The Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) is a tool designed to help repair problems associated with Personal Folder (.pst) files. This tool can also repair offline folder (.ost) files.
The Inbox Repair Tool ships with Microsoft Windows 95, and is also on both the Microsoft Outlook 98 and Microsoft Office 2000 CD-ROM. It is installed automatically during setup. This utility is also installed with the Windows Messaging Service Setup on the Microsoft Windows 98 CD-ROM. You can find these programs in the following folder:
Video: How to repair your Outlook Person Folder (.pst) files
Run the Inbox Repair Tool
- Click Start and point to Find, or Search, depending upon your operating system.
- In the Search for files or folders namedbox, type scanpst.exe.
- Type the path and file name of the pst file, or click Browse to locate the file using the windows file system.
- Click Start.
What the Inbox Repair Tool DoesWhen you run the Inbox Repair Tool on a Personal Folders (.pst) file, it does the following:
- The Inbox Repair Tool analyses the Personal Folders (.pst) file directory structure and item headers to try and recover all folders and items.
- If the Inbox Repair Tool recovers the Personal Folders (.pst) file, it means that the repair tool found problems, and repaired what it could.
- The Inbox Repair Tool tries to turn any file into a Personal Folders (.pst) file. (For example, if you rename an executable file to "Something.pst," (without quotation marks) the tool changes the file to a mountable .pst file).
Recovered Personal Folders FileAfter you run the Inbox Repair Tool, start Outlook by using the profile that contains the Personal Folders (.pst) file that you tried to repair. On the View menu, click Folder List to turn on the Folder List view. In your Folder List, you should see the following recovered folders:
These recovered folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. You should also see a folder called "Lost And Found" (without quotation marks). This folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair Tool recovered. Items that are missing from the Lost and Found folder are beyond repair.
Recovered Personal Folders
How to Recover Repaired ItemsYou should move as many of the items from the Lost And Found folder to a new Personal Folders (.pst) file in your profile. First, create a new Personal Folders (.pst) file entry in your profile and drag any recovered items from the Lost And Found folder to the appropriate location in your new Personal Folders (.pst) file.
How to Create a New Personal Folder (.pst) File in Your Profile
- Start Outlook with the profile that contains your recovered Personal Folder (.pst) files.
- On the File menu, click Data File Management.
- Click Add to open the New Outlook Data File dialog box.
- In the Types of storage box, click to select Personal Folders File (.pst), and then click OK.
- In the Create or Open Outlook Data Filedialog box, click a directory and a file name for your new Personal Folders (.pst) file, and then click Open.
- Click OK.
How to Recover Items from the Backup Personal Folders (.pst) FileNOTE: If you cannot open your original Personal Folders (.pst) file before you run Inbox Repair Tool, it is possible that the following procedures may not work. If you are able to open the original Personal Folders (.pst) file, then it is possible that the following procedures may allow you to recover additional items from your damaged Personal Folders (.pst) file.
When you run Inbox Repair Tool, the option to create a backup of the original Personal Folders (.pst) file is selected. This option creates a file on your hard disk called <file name>.bak, and is a copy of the original <file name>.pst file with a different extension. The .bak file resides in the directory of your original Personal Folders (.pst) file.
You may be able to recover items from the .bak file that Inbox Repair Tool could not. Make a copy of the .bak file, giving the file a new name with a .pst extension, for example "Newname.pst" (without quotation marks).
Open Outlook using the profile that contains the your new Personal Folders (.pst) file from step 4 in the "Recovering Repaired Items" section of this article, and try to import the "Newname.pst" folder by using the Import And Export Wizard. To do this:
- On the File menu, click Import And Export.
- Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
- Click to select Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
- Under File To Import, type your Newname.pst file. Under Options, click Do not import duplicates, and click Next.
- Under Select the folder to import from, click to select the Personal Folders (.pst) file, and click to select
Include subfolders, click to select Import folders into the same folder in, click your new Personal Folders (.pst) file from step 4 in the "Recovering Repaired Items" section of this article, and then click Finish.
How to Recover a 2 GB Personal Folder (.pst)The upper limit of a Personal Folder (.pst) is two gigabytes. Often when a Personal Folder (.pst) approaches this limit, you may not be able to save or retrieve items. The same size limiitation applies to Offline Folders (.ost).
Microsoft has made a utility available that is designed to attempt to recover the stored items in the Personal Folder (.pst) by reducing its size below the critical limit. Use of this utility results in some data loss in order to recovery the maximum data.
For additional information about PST size limits and the PST/OST Cropping tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: