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Office Software Thread, Possible Corrupt Outlook.pst on a Workstation in Technical; I have a user who has Outlook 2003 on Windows 7 in a workgroup, so no Exchange etc. Outlook became ...
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    Possible Corrupt Outlook.pst on a Workstation

    I have a user who has Outlook 2003 on Windows 7 in a workgroup, so no Exchange etc.

    Outlook became very slow and I saw that the pst file was over 5GB. I managed to delete 1500 deleted items that were still in her "Deleted Items" folder and I created a number of new Personal Folders, each with it's own Inbox2006, Inbox2007, Inbox2008 etc. She moves messages into these new Inboxes and everything went well but then it crashed. The only way to kill it was via Task Manager and since then, the most recent data (2011) is not available. These messages had been left in the main Inbox, rather than moved to a new Personal Folder containing Inbox2011. This data was definitely NOT deleted or moved manually by her or me.

    Examining the data files (Control Panel > Mail > Data Files) shows no Personal Folders (but there is an Archive) and, when I try to add the outlook.pst, it just hangs. I've run scanpst.exe (Repair Outlook data files (.pst and .ost) - Outlook - Office.com) and, whilst it completed, it didn't show any errors and the odd behaviour persists. I've also tried Safe Mode (the F8 Safe Mode) as well as Outlook's Safe Mode (outlook.exe /safe) but neither allowed me to load the pst file and access the most recent data.

    Needless to say, there isn't a backup of the outlook.pst file

    I've seen several potential solutions and the fact that there are so many implies to me that none of them is likely to work consistently. Many are costly and I don't want to spend cash unnecessarily without a recommendation from folks who have good experiences with a particular method or software package.

    I'm open to ideas - is it possible to recover data from the outlook.pst file, perhaps whilst it's "offline", i.e. not loaded into Outlook?

    I've been working on this for several hours and I'm going around in circles!

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    dosent outlook have its own command line based tool to fix pst files (obviously back it up 1st)

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    I've used scanpst.exe without any luck. I'll look into other command line tools.

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    1. PST are a pain, in particular the ones which exceed 2GB.
    2. 2GB was the supported limit of PST for Outlook 2003, anything over this would cause corruption. 2010 suports up to 20GB due to the format which has been changed.
    3. What you can try and do is, open the PST file via Outlook 2010 and see if you can recover.
    4. Failng that, if the data is crotical, your only option is to pat for a 3rd party software to recover.

    Sukh

  5. Thanks to sukh from:

    Ignatius (8th July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sukh View Post
    1. PST are a pain, in particular the ones which exceed 2GB.
    2. 2GB was the supported limit of PST for Outlook 2003, anything over this would cause corruption. 2010 suports up to 20GB due to the format which has been changed.
    3. What you can try and do is, open the PST file via Outlook 2010 and see if you can recover.
    4. Failng that, if the data is crotical, your only option is to pat for a 3rd party software to recover.
    Sukh
    Yes, I know they're a PITA and I've advised the user to keep a check on it. As I said, the pst was over 5GB so I knew I was going to have some fun trying to resolve the problem!

    Good tip about open the pst using Outlook 2010. I didn't think about that. She has used some 3rd party software that seems to have recovered much of the data (the long-standing arrangement there is that users have admin rights on the laptops as they are their personal property). I'll keep your tip up my sleeve for when I face the problem again, as I'm almost certain to do!

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    Hi,

    It seems that the .pst file is corrupted. You already mentioned that scanpst.exe was unable to repair. So the only option left is to use some third party outlook recovery software which can repair the corrupted .pst file.
    I suggest you to Download the demo version of any product, try and evaluate it according to your requirements and then use it. Once this problem sorted out, try to keep backup of .pst file because it is prone corruption.

    Good luck.

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