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How to fix corrupt PST files

For those wondering what a PST file is, it stands for “Personal Storage Table”. It is a filename extension that is used by Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office Outlook to store data information such as e-mail messages from Microsoft Exchange mail boxes, calendar items and tasks. If you use Microsoft Office Outlook on a constant basis, then you’ve probably used PST files to store such information. PST files are usually stored locally on the user’s computer, but these files can also be delivered to and stored on a remote server. You can find the PST file for your current mail box (usually named Outlook.pst) by opening its default location in Microsoft Explorer: "C:Documents and SettingsUSER Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook", with USER substituted for your Windows login screen name. An archive file known as Archive.pst can also be found in the same location.

PST files can become damaged or corrupt for a variety of reasons, usually by being improperly modified by third party programs. But a corrupt PST file is relatively easy to fix with the right type of software. Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook contains a ready set of tools that can be used to fix corrupt PST files. Upon opening a corrupt PST file, Outlook will attempt to automatically repair the file. A window will appear letting you know of this automatic repair attempt. Depending on the severity of the file damage, the automatic PST file repair may or may not be able to fix the problem. In the event that the automatic repair fails, there is another method available to the user to fix a corrupt PST file.

The Inbox Repair Tool is another repair method that is by default installed by Microsoft Outlook. It can be found in “C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033” as a standalone executable file under the name Scanpst.exe. If you are unable to locate this file, find and run CNFNOT32.EXE. This will reinstall the Scanpst.exe file back to its default location. To start the repair process, double click on the Scanpst.exe file and browse to the location of the corrupt PST file when prompted. The Inbox Repair Tool will then scan the corrupt PST file, and then attempt to repair the file to its original condition. If the Inbox Repair Tool is unable to repair the corrupt PST file, third party solutions may have to be used in order to fix the problem.

This tool can work great at fixing header issues within a pst file. However it is not the end all be all tool. It lacks being able to do a whol lot with other types of issues that can result in a corrupt pst file. That is why there are a few third party tools out there that can help. If after trying the free method above does not work for you then consider trying this PST Repair software. It's free to download and to scan. While the program does cost money to do a repair you can first ensure that it will repair your pst file. It's a solution that works great and it's far better to pay out the money for the program then loose all your Outlook data.

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