For storing all your emails, contacts, notes, calendar items, etc on a single folder at your local hard drive, Ms Outlook uses Personal Storage Table or PST file. MS Outlook 2002 and earlier versions are formatted according to the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) format, according to which the PST files have size limit of 2 GB. Whereas, MS Outlook 2003 and later versions have UNICODE formatting which has 20GB PST file size limit. Since, the PST file size limit increases with time as we send/receive emails and accumulate other mailbox items thus there are times when the size of PST file reaches to its threshold limit. This causes corruption in PST file and hence it becomes difficult to access even a single email or any other mailbox item. The feasible way to overcome such devastating situations of PST corruption is PST recovery.
However, size limit of PST file is not the only cause of PST corruption there are various other reasons due to which PST file gets damaged. These reasons may vary from virus infection, abrupt exiting from MS Outlook application, improper system shutdown, to header corruption of PST file. Most of the times when you try to access a corrupt PST file or open MS Outlook when PST file is corrupt, you encounter an error message. Some of the most common error messages related to PST file corruption are given below:
- File xxxx.pst could not be accessed. Data error. Cyclic redundancy check.
- Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
- The file xxxx.pst could not be found.
- Unable to display the folder. The file xxxx.pst could not be accessed.
- The file xxxx.pst is not a personal folders file.
- xxxx.pst can not be accessed – 0x80040116.
- Errors have been detected in the file xxxx.pst. Quit Outlook and all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox repair tool(Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file. For more information about the Inbox repair tool, see Help.
The after effects of almost all above mentioned error messages are inaccessibility of Outlook mailbox items that are stored in this corrupt PST file. However, MS Outlook provides an inbuilt utility named as Scanpst.exe which is mentioned in one of the aforementioned errors. Though this utility fixes some of the errors or some of the cases of corruption but fails if PST file is severely corrupt. In such situation where this inbuilt utility fails to rectify the issue, using third-party PST File recovery software is recommended.
One of the advisable third-party tools to repair corrupt or inaccessible PST file and thus recover all your Outlook mailbox data is PST Recovery Software. This efficient tool repairs PST files from all kinds of PST file corruption, restores various Outlook objects, and even recovers deleted emails.