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Quesiton about File History saving Outlook PST files


NEURO2014

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#1
Greetings,

I recently installed Win 8.1 Pro...there's some things I like and some I don't. I'm learning about File History and the System Image tools. Why MS went backwards in their backup tools from Win7 is a topic for another day...but I have a question about getting File History to backup certain files.

1) From what I'm reading & inferring, the only way to get File History to backup my Outlook 2007 PST file would be to add its containing folder to the Library? For example, add C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook to the Library?

2) I'm guessing for other user files, preferences, data files, etc., that are usually located in the AppData Local or Roaming folders, that we have to add their containing folders to the Library?

Is this correct...or does File History back these up by default somewhere (besides System Image).

P.S. I hate this File History thing and the buried System Image tool that's also been handicapped. I want Win7's Backup & Restore back, where we could select any files we wanted for backup, schedule time of day to run backups and images, etc. I can only think MS did this to dumb down things for users.

<sigh> And thank you to anyone that can answer my questions.
 

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vrosa

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#2

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#3
As far as I understand it File history will not backup PST as it is locked. In any case you wouldn't want it to as it would backup the whole file every time you got a new mail as it has changed. Similarly you wouldn't want file history to backup VMs or any other huge files.

Have a look here for outlook How to manage .pst files in Microsoft Outlook and here for file history http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2484-file-history-how-use-windows-8-a.html

Edit - you may want to try this for backups - it is pretty good Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
 

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antspants

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#4
I have found the best way to back up Outlook 2007 PST files is using Microsoft's "Personal Folders Backup" Ive used it since they removed the stock PST backup with office 2003.

When installed it will integrate with Outlook 2007, you can set it to backup daily or otherwise. It will backup your PST to a location of your choice.
As with most PST backup options it will not backup your email addresses or passwords. This can be done searching on outlook address profiles in the Registry. Or, you can buy a program called "Backup Outlook" which will backup all settings as well as email addresses, just not passwords.

This program can be downloaded here from Microsoft. You will find the settings in the "File Menu" called "Backup" in Outlook 2007

I hope this helps you.

P.S. I have Win 8.1 using Outlook 2007 and it works fine. Unless done manually, it will backup on closing Outlook as often as once per day, any more than that just enter "File/backup/start backup" and start a backup, it will backup on closing outlook.
 

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NEURO2014

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#5
What I should have made clear in my original post:
I'd like a way of having a current backup of the Outlook PST in case of a drive failure. With Windows 7 Backup, the PST was one of the many, many files I manually included in the backup set...so that was always a part of my daily Win backup. If I had a drive failure, I could easily restore the PST, etc., once a new drive or image was restored.

With this new Win8 File History joke, you can't select what files you want backed up, unless you add their folder to a Library or the Desktop. In other words, if my Win8 drive fails...I lose everything that's not in a Library, Desktop, or one of the other few specified backup designations by the tool. This is crazy.

Of course, I have an online backup service as an offsite redundancy. But this still doesn't excuse the pathetic support and user options given by File History and System Image.

As a developer, I have thousands of folders, files, etc., for my work, clients, and all the other stuff you generate over years. But unless you throw all this into the Library structure/philosophy, File History won't back it up.

Back to Outlook...I have thousands of Outlook contacts, calendar items, notes, and emails over the years, etc. Unless one has an online backup service, Win8 is completely useless for ensuring you don't lose all your critical info in Outlook. And Outlook is just one application that's important to business. I have many others that I either have to bend to the Library philosophy to have a local backup or risk losing it locally.

What the "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" was MS thinking when they did this? At least Win8.0 had Win7's backup/image tools...but then they stripped them out for 8.1.
 

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#6
What the "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" was MS thinking when they did this? At least Win8.0 had Win7's backup/image tools...but then they stripped them out for 8.1.
They were thinking "Lets strip this from 8.1"

I can't help you with other files, as I have no way of knowing what it is you want to back up.
But as for the PST. Microsoft Outlook gives you pretty much total control over how it works. One option would be to change the default folder where the PST file lives e.x Move it to "My Documents"

There are so many backup programs available. If you have as many "Clients" as you claim to, buy some software and spread the cost out amongst them. Being in the field you are in, I am surprised you are using 8.1

Venting is OK but probably better left to Microsoft, as this is how they conclude their successes and failures. This is also how they decide what to do with updates.
There are allot of things that could be improved in 8.1 and from what I've read they will attempt to please "Everyone" in future updates.
 

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broe23

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#7
I am using Clonezilla for backing up our laptops in our home, to the NAS that we have. As for the File History question. It will only back up what Microsoft seems to think that it needs to. As for the Backup & Restore, it is still there. But seems to have gotten to where it never works like it used to be.

The good thing about Clonezilla is that you can use a USB Pendrive, and then when it asks for backup location, you can specify FTP, a DVD drive, or use NFS.
 

