Outlook does not open archived pst files

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I am using Outlook 2003 in Win7 Pro 64-bit. When I try to open archive pst data files, Outlook encounters a problem and restarts or closes Outlook. The pst files are not corrupt. It also does not work to try to import the pst file into a folder in Outlook. Any suggestions?

Guruprasad Ra

If you can't open your .pst file, you may use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file.

Note: perform the repair for the copy of the PST file, don"t use scanpst for the original file.


The inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe) does not solve the problem. All of my archived pst files are okay (I have 12 of them). When I try to open any of them, Outlook responds with " Outlook has encountered a problem; restarting Outlook." On a second try, Outlook tries to close the program.

Guruprasad Ra

Try working in Outlook safe and check if you are able to work in Outlook.

Click on Start > All programs > Accessories > Run > copy and paste the following command line and press Enter

Outlook /safe

If you are able to work in Outlook, try disabling the add-ins.

If issue persists create a new profile and try opening the .PST files.


I've tried running Outlook in safe mode, creating a new profile, disabling all add-ins, detect and repair, scanpst, etc. but to no avail. The only pst file Outlook will open is my default personal folders one.


The pst files are located on my local computer.

Here is the event log file (Ilve deleted the MSMAPI32.dll file and repaired outlook; also ran fixmapi -- no luck):

Log Name: Application

Source: Application Error

Date: 8/19/2010 12:26:09 PM

Event ID: 1000

Task Category: (100)

Level: Error

Keywords: Classic

User: N/A

Computer: Sheldon


Faulting application name: OUTLOOK.EXE, version: 11.0.8325.0, time stamp: 0x4bf591af

Faulting module name: msmapi32.dll, version: 11.0.8200.0, time stamp: 0x472f94b0

Exception code: 0xc0000005

Fault offset: 0x000ff6b7

Faulting process id: 0x9dc

Faulting application start time: 0x01cb3fb983839ab0

Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE

Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\msmapi32.dll

Report Id: 78943611-abae-11df-85ff-0026b9de207e

Event Xml:

<Event xmlns=" http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event" >
<Provider Name=" Application Error" />
<EventID Qualifiers=" 0" >1000</EventID>
<TimeCreated SystemTime=" 2010-08-19T16:26:09.000000000Z" />
<Security />
<Data>C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE</Data>
<Data>C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\msmapi32.dll</Data>


Roady [MVP]

Can you still create a new pst-file?

If so, once created, disconnect it from Outlook. Now restart Outlook and try to connect to that pst-file again via;

File-> Open-> Outlook Data File...

Does it work now?

If so, it would appear that there is still something wrong with the pst-files which you are trying to attach. Have you verified that their Read Only attribute is not selected and that there is enough disk space left?

Also, has there ever been another version of Outlook been installed on this system?

Robert Sparnaaij



I cannot create a new pst file. When I try to export a folder to a pst file I get this error message: " The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. Restart Outlook and try again." My computer came with Office 2010 starter (sans Outlook) loaded on the system. None of the pst files I have tried to open have the read-only attribute checked. I did try reinstalling Office Pro 2003, but that did not solve the problem. Would it make any difference to uninstall Office 2010 starter edition? Thanks for any help you can offer.


I've scoured the Web and cannot find a solution to the problem, so I've given up. It must be an incompatibility between Outlook 2003 and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. My workaround is to open the PST files on my XP SP3 computer and copy all the Outlook folders to a new folder on my Win 7 (networked) computer. These folders have the xnk extension, so with Outlook Tools I allow Outlook to open these files. I can now open the archived files this way on my Win 7 computer. If anyone ever comes up with a solution to opening PST files directly in Outlook 2003 running on a Win 7 64-bit computer, I would like to know about it. Thanks for the respondents.


SOLVED: Shortly after posting my last reply saying I had given up, I found the solution: I was running Outlook in XP SP3 mode. I cancelled running Outlook in compatibility mode and this solved the problem. I can now open my archived pst files. DO NOT run Outlook 2003 in compatibility mode in Windows 7.
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