How to go about fixing a heavily damaged OST file?

OST (Offline Folder File) is a type of storage file in Microsoft Outlook which allows users to save information on a single file. An OST file let’s users to access stored information when they are not connected to the internet or not hooked on to the main server. OST files stores all the important information like emails, contacts and calendar. When an OST file gets damaged it becomes quite a nuisance for the user to recover the data stored in it.

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client all over the world which helps users to manage multiple email accounts from a single platform. Outlook is used by individuals as well as established businesses to communicate with their clients and customers. Many organizations uses Outlook to manage their employees email accounts which use servers like ‘Microsoft Exchange Server’ or ‘Microsoft SharePoint’ for the ease of managing multiple email accounts. In order to access emails and other data from Outlook while in offline mode, Microsoft allows users to create and store all information in OST files.

An OST file can become corrupt or inaccessible due to various reasons. OST corruption can happen if Outlook client crashes or if it was not shut down properly. Moreover, an OST file can also become corrupted due to attack from some external sources like viruses, spyware and malware. OST recovery in such a case becomes imminent to restore all the corrupt files. However, OST recovery process is not always successful and the integrated OST integrity tool may not be able to recover much or any of the data from the OST files. Still the tool is worth trying as in most of the cases it is able to restore the files if the damage is not too severe.

Before you start using the OST integrity tool you should make sure that all applications including Outlook are closed. After this step you should open the integrity tool which usually remains hidden in your system. For this you should first click on the ‘Start’ button and then click on ‘Run’ and then type the following command: drive:\Program Files\Common Files\ System\Mapi\LocaleID\scanost.exe. When you click on the command the OST integrity tool will open up and you can perform the OST recovery process.

With the OST integrity tool you can either scan all folders or only choose to scan a few important selected folders. Although you can choose to scan all folders that are available, it is advisable to scan only a few important files that you think are important for you as scanning all the folders will consume a lot of time. However, if you are keen to recover all your folders and don’t mind the time consumed in the process then go for the full scan. Users can repair the selected OST files by clicking on the ‘Repair Errors’ check box. After following this step click on the ‘Begin Scan’ button to trigger the recovery process.

The details of the scan and recovery process will be displayed in the Outlook ‘Deleted Items’ folder and will appear with the title ‘OST Integrity Check’. Check the recovered file to ensure that all your important files are intact in the new folder. If they are in the folder then it’s well and good. However, if the required data is still not in the folder you might require the help of a third party recovery programme to recover all the data. “DataNumen Exchange Recovery” is one such software which is most effective in recovering almost all your damaged data.

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