What Caused Your Outlook PST File to Get Corrupted? Ways to go About It


A PST gets defined as the personal storage table and is a Microsoft outlook file format. It is known to store messages, calendar events and multiple other issues. You might be thinking the reason behind the PST file getting corrupted. It is essential to know that akin to every computer file, even this file is vulnerable to any damage that leads to valuable data loss. 

In this article we will look at the probable causes that lead to a corrupt PST file. The following causes are crucial to know and consider:

  • Corruption because of a hardware failure

It comprises storage device failure, power failure, and network link issues. There could also be bad sectors in places where the PST file gets stored which causes the damage. Also, the remote access of any PST file might expose it to any damage, especially if there are issues with the network link comprising the interface cards, server, network hubs, routers and any hardware inside the link. Finally, power failure that occurs when anyone is accessing the PST file can corrupt the file. 

  • Corruption because of software issues

It comprises incorrect data recovery tools and processes, incorrect Outlook shutdowns, a poor Outlook program, and virus attacks. The incorrect file system recovery can damage the PST file. It comprises of faulty recovery methods and tools, overwriting the garbage data, the wrong mix of correct data blocks, and absence of expertise in file recovery. If you want to resolve a PST file that got corrupted like this, you must resort to the correct tools and recovery process. 

  • Computer virus attacks

The virus attacks on the PST file can also result in corrupt PST. And some of the standard computer viruses that can attack the PST files comprise names like worm explore zip and Stages virus. These viruses make it difficult to access the PST file. And if you want to manage this issue, you have to install a licensed and quality anti-virus solution to fix the corrupt PST file and avert any attacks in the future. 

  • Incorrect shutdown process

Usually, you shut down Outlook after saving all the changes you’ve made to the PST file. After that you exit the program. If you don’t follow this process, it can corrupt the PST file. Incorrect shutdown processes comprise using the task manager to suddenly close down the program. Any kind of hasty shutdown can also lead to this issue. Hence, if you don’t want the file to get corrupted, you can opt-in for an UPS unit and avert the shutdown. After that, you can resort to the right shutdown processes. 

  • A problem in the design

If there is an issue with the Outlook program, it can lead to a corrupt PST file. And with the Outlook programs like 97 to 2002, that mostly makes use of the ANSI codes, there is damage to the PST file when the file size surpasses 2GB. However, as communication and personal data are growing each time, the PST file size has increased greatly. And when you install the available patches and fixes to the program, it will also fix the issue. You can use Outlook 2003 and onwards versions, which enables a PST file storage of 20 GB. 

Some of the common reasons for corrupt PST files are hardware and software issues and human mistakes. In order to reduce the first two issues, it is essential to invest in a high-end hardware as well as anti-virus programs. And for human mistakes, it’s best to opt-in for correct shutdown processes that will limit the scopes of file damage. 

What happens when the PST is inaccessible and already corrupt?

Usually, the PST corruption occurs when the user doesn’t know about the preventive initiatives or hasn’t paid attention to them. Hence, now the situation alerts that there has been corruption and it requires repair so that users can access it again. There are few users who search for a free solution in their attempt to repair the PST file. On the other hand, other users opt-in for a third-party solution for the same. 

Here in this article, we would highlight some tricks for repairing the corrupt PST so that its active again. 

The essential solutions and checks

This section of the free solution includes a few essential tasks for having access to Outlook data when the fault is less. 

  • Operate Outlook on safe mode – You can resolve this problem by typing the outlook.exe/safe inside the run dialogue box and the click on OK. It can open the Outlook application on a safe mode, and the users can access the PST data. And opening the Outlook in a safe mode indicates successfully that the data inaccessibility is because of erratic add-ins that can get disabled by going over to File, then Options and Add-ins and the to the Manage COM Add-ins as well as clicking on Go against it. Here all the add-ins will get listed. You can select and click on the disable option for disabling it. After that you can restart the Outlook application and check whether the PST data can get accessed. 
  • Authenticate the internet settings and the firewall configuration – Any incorrect internet settings and firewall configuration can result in this problem. You can check whether the settings are needed and you can also shut down the unwanted running applications on the side. 
  1. Change the timeout period of the server – You can resolve a few of the timeout errors by maximizing the timeout period of the server. 

These are some of the fundamental free solutions that are useful if the corruption problems are associated with the related causes at a low level. The other process is by making use of the in-built repair solution by Microsoft. That aside, there are other repair solution service providers as well that you can opt-in for. Today there are several companies that have specialized in these solutions and have the expertise to provide a solution for you based on your requirement and budget.