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Why does my .pst file become corrupt after leaving computer on overnight?

Posted on 2011-10-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a user that leaves her PC on overnight so we can run virus/spyware scans with Panda Endpoint Security.  Every time she does this her .pst file becomes corrupt.  Is there a correlation between the two?  Also her .pst is accessed over the LAN.

Question by:ecmsi

Expert Comment

ID: 36909721
This may because the LAN is accessing the PST and during the night if the computer goes to sleep the connection breaks between the user accessing PST over the LAN and keep PST in inconsitance state because the file is not closed properly by client. I cannot think of any other scenarios based on the information you provided..

Does this make sense to you?
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 1500 total points
ID: 36909723
Yes. It probably corrupts while the server is backed up, particularly if Outlook is still open. PST files should never be accessed from servers, but rather only locally. If you want to keep PST's on a server you should periodically copy the local file to the server (also while outlook is closed).
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 36909768
First point of note is that Microsoft does not support the access of PST files over any form of network connection. It is well documented and causes file corruption.

From Microsoft...

"A .pst file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file.

This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN/LAN links use network-access-driven methods, commands the operating system provides to send data to or receive from another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst (over a network link), Microsoft Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file, but the operating system then has to send those commands over the network because the file is not on the local computer. This creates a great deal of overhead and increases the time it takes to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use of a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails."

Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409

Veeam® is happy to provide the Microsoft community with a study guide prepared by MVP and MCT, Orin Thomas. This guide will take you through each of the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.


Author Comment

ID: 36909867
Thanks for the feedback guys.  I understand the possible issues stemming from accessing the .pst over the LAN.  We have pushed the client to get a terminal server but they have declined.  There is only one user having this issue but all the users access their .pst over the LAN.  I suppose she could be the only one leaving her outlook open during the backup.  Any other feedback would be appreciated.

Expert Comment

ID: 36913790
I recommend you to use Exchange Server instead, which is designed for client/server method. And in such a case, even if the locally cached .OST file(a file similar to .PST file that is used to store data) is corrupt), you can always rebuild it by re-sychnonize your client computer with the server.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36944342
Thanks for all your assistance.  The issue has temporarily been resolved.  The user does not seem to get the issue any longer.  I have stressed the needs for an Exchange server at this location.

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