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NEURO2014

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#8
What the "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" was MS thinking when they did this? At least Win8.0 had Win7's backup/image tools...but then they stripped them out for 8.1.
They were thinking "Lets strip this from 8.1"

I can't help you with other files, as I have no way of knowing what it is you want to back up.
But as for the PST. Microsoft Outlook gives you pretty much total control over how it works. One option would be to change the default folder where the PST file lives e.x Move it to "My Documents"

There are so many backup programs available. If you have as many "Clients" as you claim to, buy some software and spread the cost out amongst them. Being in the field you are in, I am surprised you are using 8.1

Venting is OK but probably better left to Microsoft, as this is how they conclude their successes and failures. This is also how they decide what to do with updates.
There are allot of things that could be improved in 8.1 and from what I've read they will attempt to please "Everyone" in future updates.

As I stated in my original post, I do like some things with Win8, and some things not. This Win8 rig is my personal one and is being used to see how things will work for a migration on some machines. The mission critical rigs are still Win7. But Win8.1 Pro, so far, has run everything we do very smoothly and there haven't been any problems operationally with it. For development purposes & testing, it's doing fine. Personally, I favor MS products most of the time...have for over 25 years...so that flows out to the hardware/software we use.

I'm a MS O/S junkie, really. I'm probably one of the few in the world that jumped into Vista Ult. x64 on day one and never had an issue with it. But that was on a rig custom overbuilt to Vista's hardware requirements and specs.

As for backups, I'm well versed there and client data, as well as my own, aren't in jeopardy. I'll clarify for you again: I did state that online backup services are also used for offsite redundancy, but additionally, various local machine backup drives are also used (RAIDS, various backup suites, etc.).

Am I worried about any of my data being at risk? No. The gist of my 'vent' was that I think MS didn't consider regular users very well with Win8, especially with 8's backup/image tools. It gives the false impression that their data is safe & secure in case of drive failures or disaster...but that's only half true.

Where you, others, and I can sit here and banter back and forth about tweaking Win8 to our needs...that's one thing. But for most users who don't understand these things and just expect their computers to work and keep their data safe...that's another thing.

On the positive side, I like your idea of moving where the PST's live to the Documents folder. I hadn't thought of that. But by suggesting that, you made my point for me: People like us can sit here and figure that out and come up with workarounds. Most users don't or can't. They're left in the wind by MS, not realizing that a great deal of their precious data is at risk even if they use File History.

Hopefully, Update 1 will have some surprises for us.
 

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NEURO2014

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#9
I am using Clonezilla for backing up our laptops in our home, to the NAS that we have. As for the File History question. It will only back up what Microsoft seems to think that it needs to. As for the Backup & Restore, it is still there. But seems to have gotten to where it never works like it used to be.

The good thing about Clonezilla is that you can use a USB Pendrive, and then when it asks for backup location, you can specify FTP, a DVD drive, or use NFS.
Exactly what you said broe23..." It will only back up what Microsoft seems to think that it needs to." That's the issue I have with MS over what they've done with Win8. Hopefully, Update 1 will have some surprises for us.
 

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broe23

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#10
Exactly what you said broe23..." It will only back up what Microsoft seems to think that it needs to." That's the issue I have with MS over what they've done with Win8. Hopefully, Update 1 will have some surprises for us.
Actually we have had update 1. Now we are waiting on updates 2, 3, 4, and so on.
 

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antspants

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#11
Agree with all of the above. I hated 8.1 within a day, never used 8. Until I found Stardock Start8. I am now an extremely happy camper. For $5 I can now do all my actions with one click (using the brilliant start menu) and still preserve the beauty of the metro Start Page when I am relaxed and willing to utilize it. Apparently start8 also disables the corner actions from multiple monitors, as I have 4 monitors, its brilliant. I think it needs some work though lol
Ultramon was my best friend, now Microsoft have basically integrated it into 8.1. In time, they will balance it all out.

My point being, like with anything it is trial and error on the developers part. I agree, it is frustrating. Until the overhaul, 3rd party software makes life easier.
I love 8.1 after only a week. Its fast, attractive, practical, it also seems to me to be stable. I feel for you that they removed certain things you are used to. I find that frustrating also, but all the better for this forum for the unknowing, people will flock here and if that's the desire of administration, props to Microsoft for forcing them here.

Find the software that best suits your needs, buy it, spread the cost out to others. I got a parking fine for $120 a while back from our local council, I recently took on another job for them, I added $1200 to the bill.

Creative thinking :zip::dinesh:
 

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NEURO2014

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#12
Agree with all of the above. I hated 8.1 within a day, never used 8. Until I found Stardock Start8. I am now an extremely happy camper. For $5 I can now do all my actions with one click (using the brilliant start menu) and still preserve the beauty of the metro Start Page when I am relaxed and willing to utilize it. Apparently start8 also disables the corner actions from multiple monitors, as I have 4 monitors, its brilliant. I think it needs some work though lol
Ultramon was my best friend, now Microsoft have basically integrated it into 8.1. In time, they will balance it all out.

