Admin Life Errors, Fixes, and Encounters


repair outlook using a free program

If you can't open your PST or you suspect that your .pst or .ost data file is corrupt, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe), to diagnose and repair errors in the file.

  1. Quit Microsoft Outlook if it's running.
  2. Double-click Scanpst.exe, located at drive:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\LocaleID folder - where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for the installation of Microsoft Office. The LCID for English - United States is 1033.
  3. In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, enter the name of the .pst or .ost file that you want to check, or click Browse to look for the file.
  4. To specify scan log options, click Options, and then click the option you want.
  5. Click Start.
  1. When the scanning is completed, and if errors were found, you will be prompted to start the repair process.

To change the name or location of the backup file created during the repair process, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or click Browse to look for the file.

  1. Click Repair.
  2. Start Outlook using the profile that contains the .pst file that you tried to repair.
  3. On the Go menu, click Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Go menu, click Folder List.).

In the Folder List, you may see a Recovered Personal Folders folder containing default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. The recovered folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. The Lost and Found folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair tool recovered. Items that are missing from the Lost and Found folder cannot be repaired.

  1. If you see a Recovered Personal Folders folder, you can create a new .pst file, and then drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new .pst file. When you have finished moving all items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder, from your profile.


  • If you are able to open the original .pst file, you may be able to recover additional items from your damaged .pst file. By default, the Inbox Repair tool creates a file called file name .bak, which is a copy of the original .pst file with a different extension. The .bak file is located in the same folder as your original .pst file. You may be able to recover items from the .bak file that the Inbox Repair tool could not recover. Make a copy of the .bak file, giving the file a new name with a .pst extension. Import the "bak.pst" file, and then move any additional recovered items to the new .pst file that you created.
  • A copy of the log file is written to the same location as the .pst file.

outlook undelete emails

How to: Recover Deleted Emails in Outlook for FREE

It’s unbelievable how many products you can purchase to recover deleted emails in Outlook. Usually they're a free demo that ‘tease” you by showing what would be recovered, only if you purchased their full-version.

I’ve shown that you don’t need to purchase Automatic Windows Cleanup Software – and you don’t need to purchase Outlook Recovery Software to undelete an email!

When you delete an email in Outlook – it really isn’t deleted; it’s only “marked” for deletion. It’s only until you “compact” your PST file that your email is permanently erased, and the empty space is reclaimed.

Outlook’s Inbox Repair Tool (ScanPST.exe) can diagnose and repair errors in your PST file.  If the file is not corrupt, it does some minor clean-up – but if the file IS corrupt it also reverts all objects to “not deleted.”

So we’ll first need to “corrupt” our PST file to have ScanPST reclaim our “deleted” emails. [NOTE: I'm not including detailed instructions. If you're not comfortable please ask someone to help you.]

1) Locate and backup your Outlook PST file

2) From the Command Prompt type what’s in bold (not the hyphens "-")

DEBUG C:\fullpath\OutlookFile.PST
- f  107  113  20
- q

3) Now that you’ve “corrupted” your PST file run ScanPST (usually found in C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033)

4) Once ScanPST completes, your deleted emails will be restored.

Recover the Deleted Items

If you don't know what a Hex editor is, you probably shouldn't be hex editing anything, but if you want to try, Google for "hex editor" - UltraEdit is probably the best and easiest one to use. Before doing anything to the PST with a Hex Editor, make a copy of the PST, or you may end up losing all of your e-mail.

  1. Open the PST in the Hex editor.
  2. Delete positions 7 through 13 with the spacebar. Since you're using hexadecimal numbering, this actually clears 13 characters in the following positions:
    00007, 00008, 00009, 0000a, 0000b, 0000c, 0000d
    0000e, 0000f, 00010, 00011, 00012, 00013
    As you clear the characters, the editor displays the code “20” in their position.

  1. Save the PST, it is now corrupted.
  2. Run the Inbox Repair Tool, SCANPST.exe, to recover the file. Use Windows Search utility to find it. For additional information on the Inbox Repair Tool, see KB article 287497
  3. The Inbox Repair Tool creates a backup and repairs the damage and recreates the PST.

Open the new PST in Outlook. The Deleted Items folder should now contain the deleted messages, unless Outlook has already deleted them for good by compacting the PST.


backup outlook 2003

Just copy the outlook folder to a new location (desktop, memory key, etc)

Backing up outlook 2003
Close down outlook before backing up
Note: is your Windows name account.

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows Vista/7

Backing up outlook 2007
Close down outlook before backing up
Note: is your Windows name account.

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows Vista/7

to restore, copy the backup to the same folder location, just make sure outlook is closed.

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