.PST file is too BIG Outlook won't open anymore ..

Posted on 2006-06-16
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
So, the .PST file is just  a hair over 2GB in size.  I read that 2GB was about the limit for support on a .PST.  This was a .pst using Outlook 2000.  So, I uninstalled Office 2k, and I installed Office 2003.  Using Outlook inside of Office 2k3, the .PST will still not open (Outlook sort of hangs and then gives an error message about not being able to open the .pst).

So, is there some way to 'break' this .PST up into more then one .pst?  
Is there a fix to work on a .PST when you can't use it in Outlook to archive and/or shrink it?

What do you do when you do not have a .PST that works?
Question by:pugdog_fan
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LVL 97

Accepted Solution

war1 earned 500 total points
ID: 16922997
Greetings, pugdog_fan !

Repair a 2GB Outlook Personal Folder using this utility.

The above utility will trimmed off some data and restore PST to a working file.

Installing Outlook 2003 does not get rid of 2 GB limit (actually it is 1.97 GB).  You have to create an Outlook 2003 PST file in unicode format, which does not have the 2 GB limit.

Once you get your old PST file working, create a new Outlook 2003 PST file in unicode format. Then drag the emails and contacts from old PST file to new PST file.

Best wishes!

Expert Comment

ID: 16923008
you can also try to compact it.
1. Tools - Options
2. Select the "Mail Setup" tab
3. Click the "Data Files" button
4. Select the "Personal Folders" list item
5. Click the "Settings" button
6. Click "Compact Now"

Author Comment

ID: 16924134
So ... here is the thing ....

We used the utility to 'trim' down the original 2GB+ file to just under 1.9GB (1.91GB or so) ...

Now, when I create a NEW Outlook mail profile ... and try to IMPORT the 'fixed' .PST file ....
I get an error message that pops up in a new dialog box that says:

The file c:\temp\outlookbackup.pst is NOT compatible with thie version of the Personal Folders information service.
Please contact your administrator.

NOTE:  The Outlook .PST was originally backed up from an Outlook 2000 version of software.  Both PCs we are working on now
have been upgraded to Office 2k3 (full installs) ...

I am thinking of uninstalling the Office program (2003) and re-installing Office 2000 (since the .PST is smaller then 2GB now).
Maybe when I have Office 2k on the system again, Outlook 2k will 'use' this .PST.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 16924151
>> Now, when I create a NEW Outlook mail profile ... and try to IMPORT the 'fixed' .PST file ....
I get an error message that pops up in a new dialog box that says:

The file c:\temp\outlookbackup.pst is NOT compatible with thie version of the Personal Folders information service.
Please contact your administrator. >>

You should be able to import the file.  Outlook is backward compatible.  Make sure the PST file is not write protected. Right click on the PST file and select Properties. Make sure "Read only" and "System" are not checked.

Author Comment

ID: 16924216
double checked that READ ONLY and SYSTEM attributes were NOT checked (the file is NOT READ ONLY) ...

I am just about done putting Office 2k Pro back onto another test system I have ... the updating from a core install to SP3 is what is taking so long.

As soon as I have a known working copy of Office 2k Pro on one box, and a version of Office 2k3 Premium on another ... I can test between the two

At this point, my boss is looking into a $279 On-Track tool that is sold to 'fix' over-sized .PST files ... The trial version does a read-only repair, and it took about 1 hour, but it did show him all his email folders (only the 1st five messages in each folder are viewable wtih the free trial).


Expert Comment

ID: 16927238

 hello  pugdog_fan ,

 go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033 then scan pst
 it may repair your pst and after you can open slowly ...delete some big files inside after opening , normally it hangs after 2 g

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 16943706

You were going to try a few things?  Any udpate? Any more question?

Expert Comment

ID: 22146028
For future readers.  I had the same issue.  Ran Scan PST and then deleted emails "carefully"  It workred great!!

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