Outlook uses PST files as the storage destination for its e-mail folders, contacts, calendar and other personal data. The same recovery procedures, that are applied in PST recovery can be applied to other types of Outlook storage files as well, such as OST (offline storage files). The same application or the recovery tool, Scanpst.exe is used in recovering both types of files of Outlook 2000.

Usually the ‘Repair Inbox’ is installed automatically during system setup, since the tool is accompanied in the Microsoft Office 2000 CD. the program normally resides in \ Program Files \ Common Files \ System \ Mapi \ 1031 \ NT \ Scanpst.exe in the Office 2000 CD-ROM. On the system, a simple search for ‘scanpst’ would return the location of the Scanpst.exe inbox recovery tool.

Process of Inbox Repairing with the Scanpst Tool

Analyzing PST files directory structures, repairing them and restoring them are all part of the duties performed by Scanpst inbox repair tool. After executing the inbox repair tool, a new PST folder has to be created within the profile in which the recovery is needed, So the the items in the Lost and Found folders can be transferred to the newly created PST folder. This way both the recovered folders plus the ‘Lost and Found’ folders can be deleted so only a good copy of the needed files are remaining within Outlook. However any items that are not in ‘Lost and Found’ folder are beyond repair.

A backup of the damaged PST files

When the inbox repair tool Scanpst.exe is used, by selecting the checkbox to create a backup copy of the existing PST files would create a second copy of the PST files in a different extension, namely .BAK. The advantage of having a backup PST files is that the BAK version may be used to recover files that Scanpst fails to recover using the original PST files. Nevertheless the backup contains only a copy of the originally damaged or corrupted PST files.

A size limitation of 2GB causes saving and retrieval imitations to PST and OST files. There is utility that Microsoft has made to address this issue. However using of the PST file crop utility is subject to losing of some data in the files in order to recover the maximum.

The computers with Outlook 2000 accompanying corporate and workgroup option, are usually components of a larger network. If not the corporate and workgroup option is of no use to Outlook, nor to the system or the user. As network interruption, network failures and application errors being possible causes for PST file problems and Outlook 2000, the troubleshooting and recovery methods for PST files must become common knowledge amongst the staff in any business.