Users generally face problems in opening PST file of MS Outlook 2003 with MS Outlook 2002. Error message of wrong format appears while performing such activity. This happens because of the internal text coding system used from MS Outlook 2002 onwards.
MS Outlook 2002 and its earlier versions had ASCII format and MS Outlook 2003 and 2007 have UNICODE character format. Unicode uses 16 bits, which means that it can represent more than 65,000 unique characters. Thus, due to the character format it becomes difficult to open PST of Outlook 2003 with Outlook 2002 and earlier versions.
With Unicode character code, higher versions of MS Outlook 2003 support 20GB of file storage which was limited to 2GB in Outlook 2002 and earlier versions. The PST file when reached 2GB size, used to freeze, inaccessible and even resulted into corrupt outlook inbox.
Users can easily open and view PST of Outlook 2003 with Outlook 2002, by following these steps:
1. Start MS Outlook 2003
2. From the File menu, select the Data File Management option and click Add
3. Select the Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (PST). Click OK
4. Click OK to accept the default name and then click OK again. This step will create a compatible PST file in Outlook 2003.
5. Click Close.
6. Open the Folder List to view the new PST file.
7. Drag the contents from the existing Outlook 2003 PST file into the compatible PST file.