Managing PST/OST files



Hi all,

We rolled out Outlook 2003 to 100+ users using the Custom Installation
Wizard several months ago. I left most settings alone but did create a
default profile which included an account for our new Exchange server and one
for our old IMAP server so folks could migrate their old email.

In the meantime, I've cleared out the ExcludeProfileDirs value under
Winlogon for everyone so that the Outlook files under %username%\Local
Settings would be included in each users' roaming profile as we were having
problems where Outlook was creating new profiles for roaming users each time
they logged in to a different machine.

I'm finding now that the PST files associated with the IMAP account are
growing rather large and, in some cases, I'm also seeing outlook.ost files
which are also very large. This is causing problems for us as I've limited
the roaming profile size (it's at 25MB currently but I'm going to have to
bump it again as folks are starting to hit that limit).

I'm wondering if anyone can explain what purpose the pst/ost files serve
and, for that matter, why we're even seeing the OST files (we are not using
cached mode)?

Also, given that we've already rolled out the software/configuration, can
anyone recommend a method for moving these files out of users' roaming
profile (say, to a network drive)? I'm going to push out a Custom Maintenance
update that changes the default location for PST files and prevents OST file
creation (is that a good idea?) and that should take care of new users but
we've already got users out there with these large files on their C: drives.

Thanks a lot.




Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

IMAP accounts require PST files. Outlook downloads the data into its local
PST cache file and then displays that data to the user.

You could have an OST file even if you're not using Cached Exchange Mode if
the user was configured earlier to support offline folders.

Microsoft does not support storing PST files on network drives. Corruption
may result.

You might want to consider setting a deadline for users to migrate their
IMAP account data into their Exchange accounts and after that date, replace
the existing default profile with one contains only Exchange in classic
online mode (no OST) and the Outlook Address Book service. You could even
lock down the profile so users can make no further changes to it.

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