Corrupt Outlook PST file, is it recoverable?

Not open for further replies.


Outlook version
Email Account
Having problems with Outlook and the pst file, it wont let me copy or back it up. The hard disk seems to just go in a rhythmic cycle of reading and nothing happens - often resulting in a 'cannot read from source disk' error.

This sounded to me like a hard disk problem so I ran a scandisk and nothing showed up - all other aspects of the machine operate fine.

I've also tried using scanpst to run a check but that too throws up read errors.

It wont let me export the thing either, complaining about disk write permissions.

Today I tried to delete a bunch of stuff to make the pst file smaller (it is about 900 MB) but it wont empty the deleted items folder and gives me the cyclic redundancy error.

I could still use the program to send/receive email until today when I started getting this error:

"Cannot display the folder. Microsoft Office Outlook cannot access the specified folder location. The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook. Access is denied. Verify the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not being used."

Any suggestions as to how to salvage this file and my emails would be gratefully received!
The errors are not related to size - it really sounds like the disk has some bad sectors. Did you verify its not write protected and that your account has full permission to the folder where the pst is?

The other post is from a spammer trying to promote his product (your problem is not because of missing dlls either) - my recommendation is to not use his and instead try something from here -
Ok, so I have three replies telling me to download three separate pieces of software, all that require some kind of payment.

Now call me cautious but I'm not in the habit of downloading or paying for software unless I can guarantee it will work and wont infect my system.

How do I know what 'repair tool' works and what is a scam?

If you can't open your Personal Folders file (.pst) or your Offline Folder file (.ost), or you suspect that your .pst or .ost data file is corrupted, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file. The Inbox Repair tool scans only the .pst or .ost file, not your mailbox on the server running Microsoft Exchange. The tool determines whether the file structure is intact. If it is not intact, the Inbox Repair tool resets your file structure and rebuilds the headers.
You can check it by installing trial version of any software. In trial version only you can view your files to be recovered i mean it will show which files it can recover. If you find your files in preview list then only you go with that software.
I've tried scanpst.exe several times and it keeps giving me an error message then quitting without fixing the file.
Ok, so I have three replies telling me to download three separate pieces of software, all that require some kind of payment.

Now call me cautious but I'm not in the habit of downloading or paying for software unless I can guarantee it will work and wont infect my system.

How do I know what 'repair tool' works and what is a scam?

Sorry about that. I missed the spammer's first post. Will delete it next... ReadPst is a free tool AFAIK (which i why i left it up) - I'm not sure it will help you but if ScanPst doesn't fix your problem, its worth a try (as long as its free).

Generally speaking, you do not need a paid tool. However, because ScanPst throws up read errors, you might need a 3rd party tool to recover the data (unless you have a backup). If you need a 3rd party tool, i recommend one of the products at the link below. I've personally used the Stellar product and like it. Most of the products have a free trial that shows what will be recovered - i recommend trying that. Because of the CRC errors, you might not be able to recover anything.

See Repair a damaged Personal Folders PST file - we recommend alternating scandisk/chkdsk and scanpst - it sometimes takes 3 passes with each to fix problems.
I've tried scanpst.exe several times and it keeps giving me an error message then quitting without fixing the file.

Can you move/copy the pst file? If you can, I could run some tests on it. But if you can't, the commerical repair tools may not be able to fix it either. Install one of the trials - if it fails, all will likely fail.
Thanks for the replies, no I cannot move or copy it - gives me a disk read error.

I have a backup but it is a month old.

I'll try the tool suggested above but dont hold out much hope.

Will definitely be switching to Thunderbird, this is not the first time Outlook has given me major headaches!
Actually due to corruption of .pst file of MS Outlook you are getting this error message. There are many reasons for the corruption of .pst file of MS Outlook such as virus attack, abrupt shut down of system, software confliction, power failure, hardware malfunctioning, oversize of pst file and many more.

All these reasons are responsible for the corruption of pst file which creates error message and disallow you to access the data of pst file. Not only this, these error messages can also deletes all your valuable data if not rectify on time. so, to overcome from this situation, you can use inbox repair tool.

Inbox repair tool download will quickly resolve all the error messages of pst files and able you to access the MS Outlook files. Actually, I have also used this software so I ma sure that it will also help you to fix your problem. Just take a trial of this tool. :cool:
I don't hold out much hope for one of the tools to fix it either - because disk error usually means its a bad copy.

