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Outlook - Inbox Repair Tool - Always Finding Errors - Is This A Bigger Issue?

Posted on 2013-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-01-20
Hi,

I regularly run Microsoft's Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) against my PST file(s).

It always seems to find and fix errors.  I ran it today (about two months since the last run), and I have attached the log file for reference.

I have been doing this for years, and I never seem to have any actual problems with Outlook or my PST file - its just a scheduled task and preventative maintenance.

I also note that, if I run the scan against the same PST file twice, it often finds errors the second run (and even subsequent runs).  I therefore, keep running it until it says it found no errors.

My question is:  Does everyone find and fix these (presumably minor) errors all the time when running scanpst.exe, or is it just me?  Is it indicative of something significantly wrong somewhere, or just part of life, run it, fix the errors, and move on.

I have over the years periodically created a brand new PST file, copied everything over, and kept the old one as a backup.  I probably did this last when I went from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007 around two or three years ago, so its not like this is a single PST file that got corrupted years ago and has never 'recovered' fully from that.  Also, I get it on all my PST files.

Just to be clear, I always backup my PST file before running the tool (it also asks if you want to backup before repairing, but I do my own backup prior anyway), and I have never had any obvious issues being caused by errors in the file, so this is just a matter of curiosity really.

I have various machines with various versions of windows including:

WinXPPro SP3 - Outlook 2007
Win7Ultimate - Outlook 2010

The PST files vary in size up to about 1.5GB but even the smaller ones (100MB or less) seem to get errors that are fixed.

I seem to get the same issue on both of those, and if I recall correctly, I have had this going way back (probably to Win2K - Outlook 2000 and possibly Win98SE - Outlook 97 even).  No particular reason why I decided to ask this now, but things are quiet and I decided to see what others find!

Thanks,

Alan.
Alan---Main-Mail-File-2003.log
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Question by:Alan3285
6 Comments
 
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by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 150 total points
ID: 38761367
Alan3285--Forgive me, but my philosophy is "If it works do not fix it".
On the other hand if your procedure has kept things working properly over many years, then why not continue it.
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Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38761493
Could be an endless amount of possibilites here
(Corruption, Latency, PST Size, PST Conversions, Storage Location of PSTs, OST Sync issues ect ect) It could even be the particular SCANPST.exe thats being used

Would be really hard to pinpoint the exact reason.

I do know its not common for it to ALWAYS find an issue

You could try to narrow it down by simply creating a New PST with nothing in it
The running a scan on it

If it showing errors/repair, is possible something is eigther wrong with the utility, or PST thats been created itself
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Author Comment

by:Alan3285
ID: 38761640
Hi,

@jcimarron:

Yes - as I said above, I don't have any problems, so I wasn't going to change anything :-)  Its just curious.


@apache09:

I should have said in my original post that when I have created a new PST file in the past, I have routinely run a scan on that new PST before copying anything in, and I have never seen any errors listed at that point!

I do recall once copying in all the items from the old PST, and running a scan, and having it report errros then, which is odd perhaps, but if the scan is checking individual items (rather than just the database itself), then I guess that could make some sense.


Thanks,

Alan.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:chcw
chcw earned 150 total points
ID: 38763290
It is very normal that scanpst will always find errors in your PST file, since there are plenty of bugs in that tool. Microsoft design that tool is only as a work-around with the easy-corrupt PST format.

Actually you can:

1. If your PST file works healthy, then just ignore the warnings and errors from scanpst.

Or if you do not want to ignore, then you can:

2. Create a new PST file and copy all your contents in the original PST file to the new one. The modify your profile to switch to the new PST file. In many cases, if your original PST file is still accessible, then this method is much more effective than scanpst!
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Accepted Solution

by:
apache09 earned 200 total points
ID: 38764961
If Scan PSt shows no errors or issues when a New PST is Created
Then its most certain the somthing being copied over from the current PST into the new one is causing the errors

This could be anything but likley to be related to Calendar/Appointments/Reminders is being copied into the PST

Or Folder/Contents which may have been moved or deleted

Personally I wouldnt worry about it as the errors/repairs seem to be something of a Red Herring

I also wouldnt worry about running scanpst regurally for preventative measures as this does not gurantee the PST will not become corrupt over time or inacessible.

Once Corrupt and inacessible, more often than not SCANPST does not restore the PST/Data 100%

Best measure your going to have against corruption, is a Backup

Put a backup plan in place to backup your PST and or Outlook

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/backup-outlook-data-files-using-batch-bat/
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/outlook-backup-and-dual-boot-file-locations/
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/how-to-backup-your-outlook-account-settings/

Alternatively you could just use Microsoft PST Backup Tool
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=9003

Once you have a backup plan in place, you can relax on worring about regular maintenece.

Then should anything happen, you can quickly and easily roll back to the most recent backup with minimal loss
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Author Closing Comment

by:Alan3285
ID: 38799430
Thanks everyone.  I'm going to continue with what I have been doing of course, but next time I re-create the PST file, I might bring over the items one section at a time, and run ScanPST in between each to see if it is, say, a calendar entry.  If I have the inclination, I might even track down the one (or more) items that are the actual culprits, but probably its not worth worrying about.
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