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  1. #1
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    Repair tools for Outlook

    I use Outlook 365 on Win 8.1. Recently Outlook has become a bit unstable. I ran SCANPST. A large number of errors were identified and corrected. I ran SCANPST a number of times, each time with less resulting errors. I was unable to reduce the number of errors to NIL.

    Since then Outlook has been much more reliable. However, it seems that errors with PST files are a fact of life. I decided to look for alternatives to SCANPST, locating a number via Google. However, most seem to be chargeable software with hefty price tags.

    So my question is "Is there a review of repair tools for Outlook?". Alternatively I should be interested to hear about users' experiences when repairing Outlook.

  2. #2
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    Scanpst is the gold standard, although it has to be run until no errors are found.
    The real issue is why are you having corrupt PST files? Are you shutting down incorrectly? Have power issues? A flaky disk?

    Make sure you are backing up the PST file daily until you fix the problem. I'd backup daily anyway.

    cheers, Paul

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    I'd change to using an OST file instead of a PST. I use Office 365 with IMAP, which I believe is the default. With an OST file in the default configuration your local data is a copy of what is in the server. If the OST gets corrupted all you have to do delete it. It will be re-created and re-populated the next time you start Outlook.

    If you do this be sure to shut down Outlook, copy your current PST file to be safe, re-configure your email account, open Outlook. Once the OST file is populated open the PST file using "Open an Outlook data file", drag and drop what you need from the PST to the OST, close the PST.

    Joe

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Scanpst is the gold standard, although it has to be run until no errors are found.
    The real issue is why are you having corrupt PST files? Are you shutting down incorrectly? Have power issues? A flaky disk?

    Make sure you are backing up the PST file daily until you fix the problem. I'd backup daily anyway.

    cheers, Paul
    Even after a number of runs of SCANPST there quite a number of errors flagged. I have no idea of their significance as I'm not currently experiencing any problems. So why might the PST file be corrupted. I shut down with the "x" icon provided by OUTLOOK. I very rarely get power cuts. I have no reason to believe that my mains supply is of poor quality. My disk is SSD. A run of CHKDSK showed ZERO errors. However, OUTLOOK does get aborted when I have to power off my PC manually. This happens when my PC freezes. Sometimes this is because FIREFOX gets in a knot although I think the real culprit is WINDOWS EXPLORER freezing.

    I'm considering running SCANPST to a regular schedule, say monthly. I have 2 PCs running Outlook. The other one also has a number of errors from SCANPST, although not as many as mine.

    I have just COMPACTED the PST file (about 10% size reduction). This seems to have changed the errors that are reported - but not eliminated them. I attach an example of the SCANPST error log (however, I do not see it in this post).

    I do backup daily and automatically.

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    attachment now supplied (apparently .LOG files are not acceptable)
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #6
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    How big is your PST file? The default maximum size for a PST file in Outlook 365 is 50 GB. If your PST file is close to or at 50 GB, then the PST file may be unstable.

    These two articles talk about the size of a PST and OST file, and how to increase or decrease the maximum size:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/982577
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/832925

    Since Microsoft sets the default maximum size at 50 GB, and since they tell you how to increase the maximum size, you're probably ok at 50 GB. But if my PST file was getting close to 50 GB in size, I would try to back down from that size by moving emails out of that PST file and into another one, or maybe doing an archive of my email.

    Something easy you could do would be to create a new PST file, and use it for your email, rather than the one you are currently using. This would in effect retire the problematic PST file and start you off clean with a new one.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-09-21 at 14:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keelta View Post
    However, OUTLOOK does get aborted when I have to power off my PC manually. This happens when my PC freezes
    No surprise you have corruption then. Changing to multiple PST files might be worthwhile.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    I'd change to using an OST file instead of a PST. I use Office 365 with IMAP, which I believe is the default. With an OST file in the default configuration your local data is a copy of what is in the server. If the OST gets corrupted all you have to do delete it. It will be re-created and re-populated the next time you start Outlook.

    If you do this be sure to shut down Outlook, copy your current PST file to be safe, re-configure your email account, open Outlook. Once the OST file is populated open the PST file using "Open an Outlook data file", drag and drop what you need from the PST to the OST, close the PST.

    Joe
    Interesting thought. I use POP3 which i understand requires PST files rather than OST files. There is no email server that i'm aware of. Sure emails are forwarded by my ISP and then deleted. I'm not aware of any ability to leave my emails with the ISP. Nor to store appointments and other Outlook document types. Even if it were possible i feel that i would be involved with extra management and considerable migration effort.

    My PST file is 256 Mb large.

    Chris

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    My PST file is small by the standards of the maximum sizes. It is 256 Mb. I don't really see an easy way of creating a number of PST files. This is because there are very few folders that do not get much traffic. And multiple PSTs make for more management. I could of course separate Appointment and non-email messages. I already have a 2nd PST which contains archival material which i have not needed to access for a long time. Its quite small but also has a number of errors as per SCANPST. Now this makes me wonder if i have imported the errors from OUTLOOK 2007.

