Good day people,

Any Microsoft Outlook experts out here today.

My problem started yesterday... I have an HP running Windows XP and last night I was working in the office, not on the computer but in the same room. It was on and online when Windows decided to do an automatic update and reboot. I notice when it shut down to reboot, but when it restarted it went to a black screen saying it had problems, and asking to start in 'safe mode', 'safe mode with networking', a couple others, and start normally. It had a countdown timer and/or no matter which option was chosen it always would wind up back at this screen.
After trying all options, hit F10 to go to a previous restore but it couldn't find any, so I did a system restore via HP. All saved files are still here, as well as most programs. Ran a virus checker, caught half a dozen cookies, nothing malicious.
What is not here is the Microsoft Office XP (2002) programs. All Excel and Word saved files are fine, and the icons are still in the 'All Programs' slide out but apparently the programs are missing. When you click the icon, up pops a window saying, "This action is only valid for products that are currently installed."
The same window pops up when you try to open Outlook. I searched my harddrive for any .pst files but it couldn't find any. And there was no pst files at the end of the rainbow in ...application data/microsoft/outlook
The Excel and Word programs aren't my big concern, the saved files for those programs are backed up, so are a majority of my emails. But I recently got a couple of emails that
I really need (and getting them re-sent isn't an option.)
Is there a way to find them or are they lost forever. I have the original Office disc(s) with key (so no funny business here), so I can re-install but I don't want to do that if there is a possiblity that that will wipe the emails out completely.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you need any more info from me, please ask.
Thank you.

Unfortunately they've already been wiped, the difference between your PST and your other office documents is that when you save a word document it sticks it in a common folder (my documents, or whatever you tell it to) where the excel PST file is actually more of a system file than a document. It's default location is inside the outlook directory and because of that is vulnerable to being deleted with outlook.

If there are no PST files on your hard drive it's been deleted, you can look up the default personal file location for your version of outlook and see if it might be there in a different format, but probably not. I think your only option to recover it would be to use data recovery software and look for files with the .pst extension. I wouldn't be optimistic about this process considering you over-wrote a lot of data in the recovery process.

Mail icon in control panel will help you sort out.

an extreme approach would be to use

Easeus Deleted File Recovery Wizard: the free full version of the program.

It is very good. if it does not find it you can try the Data Recovery Wizard Version. (I have PRO problems with links? find them at have a free version that is scan-only, but if it finds it you need to register to recover the files. I think that is fair enough, because they give away the deleted file recovery tool free.

i think it is around $80, but well worth it if those files are valuable. you could try looking around for freeware, but I wouldn't bother. I have this and it has saved me (client PC's hit by lightning, formatted, 100% data recovery).