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pst File Error

Posted on 2012-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-28
I have a problem opening an Outlook 2007 pst file.
The file has reached its maximum size of 20GB.
I ran a scanpst on the file and there are no errors.
When I attach the file to outlook, it tells me that the file was not closed porperly and it scans the file, which takes quite a number of minutes.
There are no errors.
When I try to expand the contents of the file I get the message.
'The file M:\user\Arcihve.pst cannot be accessed because another workstation has modified it. Close and the restart all mail-enabled applications. You might need to restart your computer.'
I have restarted the computer.
There is no other user using the file.
Any ideas ?
Question by:josephwalsh
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37746735
in domain admin right click on the archive and take ownership

imho you cannot extend the pst beyond 20gb you can add another pst

Expert Comment

ID: 37746739
It is likly the file has not closed properly on teh file server it is located holding the session and file open. You need to log onto the file server that your M:\ share is located.

Right click my computer (computer in 2008) and choose manage.

On 2008 locate share and storage management then on the right select manage sessions.

Locate the file M:\user\Archive.pst and then on the right select close selected session.

On 2003 select shared folders from computer manager then select sessions.

Locate the M:\user\Archive.pst right click and select close session.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746794
Copy the file to your c drive and attempt to open it then, once scanned move it back to the network.
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Author Comment

ID: 37746851
The file is not open on the server share.
The server was also restarted.
When I open outlook the session manager on the server shows two open files (by me) while it scans the .pst file for problems.
When finished scanning I have 0 files open.
There were no  other files open on the server.

I had copied it to the local computer and I have the same problem.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 37747656
1. Change registry Size limits for Office 2007:


2. UPGRADE to outlook 2010 to increase the default supported limit to 50 GB
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 37747666
3. DELETE some of those messages and/or start a new archive data file!


Expert Comment

ID: 37748314
Your file is too large that it is close to the 20GB limit of Outlook 2007. Although 2007 can be modified to handle files larger than 20GB, it is very likely that after the file size reaches that limit, there will be various problems.

You may try to modify the registry by following the instructions below:


and see if you can expand the contents of the file. If yes, then you need to create several new PST files, and copy the contents of your original PST file to the new ones, which is splitting the original PST file.

If this still does not work, then you can try some third-party tools, below is a list:


Author Comment

ID: 37748347

I had already read the Microsoft article and changed the registry entries, but that did not work.
I will look at the third party tool you mention.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37748736
I said you can use a new pst did you read it

Author Comment

ID: 37749413

I am logged on as administrator, and I have taken ownership of the file.
I cannot open the pst file in order to move items to another pst file and then compact it.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 37750554
If you have manageed to copy the PST to your local drive.
make sure you dont not copy it to your Document folder, just incase its being re-directed over the network

Try saving a copy on the root of the C:\ Drive or even in a new location such as

Then Rename the File

Call it anything

Open OUtlook
Make sure all of your Other PSTs are disconnected

Once done, try opening the PST

Can you open it, if you go into the properties and try to compact it now.

Once you have sucessfully campacted it, you can put it back into use FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY

If you continue to use the PST, again allowing it to grow in size, it may become unusable or corrupt again.

What you need to do is name is accrodingly User Emails 2011

Then make a new pst and call it Emails 2012

Use this new PST for the Working PST.

At this point you could start moving emails out of the 2011 pst in to the new 2012 PST in order to reduce the size of the 2011 PST making it a little bit more dependable

Now if after you copy, rename, If you still cannot access the PST, its likely it has become corrupt.

You could use a tool like ScanPSt to try and repair it
However, in my expereince I find this to not work more often than it does work.

Your only recourse would be to restore the PST file from a date and time in which it last worked.

However, this would only work had you taken measures to backup the PST on a regular basis.

Author Comment

ID: 38325378
The pst file still will not open.

Author Comment

ID: 38521062
I still have no solution.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38523865
If you still cant open it

Where is:


This is on the network right?

On ocassion the Server that hosts tyhe shared file location can have a locked record, saying a user has it open even when they dont

There are two ways to resolve

1 RDP to the Server
Right click on My COmputer>Manage
Go to the open Files
File the file that a user apparantly has open
Right click on it and end the session

The try to open it

If this doest work, or it the session isnt there

the second way to remove the connection is to restart the server,
If no one is connected to the file, it will close the connection, and come up available on the restart

Have seen this happen on Servers that have had a maasive amount of Up time before being restarted. Especially Server 2003

Author Comment

ID: 38665749
All servers and workstations have been rebooted, but still cannot access the pst file.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

terencino earned 2000 total points
ID: 38691015
Solutions (or workarounds) others have found:
1. disable Windows Search on Outlook File > Options > Search > Indexing Options > Modify and uncheck or exclude Microsoft Outlook. The in Advanced Options, go to File types and exclude PST.

2. Disable backup products (eg Windows backup, Carbonite, Crashplan etc, exclude PST from server backup).

3, Disable antivirus products

Hope that helps

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