    I did try creating a new PST file. SCANPST found errors in this before i even used it!! Then i copied messages from my current PST, hoping that the errors would not be imported as well. However, there were a number of errors in the new PST once i had copied everything across. Likewise COMPACTING made no significant difference.

    Anyway now that i have run SCANPST a number of times i find that my OUTLOOK is stable so perhaps i have done all that i need. If i run SCANPST on a regular basis (say monthly or if i get troubles) may be i shall be fine.

    When i began this thread i was looking for a more effective repair utility to SCANPST but the consensus seems to be to avoid other utilities.

    Thanks Chris

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    256MB is tiny, are you sure it's not 256KB, which is an empty PST?

    You need to sort out the Outlook stalling issue.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    256MB is tiny, are you sure it's not 256KB, which is an empty PST?

    You need to sort out the Outlook stalling issue.

    cheers, Paul
    Current size (Outlook not loaded) is 256,945 KB as reported by Explorer. When i look at FOLDER SIZE for the PST, Outlook states 186695 KB. Disappointingly it does not quote number of files nor folders. I keep the messages tidy. Transient messages are deleted as soon as no longer applicable. Messages to be retained (eg invoices) are placed in suitable folders. Deleted Items is kept simply to the last 3 weeks. Attachments are commonly removed from messages that are filed. Perhaps this means that there is a high turnover of files compared to overall size.

    Outlook stalling: I keep all my software current but i do have a number of freeware products - obtained from reputable recommendations. Pretty difficult to locate what is causing the PC to freeze when it is only intermittent.

    I would argue that Outlook should be more resilient to sudden interruption considering that it will be loaded for long periods of time and that MS software is known to be flaky. All that would be needed is a proper commit structure for data changes and the ability to detect partially updated data on subsequent boot. Not difficult. I was involved with such software in the 1970s that was proof against sudden software failure. Have things regressed.

    I wonder what SCANPST would find on other users PST files.

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    Yes, Outlook should be more resilient. Yes, MS are slack!

    cheers, Paul

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    I get the feeling the OP wants an easy life. You know, software that actually does what is says on the pack. To achieve this for the OP, IMAP is the way to go, not least because there is a backup left with the ISP in case of local mailbox corruption. Whether you use IMAP or POP3, try http://www.emclient.com/. You can import your Outlook mailbox and never look back. I use the free personal version because I only have one email account.

    I know this is not what the OP thought he needed but after years with a similar experience it had to be done and there really is no comparison.

    One thing to note, like Outlook, Emclient can be slow to shut down, so check it has gone in task manager or allow plenty of time before shutting down the PC. On the bright side, there is auto error checking if it has not been closed properly and it does seem resilient.

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    Thumbs up Repair tools for Outlook

    Quote Originally Posted by keelta View Post
    So my question is "Is there a review of repair tools for Outlook?". Alternatively I should be interested to hear about users' experiences when repairing Outlook.
    In these days, online forums and discussion sites are excessively used for spamming. People come here and drop suggestions/recommendations for third-party tools. They usually pretend as they have personally used the applications they are recommending here. Don't believe anyone. The question which has been asked here is looking like a spam magnet. It will surely attracts the spammers. Don't go for any recommendation/suggestion here.
    Thanks and best regards.
    Last edited by satrow; 2015-12-15 at 11:05. Reason: Removing astroturf 'hint'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by semnaitik View Post
    In these days, online forums and discussion sites are excessively used for spamming. People come here and drop suggestions/recommendations for third-party tools. They usually pretend as they have personally used the applications they are recommending here. Don't believe anyone. The question which has been asked here is looking like a spam magnet. It will surely attracts the spammers. Don't go for any recommendation/suggestion here. Otherwise, you can go for another.

    Thanks and best regards.
    I'm sorry but I have to take issue with your post. For someone who has only posted twice on this forum you make some very damming judgments about this forum and I take issue with them.

    First the management team, of which I am a part, take a very aggressive stance against spammers and do everything in out power (we are all volunteers after all) to keep the Lounge spam free. Granted we're not always successful initially but we usually catch and eliminate it quite quickly.

    Secondly it is very easy to gauge the quality of the advice given by checking the number of posts and the number of times the poster was thanked for their contributions. It is also very easy to read some of the other posts by a given contributor to ascertain the level of knowledge displayed in their advice.

    So please don't disparage other users from taking the advice offered until you have been around a little longer and also contributed some helpful hints of your own. I mean really if this is the way you feel about online forums why are you even spending time here reading and posting?
    Last edited by satrow; 2015-12-15 at 11:08. Reason: Removed quoted astroturf 'hint'.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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