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Corrupt PST after renaming

Posted on 2007-03-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
Hi Experts,

a friend was recently taken through a "backup" of her Outlook files by her IT department.

They made her rename her PST file to Outlook.Bak, then burn it to CD. Unfortunately they did not tell her to make a copy of the file before renaming and backing it up. After she burnt the CD she renamed the file back to Outlook.pst  but every time she tries to open it in Outlook she gets the message;

"The file c:\<filelocation>\Outlook.pst is not a personal folders file."

The first thing I did was run ScanPST.exe on the file. It did find errors and claimed to have fixed them but still the same error message appeared in Outlook. I ran ScanPST.exe twice more until it said there were no errors in the file but she still gets the same error in Outlook.

The PST is only 25MB so no where near the 2GB limit. It was created in Outlook 2003 and is trying to be opened in Outlook 2003

I have used some trialware called "Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Professional" which has done a great job of getting some of the emails out. It seems to have got everything from the Inbox of the PST as well as Deleted Items, Sent Items, etc. Basically all the default folders. But she also had a lot of subfolders which she filed mail into. The application does not seem able to restore these,

Does anyone know any other ways to repair corrupt PST files which I can try to attempt a more complete rescue?

I've put 500 points on this question as this is quite urgent.

Many thanks

Andrew
0
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Question by:Synergix
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9 Comments
 
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
Frankco earned 1000 total points
ID: 18825696
Hi Synergix,

It looks like your friend had Outlook open when she burned the CD. This will corrupt the pst usually beyond repair.
You should check to make sure the pst is not set to "read only". This will give you the same error. Since you ran scanpst on it, I don't think it is but, check.

Did she get a new computer or did they reimage that one? Just thinking that a copy of the pst might be recoverable.

Try Easy Data recover. It's expensive but, they have a free trial download.
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/

cheers,
frankco
0
 
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:war1
war1 earned 1000 total points
ID: 18826059
Synergix,

Here is an inexpensive PST recovery tool that will recover emails when ScanPST does not.
Outlook Recovery Toolbox
http://www.oemailrecovery.com/outlook-recovery.html
0
 

Author Comment

by:Synergix
ID: 18829072
war1, many thanks for the suggestion of this software. I've tried and, whereas I think it is better than the previous piece of software I was using, it still only restores the default PST folders and not the additional sub folders created by the user.

Frankco, the backup my friend did was just for data security and was not due to an impending reinstallation of the OS. She still has access to the original PST meaning no need to restore the hard disk data. The problem is that having renamed the file extension back to .pst the file seems corrupt. I have checked and you're correct, it is not set to Read Only
0
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Frankco
ID: 18829481
Hi Synergix,

Just a thought. Can you try the resetfolders and the resetview switches?

Reset Folders:
Close Outlook
Click the Start button and select Run
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /resetfolders
Note: You have to add the quotes anytime there is a space in the path. There is a space between Program and Files, another space between Microsoft and Office.

Reset Views:
***** Warning this will remove any custom views you have.*****
1. close out of outlook
2. click on start >> Run
3. type in: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\Outlook.exe" /cleanviews
4. click on OK

Let us know how you do.

cheers,
frankco
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Frankco
ID: 18829627
Hi Synergix,

One more thought.
Since the pst was not move, just renamed, it is possible that something, Windows perhaps, has locked the original pst. To unlock it you can simple move the pst to a new location and then move it back again. Make sure Outlook is closed when you move the pst.

cheers,
frankco



0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Frankco
ID: 18829752
Hi Synergix,

If the above did not work, can you create a new profile and test?
You do not have to remove the existing profile. Just create a new one and choose Prompt to use profile.
Control Panel ~ Mail ~ Profiles

cheers,
frankco
0
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 18829838
Synergix,

If the various tools cannot recover emails from your PST file, the emails are lost.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Synergix
ID: 18834832
Thanks for the great idea's Frankco, I will get my friend to try these as soon as I can get hold of her.

I'll; let you know how I get on.

Andrew
0
 

Author Comment

by:Synergix
ID: 18851114
Thanks for the great idea's both of you but unfortunately none of them worked.

I will share the points evenly as Frankco gave some great suggestions but ultimately war1 was right, the emails were lost.

Many thanks for your help

Andrew
0

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