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Knowledgebase: Outlook
How to recover your data in Outlook when rebuilding, restoring and upgrading fails
Posted by UCS IT Support 4 on 17 January 2013 05:35 PM

When rebuilding, restoring and upgrading fails, you can recover your data. Outlook stores your data in the Data Records folder in your Identity folder.

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records

If you restore your Identity from Time Machine or another backup and it fails to rebuild, or you upgraded to Service Pack 2 (SP2) 14.2.1 and you have missing data you can restore your data from your old Identity. ALWAYS WORK OFF A COPY [Note: Since posting this article, we have discovered an option that has had great success in recovering Identities. See Outlook rebuild results in folders named Recovered. This method has been successful in all types of rebuild issues. -18000, error 255, fails to rebuild etc]

  1. Upgrade to Service Pack 2 (SP2) 14.2.1 or later See this article for details.
  2. Create a new blank SP2 Identity.
  3. Quit Outlook.
    1. Some users have found that deleting the database file in the new Identity helped.
  4. COPY these Data Records folders from the old Identity to the new blank Identity replacing the new folders. Do NOT replace the root Data Records folder. Only the sub-folders listed here.
    1. Contacts
    2. Events
    3. Folders (one user reported replace Categories (not folders) worked better)
    4. Mail Accounts
    5. Message Attachments
    6. Message Sources
    7. Messages
    8. Note
    9. Signatures
    10. Signature Attachments
  5. Select to rebuild the Identity in Database Utility.
  6. Open Outlook and your data should be back.
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