Recover Corrupted PST File

MS Outlook is a popular PIM (Personal Information Management) application. Outlook works with the vast majority of e-mail service providers and performs a variety of calendaring and time management tasks.  As Microsoft releases new versions of Outlook, users are able to upgrade without losing any of their important data.  All of their Outlook data is stored in the PST file.  During the upgrade process, Outlook configures the existing PST file to work in the new version of Outlook.  In most cases, the user simply opens their new version and continues as if nothing has happened.

In some cases, the new version of Outlook is unable to access the PST file and either refuses to open or attempts to guide the user through setting up Outlook from scratch.  When the new version of Outlook refuses to work with the existing PST file, it is almost always due to data corruption in the Outlook PST file.

This corruption can happen for a variety of reasons.  A power fluctuation while the PST file was being modified is quite common and often users are unaware the power fluctuation even happened.  When the computer’s operating system is also upgraded the potential for data corruption increases significantly because both the operating system and Outlook are modifying the PST file to work in the environment.

Fixing the corrupted PST file is normally accomplished with the Scanpst.exe utility Microsoft installs at:

C:/Program Files/Common Files/System/MSMAPI/1033

Double click on the Scanpst.exe file to open the utility.  Browse to the PST file and click Scan.  The utility will look for corruption and automatically fix any damage it finds.  In most cases this will resolve the issue.  In some cases, however, a third party Outlook PST Repair tool will be required.  These applications are designed to correct severe data damage in PST files.

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