Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Repairing corrupt PST in Outlook 2003 after header corruption

MS Outlook is a very popular email application from Microsoft that enables you to have email communication with your contacts, manage calendar entries and meetings, etc. In addition, it provides you the option to set reminders for your important meetings. All such information is stored in a PST file, which can be moved across systems. However, this PST file can sometimes become corrupt due to various reasons such as header corruption, virus infections, power outages, etc. In such cases, you should look to repair the PST file using the Outlook Inbox Repair tool. However, if you are not able to rectify the situation then you should use a third-party Outlook repair tool to perform PST recovery.

Consider a scenario wherein you are using Outlook 2003 in your system. When you open Outlook, it fails to open. An error message is displayed, that is:

“Errors have been detected in the file xxxx.pst. Quit Outlook and all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox repair tool(Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file. For more information about the Inbox repair tool, see Help.”


The root cause of this error message is that the header of the PST file has corrupted. Actually the PST file consists of two parts, header part and the data part. The header part contains the metadata of the PST file such as file signature, file size, etc. When Outlook reads the PST file, it first reads the header part and verifies the rest of the information. After the verification is done, it proceeds to read the data part. If it faces any errors in this part, then the aforementioned error message is displayed.


To resolve this error and access Outlook again, you need to use the Inbox Repair (Scanpst.exe) tool as suggested in the error message. This tool is used to reset the file structure of the PST file and to rebuild the headers. However, you must ensure that you exit Outlook before you use this tool. This should resolve the situation. However, if you are not able to rectify the error then you should use a third-party PST repair tool to repair the corrupted PST file. Such read-only tools are able to repair Outlook PST by restoring all the Outlook objects without overwriting the original contents.

Stellar Outlook PST Repair is an Outlook Repair software that enables you to repair the corrupted PST file from all instances of corruption. It is able to repair almost all Outlook objects such as emails, meeting notes, contacts, calendar entries, etc. In addition, this Outlook repair utility is capable of recovering deleted emails. It supports repair of PST files in Outlook 2010 (Beta), 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000. This PST file repair tool is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and Server 2000.

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