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Windows 7: import or copy over emails and favorites?

31 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
import or copy over emails and favorites?

I really have tried to find the answers to my questions but have found conflicting information all over the place. I am trying to set up a Windows 7 64 bit computer with Outlook 2010. My backups are from a Windows XP machine with Outlook 2007.

In looking around for the best way to transfer my email and browser files, some sites/forums advise using the import function of both Outlook 2010 and IE8. Others say to copy the files from the backup to the new machine.

Based on the advice from one site, I decided not to use Outlook's import function and instead I copied my backed-up .pst files to the Windows 7 \documents folder into a new folder i created called Outlook Files. Then I set up the account info in Outlook.

Now I have an outlook.pst and an outlook1.pst in the \documents\Outlook files folder AND i have a .pst file called nick@emailaddress.pst in the \nick\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook folder.

When I run outlook, I see in the navigation pane three email locations or folders.
  1. I have the inbox and subfolders under "Outlook" and these appear to be the emails i transferred over.
  2. THEN, i have nick@emailaddress which is the same level as the first "outlook" folder. It is here that new mails are being received. However, when it got setup it somehow had about 400 emails in it, the dates of which overlap with the inbox in the first "outlook" folder.
  3. Finally, I have something called Outlook Data, which has nothing in it.
I know this is confusing and if I knew someone who could answer these questions i would gladly pay for it. Unfortunatley I'm the one my family and friends call for help.

My second issue is with transferring favorite. Before I copy the backed-up favorites folder from the old machine I want to make sure I use the right technique. Do I use the exported favorites and cookies from the XP machine and use IE8's import function or do i copy the actual favorites to the favorites folder in Windows 7? Oh, and if i am to copy them over, do i just copy them to the \username\favorites folder? Where do i put the cookies *.txt files?

Thanks for any info!

Deirdre Karambelas

My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)


Typically the simplest way and the best way to make sure you get everything is to boot the host machine (Windows XP in your case) in WinPE or a Live Linux CD etc., and copy then entire \Documents and Settings\Nick directory to a USB Flash drive, in a Directory called NICK BACKUP. (assuming the user account name is Nick).

Take the USB Flash Drive to your Windows 7 machine log on as Administrator or an account that has complete admin rights. If you cannot do what you need you can always boot the WinPE or Live Linux CD.

Then you can copy from the Flash Drive \Nick Backup\Favorites to \Users\Nick\Favorites
Next copy from the Flash Drive \Nick Backup\My Documents to \Users\Nick\Documents

Repeat the same pattern with the information you want to have access to on the new machine.

The Outlook data is a bit different. The simplest way to get it is to EXPORT and IMPORT it.

On the Windows XP machine booted and logged in as NICK. Open Outlook and select export make sure you pick the whole tree of emails so you get Inbox, Sent, etc. Export it on the Flash Drive as NICK.pst.

On the Windows 7 machine logged in as NICK. Open Outlook and unload/close any other PST files you have loaded (Outlook1.pst). {Note you need to make sure the Outlook on the Windows 7 is clean, you may have to boot the WinPE or Live Linux CD to delete the Outlook1.pst or any others you created; do that before you do the import. Outlook has a bad habit of doing something you don’t want if you don’t clean it first} Then do an IMPORT when asked for the file point it to the NICK.pst you created on the Flash Drive.

That should get you what you need. If you are missing something you still have the backup on the Flash Drive. I would keep the Flash Drive for 6 months before you delete anything. That is normally enough time to discover something you really need is missing on the Windows 7 machine. -WS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 8 Pro w/MC 32-bit

IE8 can import and export favorites, feeds, and cookies to/from 3 separate files. I have never done it myself since all I usually want to save is favorites. For that I just save the favorites from Windows Explorer on the old computer to some medium (flash drive, usb hard drive, cd rom) and drag them over to favorites on the new computer. Or if both computers are on the same network, just drag them over directly and they'll be copied from but not deleted from the old computer. Cookies are less important since they are used mainly to by-pass the need to login repeatedly, so as long as you remember how to log in, a new cookie will be created. The customizations you made to sites such as forums, MSN, or Yahoo are save on their servers and return as soon as you log in.

I don't use Outlook but I believe if you have Outlook installed on both computers you should be able to use their built-in import and export features.

I get the feeling that you are concerned since you are not "Nick". If anything goes wrong, just tell Nick you thought he would be better off with a fresh start.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Oct 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Copying the favorites folder is useless. You have to Export your favorites from within IE to a bookmark folder. That you can then Import to the IE in /7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Copying the favorites folder is useless. You have to Export your favorites from within IE to a bookmark folder. That you can then Import to the IE in /7.
Huh??? I do this every day and have done this close to 20,000 times over my career? Are we missing something here?? We have favorites re-directed to a server and if the user is on Windows XP and IE6 or Windows 7 and IE8 there is no issues. Respectfully, Copying the folder to a local Laptop to take off site works every time??? Very confused.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 64 bit

Thanks for all the info. It was a wordy question and i appreciate people taking the time to answer. I got the favorites done with no problem but I am still stewing over the Outlook issue.

Based on the advice from one website, before I ran outlook 2010 for the first time, I copied my old pst file into a new folder i made in the Documents folder then i ran Outlook 2010 for the first time. What I got was this:

Name:  outlooknav.JPG
Views: 7
Size:  23.6 KB

The new messages are going into the inbox under I assume that the inbox above it, under "Outlook" is the one i copied over from the old machine. BUT, if that is so, I don't know how the inbox under got almost 400 emails in it from the start. The archive folder isn't there at all.

My memory is getting muddled with all the outlook advice sites I have looked at, but i think that the original default data file was outlook1.pst. I changed because I figured that the file with all my email was the outlook.pst that i copied over. Now the data files look like this:

Name:  datafiles.JPG
Views: 6
Size:  29.0 KB

It drives me a little crazy that all the emails aren't in one file. I've looked around and some of the sites say that it is possible to merge the files. Another says that the best thing is to just moves the messages I want from inbox that isnt receiving new mail to the one that is, and then delete the old inbox.

Any suggestions? If my question is too much of a pain for the forum, I understand. I used to feel comfortable with everything that happened on my computer, but switching to a new OS and a new version of Office has me worried about messing everything up.

Thanks in advance,

Deirdre Karambelas

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)


Yep, that is what I meant about Outlook not doing things right. I am trying to think of the best way to fix this. I think what you are going to need to do is MOVE all the .PST files to a USB Flash Drive (Make sure they DO NOT still exist anywhere on your local drive). Then delete the account you setup in Outlook and create a new account (while creating the new account make sure the USB Flash Drive is NOT plugged into the computer). Then you can IMPORT the .PST files ONE at a time from the USB Flash Drive merging all the email together. -WS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 64 bit

Thanks! I will try that when hubby gets home from trip. i appreciate the advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 import or copy over emails and favorites?

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