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Using scanpst.exe

Sometimes you can easily repair your PST files using the free scanpst.exe file provided by Microsoft. This tool works well and can help in certain situations, especially if the problem is located in the file header.

If scanpst.exe does not work, then there are other options. Stellar Outlook PST Repair is a very easy to use and powerful tool that can reconstruct your damaged .pst file and recover your data. This program does cost money but can be worth it if you've lost your data.

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Note: If the problem is caused by a file that is approaching or over the 2 GB limit, then scanpst.exe may not work. You'll have to use the cropping tool first.

Scanpst.exe procedure:

First, quit the Outlook application.

You must ensure that the "Show Hidden Files And Folders" option is enabled. Your .pst file is a hidden file, and unless this option is turned on you won't be able to see it:

Vista and Windows 7:

  • Go to Start, and then click on "Run"
    (If you are using Windows Vista or 7, use the Start Search box and type "Run")
  • Type Control Folders, and then click OK.
    (Note If you are using Windows Vista, right-click Control Folders, and then click Run as administrator)
  • If you are using Windows Vista, double-click Folder Options.
  • Click the View tab.
  • Under Hidden files and folders, make sure the Show hidden files and folders option is selected, and then click OK.

Windows XP:

  • Open Windows Explorer.
  • In the Tools menu, go to Folder Options.
  • Click the View tab.
  • Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click the OK button.

Now, you have to find your Outlook PST file so you can see what it is called:

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users:

  • Go to Control Panel.
  • If you see Control Panel Home view, click User Accounts and Family Safety.
  • Go to Mail.
  • Go to Data Files.
  • Click Personal Folders, and then Settings.
  • Write down the text in the Filename box.
  • Click OK, and then hit Close two times.

Windows XP Users:

  • Go to Start, and then click Run.
  • Type "control" in the Open box, and then hit enter.
  • If you see the "Pick a category" view, click on User Accounts.
  • Double-click Mail.
  • Click Data Files.
  • Go to Personal Folders, and then go to Settings.
  • Write down the text in the Filename box.
  • Click OK, and then click Close two times.

Now you need to find your scanpst.exe file so you can run it on the file you just found:

For Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, You can find scanpst.exe in the 'C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033' folder.
For Outlook 2007, it will be in 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\'
For Outlook 2010, it will be in 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14'

If you use a different letter disk drive where your programs are stored, then replace C with the disk drive letter you use.

Windows Vista and Windows 7:

  • Go to Start, then type %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\ in the Start Search box and hit enter.
    (For 2007 type %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office12\)
    (For 2010 type %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office14\)
  • Locate and then double-click SCANPST.EXE to start the repair tool
  • In the "Enter the name of the file you want to scan" box, enter the path and file name of the Outlook .pst file that you wrote down
  • Click Start
  • Once the tool is done, click OK

Windows XP:

  • Go to Start, then Search
  • Click on "All Files and Folders"
  • Type Scanpst.exe into the search box
  • Ensure that the "Look in" box is selected as the local hard disk in its entirety. Usually it is Local Disk (C:).
  • Double Click SCANPST.EXE
  • Input the file name you found above
  • When the program is done click on OK

This tool can fix general errors and other problems with the Outlook .pst file. However, if it does not work, don't panic! There are other options at your disposal, and they are easy to use. Check out our Stellar Outlook PST Repair review, which is our top choice software tool.




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