This article describes the most widespread incorrect actions, including user-made ones, which corrupt PST file data. When users are aware of the reasons for .pst corruption PST files can be protected from such unpleasant consequences as the loss of important information as well as the lengthy process to repair PST files.
To diagnose a corrupted PST file, users should analyze the reasons why it has been damaged.
Actions which corrupt PST file data:
- Improperly exiting MS Outlook. One of the most widespread reasons. Often MS Outlook ceases to run as the result of a sudden loss of power or due to the user directly (hard restart, quitting by using the Windows Task Manager, improperly turning off the PC). If Outlook is performing information-related tasks (for example, writing information to the PST file) when the program is exited, you are guaranteed a corrupted PST file.
- File system damage. An effect of wear or defect on a drive (hard drive or flash drive). File system errors on the disk used to store the Personal Folders file will sooner or later lead to corruption PST files cannot handle while remaining functional.
- Personal Folders file compression. Compressing Personal Folders files is harmless and is a way to reduce PST size. But incorrectly exiting MS Outlook while this procedure is being performed will quite probably cause you to need to recover PST file data.
- Malicious software. Many viruses and pieces of malicious software which enter MS Outlook through an insufficiently protected mail server aim to corrupt PST file data.
- PST file size. This impacts users who use a data file in the old format (MS Office 97-2002 format), in which PST size is restricted to 2GB. An attempt to exceed this maximum PST size (such as by writing new information to a file that is already full) may result in a corrupt PST file.
Consequences of corruption PST files can display
A damaged PST file can easily be diagnosed by the effects which the user inevitably encounters. An error may appear when MS Outlook is launched, saying that the PST file cannot be found or is inaccessible. Sometimes an error message will not appear, but Outlook itself begins to work very slowly, as the computer begins to hang and not respond to user actions. In this case, try to exit Outlook correctly (without resorting to a hard restart, for example), or else you may corrupt PST file data yet more.
If you have encountered similar problems when using MS Outlook, then you are urged to use a program to recover your Personal Folders files, in order to minimize the risk of losing important information. Outlook Recovery Wizard is a very convenient tool to recover PST files that can repair PST files together with their data simply and quickly. But even it cannot make up for the time and stress incurred if the rules for the use of PST data files are not followed.