tool for the task.
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Re: Dropbox and Outlook 2013 pst file

Postposted on Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:21 pm

w76 wrote:I don't actually know for certain how my own IT guy backs ours up, or if there even is one. We've migrated to some variant of Exchange that lives in MS's cloud, and as far as I can see, when I setup my e-mail on a new machine (an Office 365 Pro client, we are), the mailbox seems to stream from the cloud, not from inside our network.

If you connect and store all your emails/appointments/tasks/notes on Exchange or Exchange 365, then the PST file is just a cache that you technically do not need to back that up (the server is supposed to be backed up) and the cached PST can be recreated anytime. This is for people who use either Archiving (best practices suggest you should split the archive to smaller chunks anyway, you don't modify an archive once it is archived) or still on some POP accounts where your local PST file is your authoritative storage.
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