DIY Tips to Repair MS Outlook PST Files Error
Microsoft Outlook is one of the most commonly used email client among a vast demographic of users from all different backgrounds. MS Outlook helps us with our e-mail needs and also provides us with various features like Calendar, Appointments, Notes etc. Because of its user-friendliness and powerful working environment, it is becoming more popular among novice as well as advanced users. Since we live in a world where time is money, hence we cannot afford any kind of interruption whatsoever.
Generally, problems associated with MS Outlook are many, but PST file errors are very common. In this article, we are going to understand certain PST file problems and look into various fixes and resolutions on how to recover or repair MS Outlook PST files. You can also our most popular article:- How to Create Backup of MS-Outlook through Archiving Feature
PST: AN OVERVIEW
MS Outlook uses PST and OST files to store data. A PST file is used by various programs and it stores information like Contacts, e-mails, Tasks, Appointments etc. The basic difference between PST and OST files is that PST (Personal Storage Table) file is used to store archived data; while OST (Offline Storage Table) file is used to store saved copies of data that can be accessed while offline. You can also Migrate OST to PST File in an Organized Way, There are two types of PST files formats.
ANSI: Used in MS Outlook versions 97 – 2002
Unicode: Used in MS Outlook versions 2003 and later.
COMMON ERRORS RELATED TO PST FILE
- Administrator alerts (Oversized PST file).
- Not being able to send or receive messages.
- File corruption errors
- Outlook takes time to load
- Outlook responds absurdly
- Outlook application pauses/freezes
- Outlook not responding error
- Other error codes like 0x80040116, 0x80040119, 0x80040600, 0x80070570 etc.
CAUSES OF PST FILE ERRORS
- Improper system shutdown
- Virus attacks in the system
- Corrupted MS Outlook installation
- Oversized PST file
- Corrupted PST file
- Interrupted internet connection
HOW TO RECOVER MS OUTLOOK PST FILE ERRORS?
There are a number of resolutions for these PST file errors. Discussed below are different methods to tackle these PST file errors depending upon the nature of the PST file error that we are dealing with.
USING INBOX TOOL REPAIR ‘SCANPST.EXE’
Microsoft provides us with an Inbox Repair Tool to resolve PST file corruption errors. The tool is SCANPST.EXE and this tool can be used to recover or repair MS Outlook PST file corruption issues. In case of severe corruption, this tool might not work because the Inbox Repair Tool cannot repair every problem that is detected and some items might not get recovered if they are corrupted beyond repair. So the user may need to look into other rectification methods. The Inbox Repair tool may need to run several times in order to fully recover or repair MS Outlook PST file if possible.
SPLIT AND COMPRESS PST FILE
In the case of a large PST file, you might experience issues like MS Outlook takes time to load, responds slowly or it pauses in between sometimes. To combat this problem you might split the oversized PST file into smaller PST files. By doing this you will also prevent PST file corruption that could have had happened because of an oversized PST file. You can split a PST manually, or use a third party software to go through with the tedious process of splitting the file.
After archiving PST files, a negligible amount of space is freed up in the PST file and this is because space freed up by removing items is not returned to the file system and is filled up with ‘white space’. This is because to continue with the smooth operation when an item is permanently deleted from outlook, the space occupied by that item turns into white space and this space can be used by any new or modified item. When the white space size becomes more than 20% of the PST file, Outlook automatically shrinks the PST file when the system is idle.
Alternatively, the size of PST file can be reduced through manual Compact Now process by clearing up white space by compressing the PST file. But this process might take up several hours and you cannot access Outlook during the compression process. So it is advisable to let the process run overnight or while you are not using outlook.
REINSTALL CORRUPT OUTLOOK FILES
There are also cases where MS Outlook during installation procedure the files to be installed gets corrupt, and this might cause some of the PST files errors mentioned earlier. To rectify this problem the simple and only solution is to reinstall or repair the installation procedure.
USE COMMERCIAL PST RECOVERY SOFTWARE
There are various third party PST file repair tools which cater to various needs involving PST file recovery. Sometimes when PST file gets corrupted and repair, reinstallation or Inbox Repair Tool is not able to recover the corrupted file, these PST file repair tools help us to do so. Surprisingly; these tools are able to recover data that is beyond repair for Inbox Repair Tools.
In certain cases, chkdsk utility provided in windows might resolve any minor corruption issue that might just be the reason for the PST file error that you are facing. Sometimes although being a Hail-Mary shot, it does turn out to be fruitful in certain cases and might help recover or repair MS Outlook PST files. To understand how to use this chkdsk utility.
Anti-virus programs are designed to protect the file systems of our computer. Many times may be due to not up-to-date virus software and/or definitions or because of any new form of virus, trojan, malware or adware, system files get affected. Since these viruses target information, it is possible for these things to attack files containing personal information and data such as a PST file.
In a case where your PST file might have been attacked by any kind of virus, it is advised to run your antivirus program and perform a scan. If you do not have an antivirus you should get one and perform the scan. Once the scanning process is complete, the antivirus program will target and remove the virus from your system and your MS Outlook PST file issue might get solved.
Mentioned above are different solutions related to the type of PST file errors we might be facing. All these solutions mentioned here regarding how to recover or repair MS Outlook PST files are described thoroughly, feel free ask questions or tell us any other way to recover or repair MS Outlook PST file data that we might have missed in the comments section.
Mahima Gupta, I have the expertise and specialisation in MS Outlook & Its Recovery Solutions, along with the MS Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes. I have in-depth knowledge and working experience of several years with these e-mail clients. I usually provides custom tips, tricks and solutions for various problems and issues pertaining these specific e-mail clients and other e-mail clients as well through my blogging.