Being an avid user of MS Outlook, you must be aware of the features and functionalities of this popular email client. Just like the life of a tree lies in its root, in the same the power of MS Outlook lies in its Outlook data file which is called PST aka personal storage table file. Without a PST file, MS Outlook is just a like a gun without bullets. But make sure the PST file always remains in valid state, otherwise it may become inaccessible and years of crucial email data may be lost forever. Fear of losing crucial business emails is just like a nightmare for an individual as well as organization. Fortunately there is solution for this specific problem, in face multiple solutions. Some solutions are Do-It-Yourself types, and some are in the form of third-party professional solutions.
If you are reading this post here and you use MS Outlook email client each and every day in your life, this page is definitely worthy to be bookmarked on your web browser. Instead of searching hundreds of articles and irrelevant information, you must read this post to know about the measures you can take to get things back on line. I will keep the article straight enough to tell you what you need specifically and what you can expect and other background safety measurements in order to avoid data loss event further.
First take a charge as a specialist and then follow the steps given below:
First and the top most priority work is to make backup of your existing PST file(s). You can perform a search on your system for the available PST files to know where they are located. Locate the files, take their backup and store them in a safe place. Get a clean HHD or any other external storage device, save the original PST files and keep the drive aside in a safe place. This will ensure that you will not lose further data in case when the problem keeps going and further damage is still under progression.
Now follow the specialist way:
Open Control Panel > Mail> Data file. Here you will see a list of PST files along with their full path. Go to the location, and copy the files into an external storage media. Make sure MS Outlook email client is not running on your system while you are copying the files. Also, make sure the files copying process gets successfully completed. If the copying process takes more than enough time or throws an error, this means the disk is corrupted. In that case, simply shut down your system and seeks help from a data recovery expert. Do not try DIY solution, otherwise it can worsen situation. In case of damaged read HDD, the more HDD will spin the more damage it will do the data and recovery chances will keep griming.
SCANPST.EXE is the Inbox Repair tool implemented by Microsoft to correct soft errors in Outlook data files. Soft errors mean the internal B-tree structure of PST file. But it has no understanding of upper level PST structure like folders, message etc. SCANPST.EXE will traverse down full B-tree, then check and fix if any discrepancies is found and discard invalid entries. This will make your PST file correct and you can use it again. It has two modes: first where it makes changes in original PST file; and another where it creates a new one. A lost & found folder is generated when you choose create a new PST file option. Open the repaired PST in your Outlook email client and by using the drag & drop feature, copy the desired emails and other items into another PST file.
For Outlook 2013 or newer version, you can download SCANPST.EXE from here:
For earlier version, download SCANPST.EXE from here:
Refer to the following table in order to locate the PST files in respect of MS Outlook and underlying OS bitness:
|<system drive>Program Files(x86)Microsoft OfficerootOffice16||Outlook 2016 on 64-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program FilesMicrosoft OfficerootOffice16||Outlook 2016 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program Files(x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice16||Outlook 2016 on 64-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice16||Outlook 2016 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program FilesMicrosoft Office 15rootoffice15||Outlook 2013 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program Files(x86)Microsoft Office 15rootoffice15||Outlook 2013 on 64-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice15||Outlook 2013 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>Program Files(x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice15||Outlook 2013 on 64-bit Windows|
|<system drive>:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14||Outlook 2010 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>:Program FilesMicrosoft Office(x86)Office14||Outlook 2010 on 64-bit Windows|
|<system drive>:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice12||Outlook 2007 on 32-bit Windows|
|<system drive>:Program Files(x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice12||Outlook 2007 on 64-bit Windows|
Other location might be these:
|<system drive>:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi1033|
|<system drive>:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033|
|<system drive>:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi1033NT||Windows NT and Windows 2000|
|<system drive>:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi103395||Windows 95 and Windows 98|
Unfortunately SCANPST.EXE is not a magic pill for all types of Outlook PST corruption related problems. This utility is designed to keep consistency in mind, not scavenging. Like other products, SCANPST.EXE also governed by the policies of Microsoft which states that if data is not consistent, then it has of no use. 90% of users don’t use all the features of Microsoft Outlook, only 10% of users use full complete features and those are only Exchange admins and developers. As SCANPST.EXE gives partial data and severely crippled PST file, sometimes it is considered useless approach. But still Outlook users must try it once as it’s provided by Microsoft who has developed Outlook email client. They better know more about the intricate details than any other third-party software vendor. No doubt that SCANPST.EXE can be a reliable solution and sometimes it works like a magical tool. But the major drawback of using SCANPST.EXE is it takes enough time when you are scanning a PST file of 2 GB or any large size.
Another way to repair PST file is a third-party professional Outlook PST Repair Tool (http://www.how2repairoutlookpst.com/ ) which is the fastest and accurate solution I have ever tried. In my test bench, it took just a couple of minutes to scan and load my 10 GB corrupt PST in standard scanning mode. It contains some basic and advance features which suite both novice as well as experienced person like me. You can check the preview of your emails and other mailbox data. It supports right to left characters and accurately recovers messages and its contents. The reason I included this software in my article because I found it quite reliable and I regularly use its demo version to open my hundreds of PST files which are my old backup. I just avoid them opening in Outlook because it can make the Outlook client very slow and can affect the productivity. I want my Outlook to be lean and responsive. The software is fast, reliable and accurate.
Steps to repair PST file via SysInfoTools PST Repair tool are as follow:
Step 1: Launch PST Recovery software on your system. Click Open and select PST file you want to repair in your system directory.
Now select the mode of recovery, and also select other options. Click OK to scan the selected PST file.
Step 2: Within a few seconds, the file will be scanned.
Click on each mailbox folders one by one to recover mailbox data from it.
Step 3: You can check the preview of selected email item in the preview pane.
Right click the email item and save it as either MSG or EML file. This is optional.
Browse the folder where you want to save the selected email item into defined format.
Click OK to save the file. Now select the mailbox folders in the tree structure you want to save. Click Save.
Step 4: Now select a location for saving the recovered data.
Step 5: Browse a location in the system directory and select it. Then click OK.
Step 6: Now select the format into which you want to save the recovered data. Also, select other options.
You may also select date range option for saving the mailbox data. This is optional. Click OK to start the saving process.
Step 7: The saving process is being conducted on your system.
Please wait until its gets completed.
Step 8: Within a few seconds, the saving process will be completed.
Click OK and close the software.None found.