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Article ID: 181523 - Last Review: January 12, 2015 - Revision: 2.0

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

NOTE: These procedures only apply if you have installed Outlook with the Internet Mail Only option. To determine your installation type, click About Microsoft Outlook on the Help menu. If you have the Internet Mail Only option installed, you see "Internet Mail Only".

For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257824  ( ) OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express

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This article provides tips for using the Inbox Repair Tool to recover folders and items from a corrupted personal folders file (*.pst).

More information

The Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) is a tool designed to help repair problems associated with personal folder files (*.pst files).

The Inbox Repair Tool ships with Microsoft Windows 95 and is contained on the Microsoft Outlook 98 and Microsoft Office 97 CD-ROM. It is installed automatically during setup. For additional information about installing and running the Inbox Repair Tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
181167  ( ) OL98: How to Find and Run the Inbox Repair Tool

Run the Inbox Repair Tool

  1. Click Start and point to Find, or Search, depending upon your operating system.
  2. In the Search for files or folders named box, type scanpst.exe.
  3. Type the path and file name of the pst file, or click Browse to locate the file using the windows file system.
  4. Click Start.

What the Inbox Repair Tool Does

When you run the repair tool on a personal folders file, it does the following:

  • The repair tool analyses the .pst directory structure and item headers, attempting to recover all folders and items.
  • If the repair tool recovers the .pst file, it means that the repair tool found problems and fixed what it could.
  • The repair tool attempts to turn any file into a .pst file. If you rename an executable file to Something.pst, the tool changes it into a mountable .pst file.

Recovered Personal Folders File

After running the Inbox Repair Tool, start Outlook using the profile that contains the personal folders 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:
Recovered Personal Folders
Calendar Contacts Deleted Items Inbox Journal Notes Outbox Sent Items Tasks
These folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. You should also see a folder called "Lost and Found." This folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair Tool recovered. Items absent are beyond repair.

Recovering Repaired Items

You should move as many of the items from the Lost And Found folder to a new personal folder in your profile. First, create a new Personal Folders entry in your profile. Then, drag any recovered items from the Lost And Found folder to the appropriate location in the new personal folders.

Create a New Personal Folder in Your Account

  1. In Outlook, on the File menu, point to New, and click Personal Folders File (.pst).
  2. Accept or type a name for your new personal folder, and then click Create. Click OK in the Create Personal Folders dialog box.
You should now have a new Personal Folders entry in your profile. Drag recovered items from the Lost And Found folder to your new personal folders. When you have finished moving all items, you may remove the Recovered Personal Folders, including the Lost And Found folder, from your profile.

Recovering Items from the Backup Personal Folders File

NOTE: If you are unable to open your original .pst file before running the Inbox Repair Tool, it is likely that the procedures below may not work. If you are able to open the original .pst file, then there is a small chance that the procedures below may enable you to recover additional items from your damaged .pst file.

When you run the Inbox Repair Tool, the option to create a backup of the original .pst file is selected. This option creates a file on your hard disk called <file name>.bak that is a copy of the original <file name>.pst file with a different extension. The .bak file resides in the directory of the original .pst file.

You may be able to recover items from the .bak file that the Inbox Repair Tool could not. Make a copy of the .bak file, giving the file a new name with a .pst extension, such as Newname.pst.

Import Information from the Old Personal Folder

  1. On the File menu, click Import And Export.
  2. Click to select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
  4. Under File To Import, select your Newname.pst file. Under Options click Do not import duplicates, and then click Next.
  5. Under Import Personal Folders, type the path and file name, or browse, and then select the folder you want to import. Click Next.
  6. Click to select Import folders into the same folder in, and select your new personal folders file from step four in the Recovering Repaired Items section. Click Finish.
NOTE: Keep in mind that the backup file was the original corrupted file,and you may find that you cannot recover anything other that what was recovered in Lost And Found. If you are unable to import the Newname.pst file into Outlook, then you have lost any information that is not in the Lost And Found.

Change Mail Delivery Location to Your New Personal Folder

  1. Right-click your new personal folder, and then click Properties for Personal Folders.
  2. Click Deliver POP mail to this personal folders file. Click OK. Click OK when prompted by the Office Assistant.
  3. Quit and restart Outlook. Your mail may now be delivered to the new personal folder.
  4. Click Yes to the Office Assistant prompt.
  5. Right-click your old personal folder, and then click Close Personal Folders to remove it from your folder list.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbinfo KB181523
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