Damage to Outlook PST files is not a new problem as a lot of users face this problem time and again. Managing the PST file size and effective back up of data in most cases is the only safe way to prevent data loss. PST recovery process can be a painful process if the damage is beyond repair for the integrated Inbox Repair Tool provided by Microsoft along with Outlook.
Effective management of PST files in your Outlook email client is the key for the health of all the important data stored in it. However, due to some internal software and hardware error or some external factors like virus, spyware and malware the PST file where all the emails, notes, addresses and calendar information are stored may go corrupt. Whenever this happens it becomes a challenge for the user to recover the lost data from the corrupt PST file. Whenever a PST file goes corrupt there is little option for recovering the data unless and until you keep a back up of all the files on a daily basis or take the help of third party recovery softwares.
In most of the cases the main cause of corruption is exceeding the maximum limit of data storage in the PST file which Outlook uses to store data. Unfortunately, Outlook does not have any alarm system which can warn users when the threshold which is usually 2GB of data is achieved or crossed. If the file size exceeds this limit, Outlook begins to hang up while performing regular work and finally the PST file gets corrupted. Usually an Outlook user will face error as soon as Outlook starts up i.e., when the system checks for error and if the PST file is found to be partially or fully damaged or corrupt Outlook will suggest you to use the Inbox Repair Tool which is also known as Scanpst.exe.
PST recovery can be effectively done with the scanpst.exe tool which carries out a quick scan and identifies the errors. If the scanpst.exe tool finds out slight damage to the file it will carry out the repair process and also get it healed. However, if the damage is severe like exceeding the 2GB data limit then the scanpst.exe tool may fail to recover the data and you might have to take the help of third party recovery softwares. These third party softwares can carry out effectively the task of PST recovery and recovers most of the lost data.
There is another smart way to deal with your damaged PST files by using the Crop tool which is also a free integrated tool in Outlook like the Inbox Repair Tool or scanpst.exe. When the PST file crosses the 2GB limit and gets corrupted the only tool than can help you other than Inbox Repair Tool is the Crop tool. The Crop tool basically aims to reduce the PST file size to below 2GB so that you can access the file. However, the user has no control on what information’s the tool is going to delete in order to reduce the file size. The tool usually deletes data that are mission critical and leave the retrievable data unharmed. Apart from the above disadvantage the tool is very useful in reducing the size of the PST file making it useable once again.
If you are still not satisfied with the Crop tool due to the uncertainty over what data you might loose then you can always consider using an Advanced Outlook Repair tool which can automatically complete such tasks.