You need to use the client that meets your needs to best - if its t-bird, so be it.
Not open for further replies.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
kburrows Outlook Email Body Text Disappears/Overlaps, Folders Switch Around when You Hover, Excel Opens Randomly and Runs in the Background - Profile Corrupt? Using Outlook 0
R How can I access my emails from corrupt offline files of MS Outlook ? Using Outlook 1
A Corrupt tasks in Outlook 2007 Using Outlook 1
P Outlook 2003 - possible to recreate corrupt account? Using Outlook 3
C Outlook Profile Corrupt...Help!!!!! Using Outlook 0
I Flagged emails in pst file corrupt to do list Using Outlook 12
J Corrupt & new profile - old contacts? Using Outlook 2
S Repair corrupt .PST & .OST files Using Outlook 5
G Outlook2010 - corrupt contacts Using Outlook 0
J Best approach for restarting custom task form development after seemingly corrupt form environment Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
B Exchange 2003 EDB corrupt Exchange Server Administration 6
H Corrupt arabic languge text during contact import Using Outlook 1
J Help- Corrupt oversize PST. Tried everything. Using Outlook 23
C Corrupt .msg file Using Outlook 1
X Custom icon (not from Office 365) for a macro in Outlook Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
Victor_50 Problem - Google Workspace will stop "unsafe" access to Outlook end 2024 Using Outlook 1
C New pc, new outlook, is it possible to import auto-complete emailaddress Using Outlook 2
T Outlook 365 won't take new working password Using Outlook 0
S Create Outlook Task from Template and append Body with Email Body Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 4
P Can't add custom field to custom Outlook form, it always adds to the Folder instead Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
B Sync Outlook Public Folders to Contacts Using Outlook 2
D Delete Outlook emails from MS server Using Outlook 9
B Outlook tasks and PDF Using Outlook 4
D Outlook 2019 is no longer asking for password ... Using Outlook 5
Kika Melo How to mark as Junk any message not from Contacts (in Using Outlook 3
L Outlook attachments from OneDrive as links Using Outlook 0
G Outlook 365 My iCloud Outlook doesn’t work after reinstalling Microsoft365 on Windows 10 PC – now I get error message on contacts and calendar Using Outlook 1
T How to Export & Import GMAIL Contacts into Outlook 2021 ? Using Outlook 4
M Synchronization and backup of Outlook from local to server. Using Outlook 8
T How to get an EVENT COLOR option in Outlook 2021 ? Using Outlook 0
K How can I delete an e-mail from Outlook Using Outlook 1
V Outlook Error The Attempted operation Failed. An Object Could Not be found Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
P Yahoo/IMAP folder rename by Outlook desktop 365 Using Outlook 0
A Outlook 2019 folder counter Using Outlook 0
A Relocate Search Bar in Outlook Using Outlook 2
e_a_g_l_e_p_i Need clarification on 2-Step Verification for Gmail using Outlook 2021 Using Outlook 10
L Opening People Outlook 2021 Using Outlook 2
e_a_g_l_e_p_i Outlook 2021 not letting me setup my Gmail using pop Using Outlook 1
Geldner Problem submitting SPAM using Outlook VBA Form Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
P VBA to add email address to Outlook 365 rule Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
M Outlook 2016 outlook vba to look into shared mailbox Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
P Can no longer sync Outlook with iPhone calendar after iPhone update to 17.1.1 Using Outlook 7
O Outlook - Switch from Exchange to IMAP Using Outlook 2
e_a_g_l_e_p_i Is it possible to have a reminder in Outlook 2021 for every 90 days Using Outlook 3
farrissf Outlook 2016 Optimizing Email Searches in Outlook 2016: Seeking Insights on Quick Search vs Advanced Search Features Using Outlook 0
C Advanced search terms for "Outlook Data File" Using Outlook 1
N Reply to Outlook messages by moving messages to a specific Outlook folder Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 1
O How to find out the domain and server settings that my Outlook is using? Using Outlook 2
A Outlook 365 (OutLook For Mac)Move "On My Computer" Folder Items From Old To New Mac Computer Using Outlook 3
H Integrating Alexa & Outlook Pro 2021 Using Outlook 2

Similar threads