Outlook 2003 Scanpst.exe Alternative
The PST file for Outlook versions prior to Outlook 2003 was limited to 2GB and was formatted in a propriety code that adheres to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) requirements. These PST files are especially prone to corruption. While they are coded in format that meets standards which enable e-mail service providers the ability to ensure their services can be configured to work with Outlook, there is still a lot of coding their developers are not able to examine. This results in occasional conflicts and damage to the PST file. Additionally, once an ANSI coded PST file grows larger than 2GB the Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool cannot fix the PST file.
PST files in Outlook 2003 and later are formatted to comply with Unicode standards. This change makes it easier for e-mail service provider developers to design their services to be compatible with Outlook. The result is PST files that experience less corruption on average. Additionally, the size limit was increased to 20GB with the release of Outlook 2003. The size limit was again increase in Outlook 2010; this time to 50GB.
While the stability and overall integrity of PST files in Outlook 2003 and later has been significantly improved, there are still many instances of corruption. The PST file is the central storage point for a wide diversity of data that is often manipulated and updated regularly throughout any session. All of this activity creates opportunities for data corruption to occur.
The Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Scanpst.exe pro is designed to fix corrupted PST files and is installed automatically with every version of Outlook. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not updated the tool to work with PST files larger than 2GB. This means that when corruption occurs in a PST file used in Outlook 2003 or later, there is a good chance the user will need to use a third party Outlook PST Repair tool. These applications are updated regularly and are designed to fix complex data damage in PST files up to 50GB.