Restore individual Outlook email message?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by CharleyCross, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. CharleyCross

    CharleyCross Registered Member

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    I just installed True Image 11 Home a few days ago. I was pleased to discover a special backup provision for email. My email is the lifeblood of my business, so I have configured it for a daily full backup of my Outlook 2003 email accounts. The first such backup occurred at 1:00 this morning while I was sleeping, right on schedule. I have two questions:

    o_O Suppose I realize that I've deleted some message that I shouldn't have. Can I selectively restore individual Outlook messages from a backup? Or is it an all-or-nothing restoration of the entire account at a point in time?

    :doubt: The two PST files that make up my email collection are nearly 1 GB in size. Yet the file on my external drive that TI created at 1:00 this morning is only 142 KB. There is another file in the Backup Location that's over 2 GB, but its time stamp (about 2:00 am) corresponds with my daily incremental backup of my disk image. I have trouble believing that 1 GB of email compressed down to 142 KB (that's about a 7000-to-1 ratio!). What's going on? Have I configured my email backup wrong? Is the email backup sharing the same TIB file as the disk image increment that occurred an hour later? I just want to be confident that I'm really backing up what I think I am. It'd be a bummer to figure out that I was doing it wrong at the time of a crisis!

    Thanks for any words of wisdom!

    --Charley
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    If the email is the lifeblood of your business, then in addition to using TI, you should use the Export feature of Outlook to export the messages to a file as an extra method of backing them up. Do not rely solely on TI.
     
  3. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    I have never used TI to backup emails. I have sufficient security provided by full disk daily backups with a depth of nine days. Beyond that all incoming email is retained by my ISP in a Web mail account. If I want to save outgoing mail there I just send a blind copy to myself.

    Xpilot
     
  4. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    No you can't. ATI backs up at a point in time; and so it can only restore at a point in time basis. But if you back-up using incremental back-ups you have an option to restore to each time there was an incremental back-up.

    - that 142kb is weird. Maybe its an incremental of your email backup? but you said you made a "daily full back-up" of your emails... so?
    - double click the TIB file of your email back-up and browse to see if all the files are in there.
    - Just to make sure; I'd manually run that task again now and see the results. if its again only 142kb then its either:

    1. Your emails are just normal text with no images so it achieved a high compression rate. (unbelievable)
    2. Maybe you unchecked some folders or files after selecting the "My Email" back-up option. Recheck your task.

    Note: Because ATI only backs up in either full system/partitions or file and folder based.What the 'My Email backup' does is that it automatically goes into files and folder backup mode and selects the default folders that are common to hold your actual inboxes and settings and backs it up. Nothing special about that (you can actually imitate it by selecting "My data backup" and selecting the same file and folders and you'll most probably get the same results).


    taken from the user guide.
     
  5. Rippy

    Rippy Registered Member

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    If TI is creating a backup that's only 142 KB, then I'll bet dollars to donuts that it's NOT backing up you're personal folders, and thus NOT backing up your e-mails. I found this out myself not too long ago.

    Explore the backup for yourself. In the backup, explore "Microsoft Outlook>Profiles>Microsoft Outlook Internet Settings>Personal Folders". You probably find several folders called "Personal Folders" nested one inside the other like a matryoshka doll. Keep delving inside until you get to "Top of Personal Folders". Inside that folder you should see all your personal folders, including the Inbox. If you don't see "Top of Personal Folders" but instead just reach a dead end, then guess what; TI didn't backup your e-mails, but just your Outlook settings.

    I've noticed that the Mail backup feature of ATI 11 is a total crap shoot. Sometimes it will backup your e-mail folders, but more often than not, it seems that it doesn't.

    I've taken to backing up the folder that contains Outlook's PST files (on my computer that's "C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook"), in addition to the Mail backup, as a safety measure. I do a daily DIFF backup of that folder. If I ever need to restore my important e-mails and contacts, I can just restore the backed up PST files to a temporary folder and then use Outlook's Import feature on that file to get back any important e-mails and contacts that I need to get back.
     
  6. CharleyCross

    CharleyCross Registered Member

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    NumLock and Rippy--

    I thank you both very much for your thoughtful and informative replies. I'll pursue the ideas you offered after I deal with a few other things this morning.

    I will say that my former "backup" strategy for email before getting any actual backup software was to simply manually copy the two PSTs across the LAN to another PC as I left the office each day. Unless, of course, I forgot on a given day! I want ATI to remember for me.
     
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