The Personal Storage Files or PST files can suffer from corruption due to a variety of reasons – from size limits imposed by Microsoft Outlook to malicious attacks. There is a real fear of data being lost under these circumstance and we look at ways in which we can easily recover Outlook data from a corrupt PST file.
One of the most popular personal management software, also used predominantly as an email client, is Microsoft Outlook. Just as this software is fairly well-known, the storage format used to store all the Outlook data is also very well-known. Outlook stores all the items including messages, appointments and calendar items, journal entries and contact lists in Personal Storage Folders or PST files. Though this file is very powerful and allows for very quick search and access facilities, it is also vulnerable in a number of areas. This makes corruption of PST files a fairly common occurrence leading to loss of important data. We will look at the best ways of avoiding this problem and to recover PST data if the need arises.
- One of the most common causes of corruption in a PST file is an oversized PST file. Older versions of Outlook have a size limit of around 2GB on PST files and if a user allows the PST file to go beyond this limit, the PST file gets corrupted almost instantly. There is no warning to the user about the file size approaching the limit of 2 GB and the worst part is you cannot predict what data might be lost due to the corruption. Outlook does provide a Crop utility using which you can remove some of the data so that the PST file is brought down to under 2GB and you can recover PST data. However, you cannot control what data is cropped. A more effective alternative is to use specialized third-party tools such as DataNumen Outlook Repair from DataNumen to repair the PST files so that there is no data loss.
- Outlook PST files are also susceptible to virus attacks, sudden power surges, hardware malfunctions and problems in software. All these can cause corruption in Outlook. If the corruption is not serious, then you should be able to run Outlook tools such as Inbox Repair tool (scanpst.exe) to scan the files for errors and then fix them. If the corruption levels are fairly high then it may not be possible to use the Inbox Repair tool to repair the errors and you may again have to turn to DataNumen Outlook Repair to fix the PST file and recover PST data. This tool uses advanced technologies to scan the damaged file and recovers Outlook items so as to minimize data loss.
- Another reason why PST files may become corrupt is because of version upgrade. When a user upgrades the version of Outlook being used, the PST files currently being used may not be supported by the newer version and this makes the file inaccessible.