The mailbox data of MS Outlook is stored in three different file formats at two different locations – EDB files (Exchange Server), OST files (Exchange Server) and PST files (Local system’s hard disk). Let’s talk specifically about PST files here as the write-up is dedicated to the recovery of corrupt PST files.
PST stands for Personal Storage Table. Also known as Outlook Data Files, PST files store Outlook emails, contacts, calendar items, email attachments, notes, appointments, tasks etc. Saved on your system’s hard disk, PST files are often used as backup files of MS Outlook to restore its data at the time of data loss or corruption. But, there are situations when PST files get corrupt too. And, there can be various reasons, such as:
- Regularly increasing size of PST file
- File header corruption
- Virus attack
- Bad sectors on hard disk where PST files are stored
- Abrupt Outlook termination
- Unexpected system shutdown or power failure etc.
A corrupt PST file becomes inaccessible. If you try to open a corrupt PST file, it’ll display different error messages depending upon the cause of corruption. So, if you try to access a PST file and it displays an error message then it’s been corrupted.
Solution to PST Corruption
You can either use free Inbox Repair Tool (IRT) provided by Microsoft or a professional PST recovery software to repair corrupt or inaccessible PST files. Let’s understand the working of Scanpst.exe first. But, before you start using the tool, close MS Outlook and other running applications. Also, take the backup of PST file as the repairing process might damage the original file.
Steps to repair corrupt PST files using Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe)
- Open the default location of Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) – drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE
- Double-click Scanpst.exe to open it
- Enter the name of the PST file or click Browse to locate the PST file you want to repair
- Click Start to begin the scanning process. The tool scans the selected PST file to find if there are errors in it. If the tool finds errors in the file, it displays “Errors were found in this file. To repair these errors, click Repair.”
- Click the Repair button to start the repairing process
- The tool displays Repair Complete message as soon as process is over
- Click OK to finish the process
Now, open MS Outlook and go to the list of recovered folders in the left pane of Outlook. If the selected PST file (s) have been repaired, you can see them in recovered folders. If not, then the tool couldn’t fix the issue. Inbox Repair Tool is basically programmed to repair minor PST file corruptions. The tool generally fails to repair severely corrupt PST files. Use of Inbox Repair Tool is not even recommended by industry experts as it can cause data loss as well.
The best way to repair corrupt PST files is using a professional PST file recovery software. Outlook PST Repair is the most preferred tool to repair PST files with minor or major corruption issues. It’s quick and result-oriented.
Outlook PST Repair Tool
The tool effortlessly repairs corrupt PST file and recover all Outlook mailbox items including emails, attachments, contacts, drafts, appointments, calendar items, notes, tasks, journals etc. accurately. The tool also ensures no data loss during entire process of recovery. It even recovers email properties (From, To, CC, BCC, Subject, Date and Time). The tool provides multiple saving options. You can save recovered PST files in different formats such as MBOX, DBX, MSG, EML, TXT, RTF, TXT, HTML, and MHTML. You can even choose to export recovered PST files to different destinations such as Office 365, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Google Apps, Outlook.com, iCloud, MS Exchange Server, Novell GroupWise, and Lotus Domino server.
It extends support for all available versions of MS Outlook including 2016. The tool works equally well with all versions of Windows OS including Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. You can even use the software for free from http://www.outlookrecoverytool.org Free trial version of the tool allows recovery, preview of PST file data and saves first 25 items from each folder. To save all recovered PST files, you need to purchase the software.