Personal storage folders or PST files are a part of Microsoft Outlook data storage used in storing e-mail folders, contacts, calendar and other personal data. Pst files in Microsoft Outlook 2002 and earlier versions are ANSI (American National Standards Institute) format, although with Microsoft Outlook 2003, they were in UNICODE file format. In the event that Microsoft Outlook flashes errors when trying to open PST folders, probably the Outlook PST file is corrupted and inbox repair should be used. This is a small utility that comes as part of the standard installation of Microsoft Office 2000 and later versions, and allows you to repair the corrupted PST files in most cases.

If damaged, PST file is automatically corrected by Outlook at the start of the application. A start window shows that Outlook tries to repair the folders. However, if the scale of damage is high, and this initial automatically attempted repair fails, Outlook may not open. These are the situations when a PST-file-corruption-fix with Outlook Repair Tool is needed.

The Inbox Repair Tool – Scanpst.exe

To repair the Outlook Inbox and the rest of the folders, an executable file called Scanpst.exe is needed with its default settings, can be accessed at local: \ Program Files \ Microsoft Office \ Office12 in Outlook 2007 and C: \ Program Files \ Common Files \ System \ MSMAPI \ 1033 in earlier versions. If the Scanpst tool was not found at the expected location, the file search option of Windows can be utilized for a search of the tool. Once the file is located, steps below should be followed:

1. Make sure that Outlook is closed before starting the tool
2. Double-click the file Scanpst.exe the tool to start
3. Navigate to the location of the PST file
4. Click “Start” to start the file scanning
5. Once the scan is complete, a message may be displayed. Select the checkbox for the creation of the backup copy of the scanned file
6. Click “Repair” to repair the damaged PST.

Damages caused by Third party add inns

Inbox repair has less chance of repairing the PST, when they are from third party add-ins or damages from similar causes. If recovery cannot be done for the desired folders with this tool, it is proposed for a powerful third party PST repair utility, that are freely available in the market. However a careful consideration on security aspects is required before using such third party software.

If the system uses Outlook 2002 or Outlook 2003 with PST files created in an earlier version, A 2GB file size limit may cause recovery issues using Scanpst.exe inbox recovery tool. The PST file size has to be determined before initiating a recovery with the inbuilt outlook recovery, but as a workaround a PST file crop can be used if the files are found to be larger than 2GB.