How to repair a critically damaged PST file?

A Personal Folder File or PST file allows users to save the data on their Outlook email client for accessing it at a later time or using it has back-up for restoring data when Outlook crashes. Some times, even the highly critical PST file becomes damaged, making the information stored in it, inaccessible. Below are the steps for repairing a PST file.

A Personal Folder File is created by the user when the Outlook email management client is being used as a stand alone software and is not running on a server like the Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SharePoint Server. Primarily, the PST files are used to back-up the emails managed on the Outlook client. But the PST file is also used to store other important data such has notes, tasks, journal and calender entries. The need for a PST repair process arises after the file gets corrupted or damaged, making the information stored inside it inaccessible. This can cause problems while opening the PST file or using it to restore the Outlook inbox. If the PST file gets damaged, Microsoft has provided an in-built repair tool with Outlook, called the Inbox Repair Tool, which allows users to repair the damaged file without having to switch to a back-up version of the file. The Inbox Repair Tool gets installed automatically when the Outlook client is installed on the system. Users know when the PST file is damaged when they are greeted with some kind of error message when they try to open the file on Outlook. The messages can vary from ‘Unable to expand the folder’ to ‘The set of folders could not be opened’, depending on the operating system the users are running. Before starting the PST repair process, users need to ensure that all email related applications are closed down. After that, users can proceed by clicking on the Start Menu and selecting the ‘Run’ function. In the ‘Open’ box which appears, type the following location path : ‘drive:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\LocaleID\scanpst.exe’. Now, when the tool opens, users need to type the location of the damaged PST file that they need to appear along with the file name, on the ‘Enter the name of the file you want to scan’ box. Users need to copy the location of the file from the error message as they would not be able to use the browse option as it might be located in a hidden folder on the system. In order to avoid logging problems during file scan, users can configure settings by accessing the ‘Options’ feature. If users select the Replace log or Append to log option, then a log of the scanned file is created and stored in the same directory in which the PST file is located. When all the configuration is completed, users can then click on the ‘Start’ button to scan the damaged PST file. When the tool finishes scanning the PST file, users must make sure that the ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’ option is selected before they begin the PST repair process. If the file gets repaired successfully, then the Inbox Repair Tool displays the following message : ‘Repair complete’. However, if the tool fails to repair the file, then users might have to select a back-up of the PST file in order to ensure continued access to the information stored within. Users may also use the DataNumen Outlook Repair tool from DataNumen in order to fix the damaged PST file.

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