Microsoft Outlook PST files can be damaged due to many reasons that could lead to irreparable loss of data. The file is vulnerable to various diseases, such as unexpected power failure, network interruption, virus infection, network sharing and application errors. Since the file stores all e-mails and other Outlook objects, PST corruption often leads to loss of valuable information.

Most of the time the only choice is to try to fix these issues with Scanpst.exe application that comes with the installation of Outlook by default. But the tool has only limited capabilities to repair common data issues with Outlook. If in any case an Outlook data problem occurs, the inbox repair tool can help to a certain extend. If the issues are beyond the inbuilt utility, then its recommended for a PST recovery with high-end tools available in the market to successfully scan and repair the corrupted PST or OST files.

The Scale of the Actual Issue

Sometimes an issue with only a few. PST files can escalate the case until Outlook stops functioning. Typically, at least symptoms, such as errors when trying to open Outlook and / or a series of error messages when using Outlook may be experienced. This can be due to a simple reason such as an unexpected power failure. In this context the storage mechanism of Outlook and Outlook as an e-mail client are thought to be very fragile components when it comes to data handling.

Damaged PST files can be repaired using Outlook inbox repair tool Scanpst.exe. To run the program, the following steps should be completed:

1. Quit Outlook and click on Start -> Search or Find (based on the operating system in use)
2. Click All files and folders in the Search window and type “Scanpst.exe. Before this step, make sure that “Show hidden files and folder setting is” selected because scanpst.exe is a hidden file.
3. Click the Search button and find the file Scanpst.exe appear in search results when it is completed.
4. Open the file by double-clicking
5. Enter or browse to the location of the PST file which is damaged
6. Click Start to start the repair process
7. Exit the program and try to open the PST file

What next?

If still the file is inaccessible or ignites errors, it is severely damaged and beyond the repair capabilities of Scanpst. To repair such files, third party PST Repair Tools may be required. Such third party applications are usually very effective with advanced scanning algorithms but as a precaution the software has to be thoroughly researched for and evaluated with sufficient positive user feedbacks.

Although most of the times descriptions and guidelines revolve around the famous PST file extension of Windows Outlook, the offline files or the .ost extension too has to be dealt with the exact same procedures should any problem occur in .ost files. Overall the capabilities of the inbox repair tool for Windows Outlook – scanpst.exe are less than what is needed to remedy typical or average issues, experienced with PST and OST files in different versions of Outlook.