Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

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Inbox Repair tool

If you can't open your Personal Folders file (.pst) or your Offline Folder file (.ost), or you suspect that your .pst or .ost data file is corrupted, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file. The Inbox Repair tool scans only the .pst or .ost file, not your mailbox on the server running Microsoft Exchange. The tool determines whether the file structure is intact. If it is not intact, the Inbox Repair tool resets your file structure and rebuilds the headers.

The Inbox Repair tool works on both the Microsoft Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst) and the Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) data files in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

Scanpst.exe is installed when you install Outlook. It is located at:

drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.

Repair errors by using Scanpst.exe

  1. Exit Outlook if it is running.
  2. Double-click Scanpst.exe, located at drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.
  3. In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, enter the name of the .pst or .ost file that you want to check, or click Browse to search for the file.
  4. To specify the scan log options, click Options, and then click the option that you want.
  5. Click Start.
  6. If errors are found after the scan is complete, you will be prompted to start the repair process to fix the errors.

A backup file is created during the repair process. To change the default name or location of this backup file, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or click Browse to look for the file that you want to use.

  1. Click Repair.
  2. Start Outlook by using the profile that contains the .pst file that you tried to repair.
  3. On the Go menu, click Folder List.

In the Folder List, you may see a folder named Recovered Personal Folders that contains your default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. The recovered folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. The Lost and Found folder contains the folders and items recovered by the Inbox Repair tool. Items that are missing from the Lost and Found folder cannot be repaired.

  1. If you see a Recovered Personal Folders folder, you can create a new .pst file, and drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new .pst file. When you have finished moving all the items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder, from your profile.

 Notes 

  • If you are able to open the original .pst file, you may be able to recover additional items from your damaged .pst file. By default, the Inbox Repair tool creates a file called file name.bak, which is a copy of the original .pst file with a different extension. The .bak file is located in the same folder as your original .pst file. You may be able to recover items from the .bak file that the Inbox Repair tool could not recover. Make a copy of the .bak file, and give the file a new name with a .pst extension, such as bak.pst. Import the bak.pst file, and then move any additional recovered items to the new .pst file that you created.
  • A copy of the log file is written to the same location as the .pst file.

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OST Integrity Check tool

From time to time, you may get error messages when synchronizing your Offline Folder file (.ost) in Microsoft Office Outlook with your mailbox on a server running Exchange. You may also notice that some items are missing from your .ost file or from your mailbox after you synchronize your .ost file and your mailbox. When this occurs, you should use the OST Integrity Check tool (Scanost.exe) to check your .ost file.

The OST Integrity Check tool runs only on .ost files and can be used to diagnose and repair synchronization issues. The tool scans both your .ost file and your mailbox on the server running Exchange, compares the items and folders in each, and attempts to reconcile synchronization differences between them. The OST Integrity Check tool does not change your mailbox on the server running Exchange. The tool records any differences in a scan log so that you can see the discrepancies that it found and resolved. The scan log also identifies any situations that the tool could not correct which you will need to fix manually. The scan log can be found in your Deleted Items folder.

To use the OST Integrity Check tool, you must connect to your Exchange account so that the tool can scan your mailbox folders and items. If you previously set up Outlook to start offline automatically, the OST Integrity Check tool will not be able to access your mailbox on the server running Exchange. Therefore, before you run the tool, you need to change your Outlook startup settings temporarily.

If you have problems opening your .ost file, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in your .ost file. The Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) can be used on your .ost file as well as Personal Folders file (.pst). The tool scans the .ost or .pst file, and makes sure that the file structure is intact. It does not interact with your Inbox on the server running Exchange server in any way.

The OST Integrity Check tool (Scanost.exe) is installed when you install Outlook. It is located at:

drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.

Repair errors by using Scanost.exe

  1. Exit Outlook if it is running.
  2. Double-click Scanost.exe, located at drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.
  3. If you have set up Outlook to prompt for a profile, the tool will also prompt you for one. In the Profile Name list, click the profile that contains the .ost file that you want to check.

If you are prompted to Connect or Work Offline, click Connect.

  1. Select the options that you want.

To have the tool automatically resolve discrepancies that it finds during the scan, select the Repair Errors check box. If this check box is cleared, the tool will log the problems but not make the necessary corrections.

  1. Click Begin Scan.

 Note   To view the scan log, start Outlook, and then open the Deleted Items folder. The tool does not scan the Deleted Items folder. Any problems will be noted in a message with the Subject "OST Integrity Check."

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007