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The exact reason why you should not allow PST files on the network

Apr 4

Written by:
Wednesday, April 04, 2007 2:29:56 PM  RssIcon

I've always known that you're not supposed to use PST files across the network (LAN or WAN), but up until recently I did not have the specific proof as to the magnitude of problems it can cause (outside of corruption in the PST).  I was recently looking for this information to pass to a client of mine, and I came across a great blog article from the Server Performance Team at Microsoft.  Turns out there's all sorts of issues from I/O deadlocking to paged pool depletion, etc.  Head over their blog and view the article.

Shawn

3 comment(s) so far...


Re: The exact reason why you should not allow PST files on the network

I did *not* know this -- any recommendations for a Citrix farm where the Outlook client is to be included in a Windows desktop that is published application? Hack the registry to prevent PST creation?

By Scot Robert on   Thursday, April 05, 2007 6:48:06 AM

Re: The exact reason why you should not allow PST files on the network

Well I suppose the ideal thing would be to disable their ability to create PSTs in the first place. However, depending upon the version of Office you're using, this is an all or nothing thing. There is a registry key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\XX.0\Outlook (where XX is either 10 for Office XP or 11 for Office 2003). The key is named DisablePST. If you set this setting it will prevent users from creating or opening PST files. The bad news is that up until Office 2003 SP2, this was a machine only setting. After Office 2003 SP2, you can override this on a per user basis. See the following KB article for more info on that: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896515

If you have PSTs that you can not immediately get rid of, then the best advice might be to just educate your users as to the evils of PSTs via the Server Performance Team blog. Explain to them what kind of problems it can cause and perhaps they'll stop doing it. Perhaps, they are only doing it because of your quota limits on Exchange and maybe they just need some training on how to identify the message sizes by turning on the size column in their Outlook views.

Shawn

By Shawn Bass on   Thursday, April 05, 2007 6:55:05 AM

Re: The exact reason why you should not allow PST files on the network

Thanks Shawn. Especially for the Office 2003 SP2 per user info.
Scot

By Scot Robert on   Thursday, April 05, 2007 9:07:48 PM

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