Email Timeline: How to Repair Outlook Data Files

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How to Repair Outlook Data Files

Hello Readers, my following read is keen to regular Outlook users. Although Microsoft Outlook is the most chosen emailing application cum personal manager in most of the business environments yet it is not an error free application alike any other software available in market. Many people face issues with Outlook and the most ordinary issue faced by most of the users is Outlook data inaccessibility. 

There are numerous known unknown aspects those make Outlook data inaccessible for connected Outlook users.  In most of the cases Outlook data become unreachable because of corruption in data files.  Outlook supports two data file one and the most common is PST that stands for Personal storage tables and another file format is OST that stands for Offline storage tables. 

Note - The only difference between OST and PST is “Outlook creates OST file when it works in collaboration of MS Exchange Server”. 

How to repair Outlook PST files -
As discussed Outlook files are prone to get corrupted due to many reasons, in this blog we are going to learn how to repair such files.  Let’s start with the repairing process of Outlook PST file. We have one default utility provided by Microsoft to repair Outlook PST files. That utility is known with the name Scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Tool.  If your Outlook is showing error like displayed below you need to use this tool ASAP.

How to Use Inbox Repair Tool – First to start with Inbox repair tool you need to find the Scanpst.exe in your system. Below I am sharing the locations of Scanpst.exe in dissimilar versions of Windows OS.

M S Outlook 2013
32-bit Windows C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
64-bit Windows C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
64-bit Outlook C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15
Click-to-Run C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15

M S Outlook 2010
32-bit Windows C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
64-bit Windows C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
64-bit Outlook C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

M S Outlook 2007
32-bit Windows C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
64-bit Windows C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

M S Outlook 2003
32-bit Windows C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID>
64-bit Windows C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID>
Outlook 2002/XP
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\<locale ID>\scanpst.exe

M S Outlook 2000
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\<locale ID>\NT\scanpst.exe

Outlook 97 / Outlook 98
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Windows Messaging\scanpst.exe

Once you find out the exe file, Double click and run the exe. A pop will open like this - 

  •  Here you need to browse the corrupted Outlook PST file available in your machine. Once you select the right file click on “Start”.
  • Scanning process will start. This process will take time which would be totally depended on file size of PST.
  • Generally it takes around 40 minutes with 4 GB heavy file. Once the process will finish it will show you the scanning analysis report in that you can check details about the scanned PST file. 

3.       After checking details you can click on “Repair” and it will start repairing process.

Here I would like to mention before you click to “Repair” take the backup of your PST file; for backing up the PST file you just need to Mark “”on the option “Make backup  of scanned file before repairing.
If repair process goes successful you will see the pop up like below.  

How to repair Outlook OST files -
As discussed about Outlook creates OST file when it works in collaboration of Microsoft Exchange Server, right Synchronization of OST file is really important. If in any case synchronization of OST file with Exchange server gets interrupted then that OST file experiences corruption problems and it becomes inaccessible.

OST file corruption leads to many error messages, few of them are shown below:
  • Error code 0x8004103b
  • Error-message/c5e20916-9359-43fc-9bd9
  • Service-specific error 0 (0×0)
  • Internal error of OST file (error code=0000000E)
  •  Error 8004011D-526-80040115-0
  • OST Internal error (error code=00000003)
Above mentioned errors are the common one and among all above mentioned error “Internal error of OST file (error code=0000000E)” is the most common one. The only reason of the error is improper OST synchronization. Improper OST synchronization disturbs the OST integrity and consistency as a result OST file becomes unreachable.

Alike Inbox Repair Tool for PST repair Microsoft offer default utility for OST repair as well called  “Scanost.exe or OST Integrity Check Tool”; this tool is a free tool offered by Microsoft for Outlook users to deal with OST synchronization issues and inaccessibility.  One of the major limitations of the tool is this tool is not available in Outlook 2010 or later versions. 

Below is the default location to find Scanost.exe – 

Drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook (for Windows 7 and Windows Vista)
Drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (for Windows XP)

Once you open the ScanOST.exe, rest steps are same as Inbox repair tool.  

Few limitations of OST Integrity Check Tool are –
  •  Scanost.exe can only repair minor errors of OST file.
  •  This utility will not work if your Exchange Server is down or disconnected
  • Other than the OST synchronization errors, OST Integrity Check utility cannot solve other OST file errors and problems.
  • This utility is not available in Outlook 2010 or later versions.
    Note - In case if the OST repair process fails then better you try any third party OST repair software. Inbox repair tool and OST Integrity Check utility both are beneficial but only in case of minor corruption cases.

Hope it helps!!

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