MS Outlook checking for problems

"Every once in a while Outlook 2007 just kind of shuts down and when it restarts it says : The data file (Outlook Data Folder) was not closed properly.  The file is being checked for problems" and it seems to take forever, like 17-20 minuites and/or it freezes.  Any tips on how to avoid this and/or what to do when it freezes while checking the file?
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Shreedhar EtteCommented:

I suspect problem with the PST file.

Refer this article:

To repair it.

Note: Do take backup of the PST file before repair.

Hope this helps,

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ChrisCruisesAuthor Commented:
I'm working on it, 30% through phase 1 of 8...wondering if I should compact this pst file.  It's 18GB which is pretty big I think.  That's assuming I get to the place of being able to actually open Outlook without the  “Cannot open your default email folders. The file C:\Users\Anthea\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outl... cannot be accessed.”
ChrisCruisesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the information!
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