What to Do When Outlook Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) Cannot Recover Wanted Items

This post will examine the file recovery process when using the SCANPST application and what you can do if the software doesn’t recover part or all intended mailbox items from a corrupt PST file.

What to Do When Outlook Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) Cannot Recover Wanted Items

Microsoft provides Outlook users with a tool to repair mailbox files when they get damaged. Sometimes the inbuilt tool may fail to recover a portion or all the intended items. What can you do?

How the SCANPST application works


When you open the scanpst.exe software, it prompts you to identify the file that hosts the emails you wish to recover. The software allows you to decide whether you wish to save the damaged file as a backup. After you hit the start button, the software scans the source file and identifies any inconsistencies in the structure of the mailbox items.

If faults are discovered, especially in the header section of the mailbox data, the software pops up a message showing the count of inconsistencies found in the source files. It also provides the option to select the location where the backup file will be saved. To continue with the repair process, select the “Repair” option.

Now the repair software will attempt to correct the identified inconsistencies and create the correct version of the affected files. The backup data created by this tool is saved in .bak format. The software will pop up an alert when the repair process is finished.

It is possible that you may not find the emails you want when you check the folder that has the salvaged data. There are many reasons why this may happen. For instance, the repair kit mainly works for minor file header corruption issues. If the source file is badly damaged, the Outlook recovery tool may not recover the wanted items.

If you are working with an oversize source file, the software doesn’t have the capacity to repair mailbox data that is larger than 2 GB. Therefore, if your source document is larger than this size limit, the repair software may identify the corrupt items but fail to recover them. You also need to note that in some instances you may have to run the application repeatedly before recovering missing data.

In case the target data is deleted, the Outlook recovery tool may complete the repair process without recovering it. This is because the application cannot undelete deleted data.

What next?

If the application has finished recovering the mailbox files and still you have not found the target items, consider repeating the process several times. However, as you do this, consider the limitations of the recovery software as discussed above. For instance, if you are dealing with oversize Outlook files, it would make no sense to repeat the process because you will get the same results.

Instead, install DataNumen Outlook Repair and use it to recover the corrupt mailbox data. Make sure that you go to the “Options” tab and select the option to split the recovered data into smaller PST files if you are dealing with oversize mailbox data. Also, if you suspect that some items could have been deleted, select the option to recover such data.

DataNumen Outlook Repair

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