Personal Storage Table or PST Files are Outlook mailbox archive files created by MS Outlook for storing emails, contacts, and other Outlook data on the local computer of the user. The PST file contains various Outlook email items and the files to manage offline availability of these items. There are various advantages of having PST file such as you can have the copy of all your emails on your local system, if the Email Server crashes. Moreover, you can free the storage space on the Mail Server by moving mailbox items from Server to PST file.
Despite these advantages, there are times when your Outlook PST file gets corrupt and thus all your data stored in it becomes inaccessible. Some possible reasons responsible for PST file corruption are:
- Since PST files have stipulated size limit, crossing this predefined limit corrupts the PST file. The size limit of PST files varies with the versions of Outlook you are using. MS Outlook 2002 and earlier versions have limited the size of their PST file up to 2 GB. Whereas, MS Outlook 2003 and later versions have PST file size limit up to 20 GB.
- Virus infected storage media is another cause responsible for corruption of PST file.
- Operating system malfunction and various problems with Outlook application are some other causes responsible for PST file corruption.
Ways to Recover Outlook PST Data:
You can always maintain a backup of your Outlook PST file in order to recover your mailbox data in any such cases of PST file corruption. Maintaining the backup on some secondary storage media like CD, DVD, or USB drive is always a better way to salvage Outlook data loss in any Outlook data loss scenario. To restore Outlook data through this backup PST file, you have to copy the backup file to the location where you want to work with it. If you are restoring your file from CD/DVD ensure that you unchecked the ‘Read Only’ option by right clicking the file and choosing Properties. Then open, Outlook and connect with this PST file through File>>Open>>Outlook Data File…
However, if your PST file is corrupt and you do not have its backup as well, then you can try the Inbox Repair Tool of Outlook i.e. scanpst.exe. This inbuilt utility of Outlook scans the corrupt PST file for corruption or damage and recovers all the data stored in the Outlook PST file. If this inbuilt tool of Outlook too fails to do the needful, then using efficient Outlook PST Repair software is recommended.
A powerful PST recovery utility repairs corrupt Outlook PST file, recovers its various objects, and restores them in a new PST file. Some advance tools of this category provide you the option to repair selective emails or selective Outlook folders as well. Moreover, robust tools often recover even password protected PST files and provide a detailed preview of all the recovered emails. In this way, using reliable software to repair corrupt PST file and thus recover its various objects is ultimate solution to overcome the Outlook data loss.
Author Bio: Chirag Arora is a Data Recovery Specialist at www.stellarinfo.com, Stellar Information System Ltd.