Damage to an Outlook PST file can occur anytime without warning and destroy some or all of the data stored in it. Once a PST file gets damaged there are various ways to repair it and the first step to repair is using integrated tools provided by Microsoft in Outlook. Now let’s look at how the Inbox Repair Tool or scanpst.exe can help in recovering the PST file.
If you are experiencing you a situation where your PST files have got corrupted then it is imperative that you initiate a PST recovery. To run PST recovery process the first tool you should always use is the integrated Inbox Repair Tool or scanpst.exe which is provided with Outlook by Microsoft. Scanpst.exe can help you recover items from corrupted .pst files or from offline folder or .ost file. Scanpst.exe is a hidden file in Windows computers which gets automatically installed while installing the Operating System.
For a proper PST recovery you need to know how to make the best use of the Inbox Repair Tool. The Inbox Repair Tool is compatible with all Outlook versions but for the smooth functioning of the tool you need to first use the Cropping tool to make the .pst file size smaller than 2GB. Before starting the PST recovery process you must find the location where the scanpst.exe tool is hidden. For this you need to use the search function and type scanpst.exe and then let the system do the work for you. Before searching you also need to make sure that ‘Show hidden files and folders’ option is enabled.
After you found the Inbox Repair Tool click start and the tool will automatically scan the file for errors and recover data from the corrupt PST file. After you finish running the Inbox Repair Tool you need to close and restart Outlook. After this step click on the ‘View’ or ‘Go’ menu, click ‘Folder list’ button to turn on the Folder list view.
After you turn on the ‘Folder list’ you will see the recovered personal folders and also see a new folder by the name ‘Lost and Found’. This new folder will contain all the data recovered by the Inbox Repair Tool. However, if you are seeing a partially empty or fully empty ‘Lost and Found’ folder then you can be sure of that the damage is beyond repair and you will require the help of external third party software to recover the data.
After you are successful in recovering the lost data you can drag all the data from the ‘Lost and Found’ folder to a newly created Personal Folder. If you are still not satisfied with the recovery process, you can try a few extra steps to get back your lost files. When you run PST recovery process a backup of the original file is automatically selected. This in turn also creates a file named “File name.bak” in the hard drive which is a copy of the original .pst file. You can try to recover additional data from this backup file if you feel something is missing in the first step.
The first step is to locate the .bak file. It is usually found in the folder where the original PST file existed. The next step is to give the file a new name with .pst extension. After this step import the newly create .pst file by using the export import wizard in Outlook. An important thing to note here is that the backup file is nothing but the original corrupted file and in the end you may find out that you cannot recover anything from it apart from what was recovered in the ‘Lost and Found’ folder. At this time you may require the help of software like DataNumen Outlook Repair which can help to recover the files which the Inbox Repair Tool failed to extract.