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!