PST recovery can be a lifesaverPST recovery is often needed by administrators for a number of reasons; to name a few, it can happen because of Outlook crashes, sudden machine shutdowns and when the PST file grows too large. This usually means the administrator will need to do a PST recovery.  The PST recovery process can be a very tedious task for the administrator, who has enough on his daily plate as is.

PST files benefit users and mail administrators alike. Users can find comfort in the fact that the PST file can be used to back up anything associated with Outlook to their computer’s hard drive or network storage. Mail admins encourage, or even mandate, the use of PST files to help keep the size of users’ mailboxes down to acceptable ranges because messages, and even attachments, can be stored in the users’ Personal Folders in Outlook rather than on the server itself. With so much data being held, PST file recovery becomes a vital business need; if the PST recovery fails, important information can be permanently lost.

If you have discovered that the PST files have been corrupted due to a hardware error or malware infection, then these issues need to be addressed before you can start the PST recovery. Run malware scans and take any necessary steps to clean infected files. For hardware problems, replace faulty components so that after you perform your PST recovery, the repaired files are not damaged.

The method of PST recovery recommended by Microsoft is to use the Inbox Repair Tool that is installed with Microsoft Outlook. On the computer you are performing the PST file recovery on the tool, Scanpst.exe, can usually be found under Programs|Accessories|System Tools. If it is not there then you will need to browse to drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 (64 bit computers may house this in the Program Files (x68) folder.

When located, double click on the application to launch it.

Browse to the location of the PST files and click start to begin the process. Once the scan is complete and the errors are reported, you will be prompted to fix the errors through the PST file recovery process. Depending upon how damaged the file is, you may need to run the PST recovery more than once.

PST recovery is most often performed when no backup for the corrupted file exists. Another method of PST file recovery requires users to manually backup their PST files on a regular basis using the Import and Export function in Outlook. This method saves data from the PST file that the user chooses using the Export feature. For this information, the recovery can then be accomplished by running the Import function in Outlook. Outlook’s wizard makes this a fairly straightforward process however the users themselves are responsible for backing up their own PST files.

The real solution to PST file recovery would be one that is proactive, but takes the responsibility out of the users’ hands. This type of PST recovery can be achieved through email archiving software. This type of software, when integrated with Microsoft Outlook, can reduce the maintenance associated with PST files and recover lost or damaged data. By providing a central storage location for your company’s emails, the benefits of PST files can be obtained without the problems that go along with them.