Tips to Avoid Corruption in Large Outlook PST Files

2 Jul

I had Windows XP installed on my home PC that was running smoothly without any errors. One fine day, my hard disk crashed and I had to rebuild my system. I already had a full backup of the drive that contained my 1.95 GB Outlook PST file. This file had never shown signs of corruption. After reinstalling Windows and completing the rest of the process, I tried to access my Outlook PST. This time I was shocked to see errors on my screen, which prevented me from using the file and importing items into it. I heard of the PST size limitation issue, but have never got stuck on a similar problem before. 

At this stage, I was able to open the PST file, but lost access to some of my precious mail folders. I was able to see my March emails, but lost the April and May ones. At the time of burning the PST file to a CD, I remember that I removed its read-only attribute. I also tried copying the data onto the ‘C’ drive to no avail. When scanned the PST using ‘Scanpst.exe’ tool, the following error popped-up on completion of the sixth pass:

‘An error has occurred which caused the scan to be stopped. No changes have been made to the scanned file.’ 

I made an attempt to open and import data again after the scan finished, but with no success. I was looking for an easy way to extract the data of last two months. In order to check if the PST file was on a bad disk sector, I ran ‘ckdsk /r’ against the hard drive from the command prompt. The tool reported no issues with the drive. I tried the Microsoft’s 2 GB truncation utility to split the file into manageable parts. But it could not recover all the PST file data.

Finally, I had to resort to commercial third-party PST File Splitter software. After doing hours of research on the web, I came across one excellent PST File Splitter tool . This utility helped me to overcome the oversized PST problem easily by splitting my large-sized PST into smaller slices. With the help of this software, I split my PST based on the date criteria and successfully recovered the data of last two months. Furthermore, it is compatible with MS Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.

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