My point being, like with anything it is trial and error on the developers part. I agree, it is frustrating. Until the overhaul, 3rd party software makes life easier.
I love 8.1 after only a week. Its fast, attractive, practical, it also seems to me to be stable. I feel for you that they removed certain things you are used to. I find that frustrating also, but all the better for this forum for the unknowing, people will flock here and if that's the desire of administration, props to Microsoft for forcing them here.

Find the software that best suits your needs, buy it, spread the cost out to others. I got a parking fine for $120 a while back from our local council, I recently took on another job for them, I added $1200 to the bill.

Creative thinking :zip::dinesh:
Four monitors? LOL...same here in my setup...all four gently curved around me on two dual-arm monitor stands clamped to the desk. Great way to clear the deck for more desk real estate.

The backup issue isn't a cost issue and our data isn't at risk. I should have worded it better in my original post, but my gripe is more of a 'why would they do this' issue. From my personal standpoint, I was thinking to myself, "So the PSTs and other files aren't backed up by Windows like they were in Win7? People will think they are, but they aren't if they use File History."

I agree with you about Metro/Start...she is pretty. And it does take a few days to grow into it. In general, the look & feel of Win8 is clean, elegant, and pretty. An interesting thing that I've noticed during some usability testings that we've done in the past year...are the reactions of older/elderly people who see Win8's Start screen for the first time. Their faces light up and they get drawn into the interface, wanting to touch the tiles and explore. They were actually giggly about it in a way I've never seen before in other O/S's.

As for the 'trial & error on the developers' parts', I agree too. That's half our world, trying something that's either a homerun, fail, or needs more work. We listen to the testers/clients/users, understand their feedback and concerns and improve the product.

But in the case of Win8, all during the Developer & Consumer Previews, it was clear MS wasn't listening to what a lot of testers/users were saying and their usability feedback. And the result was the Win8 face-plant.

Now, with 8.1 and the forthcoming Update 1, MS has grudgingly admitted the faults and has been listening a bit.

Personally, I'm loving Win8.1 Pro...despite some of its goofiness, some bugs, some handicapping and stripping of features. I'm still enjoying it and it's running everything I've got smoothly. But my Win7 system image is on hot standby, just in case. But that gets dustier by the day.
 

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#13
From my personal standpoint, I was thinking to myself, "So the PSTs and other files aren't backed up by Windows like they were in Win7? People will think they are, but they aren't if they use File History."
Remember also that SkyDrive folder is not backed up by file history in 8.1 even if it is in a library. It was in Windows 8. Not exactly clear. Windows 8.1 File History: No way to backup Skydrive directory with - Microsoft Community

Personally, I'm loving Win8.1 Pro...despite some of its goofiness, some bugs, some handicapping and stripping of features. I'm still enjoying it and it's running everything I've got smoothly.
Me too :)
 

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NEURO2014

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#14
As suggested earlier in the post, I added the following folder to Libraries > Documents, so that File History would backup my PSTs.

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

After a couple of days, I went into File History to check on things being backed up...but it's NOT backing up the PSTs at all. File History is avoiding Outlook.PST and archive.PST, though it picks up the other small files in the folder. This solution sounded reasonable, though, because VSS should have allowed copies of the PSTs to be made although Outlook 2007 is running.

As a test, I closed Outlook, then manually ran File History...and it DID backup the PSTs (this would be expected since the files aren't in use).

But for some reason, PSTs won't be backed up while Outlook is running. This is odd, considering that VSS should allow this, as it did in Win7's Backup & Restore feature. My VSS is set to defaults of Running and Manual.

Any thoughts or ideas about this or what to do now to backup PSTs with File History? I'm trying to love File History and use it instead of 3rd part software.

Side Note: As another test, I installed AOEMI Backupper and for the last few days, it has been backing up the PSTs while Outlook is running. So apparently, VSS is working for AOEMI, but not for File History?
 

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Rau

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#15
File History will work OK with Outlook...

File History will work sensibly with Outlook and PST files if you operate as follows:
- Use a Mail Service that maintains a replica of your mail folders on-line and have Outlook deliver your mail to an OST file. (Example: Hotmail; use Outlook Connector)

- Ensure Autoarchiving on your PC is set to run "infrequently" eg. once per month. Ensure the PST (archive) file to which it moves the mail is located in a Library.

The OST file will not be backed up (it is not located in a library) and you don't need it to be because your mail is saved on the on-line service and will replicate from their in the event you lose your hard disk.

The PST file will only change once per month, and File History will copy it then, thus avoiding excessive backup processing and data volumes.

Note: File History will not process Open (locked) files. So you need to be in the habit of shutting down Outlook if you want any PST file which it attaches to be backed-up.


By the way, the Win7 Backup and Restore System is present on Win 8. There may be restrictions which impede doing Win 7 scheduled backups as well as Win 8 File History.

NOTE: The following thread suggests the issue is not as easily addressed as stated above:
Bad interaction between Outlook PST files and Windows 8/8.1 File - Microsoft Community
 
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