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Old 01-18-2007, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scanning Corrupt .PST

Here is the story.

We use Outlook 2003 w/Exchange Mode turned on. We store the .pst files local and have it backed up to a network share once a day using PFBackup. This is setup this way because when you have a .pst file on a network share, it is not efficient on a WAN or LAN links because WAN/LAN links use network-access-driven methods, commands the operating system provides to send data to or receive from another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst (over a network link), Microsoft Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file, but the operating system then has to send those commands over the network because the file is not on the local computer. This creates a great deal of overhead and increases the time it takes to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails. So I am ok since I dont do this. Now the main question is, how can you verfiy on any given day whether a .pst is corrupt or not? I have seen corrupt .pst files as small as 1.4GB and also over 2GB. Now the .pst may be corrupt even while it is still connected to Outlook but once you remove it from Outlook and then re-join it, it scans it and then lets you know if it is corrupt. I haven't found anything that can scan the .pst files for errors. When I upgrade all my users from Office XP to 2003, I seen this happen 11 times. Most of the users lost all or some of their archive.pst. Now I keep 6 weeks worth of backups. This may seem sufficient but you got to ask yourself, when did this .pst become corrupt? So I took the most recent backup, restore it, try to join it, its corrupt. I did this all the way out to 6 weeks and they were all corrupt. Now it was this way for all 11 users but 1 user who looses data is just as bad as 11 because data is lost and that cant be accepted, even thou I accepted it since there was nothing I can do. I also tried 8 .pst repair programs that didnt work and also scan.pst within Windows. Now it did manage to get some data back, but not all. Does or have anyone else seen this issue? I run a batch file to verify the size of the .pst files which is good because I can almost guess when someones archive.pst will be corrupt, but that is only 50% of the problem. I need to find out the other 50% of how can I verify a corrupt .pst file while connected to Outlook. I was sweating bullets when it came down the the General Manager. So what I have been doing is creating a new .pst and copying all files from one to another or if its too big, I split it up. This is how I will be doing it from now on unless I can find a way to scan for corrupt .pst's. Any ideas?
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you tried the tool that M$ includes with Office? I had a corrupted .PST after a BSOD and i used it to get my profile back.

It should be in you Office12 folder in the Program Files.

The file should be scanpst.exe. That helped me recover my Outlook PST when it went corrupt.
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I sure did, I already stated that I used it
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Old 01-19-2007, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry i noticed you said you used a few different ones. Not sure if that was one of them.

Basically it seems that this is a bad method and M$ has to know about it. Submit a bug report and see if they can do anytihng to help you out.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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you say you upgraded to outlook 2003? 2003 uses unicode for the PST files where as previous versions use ANSI, also most older version PSTs wont work with newer version outlook e.g PSTs from outlook 2000 are not compatible with outlook 2003.
The only safe way to preserve the emails is to keep the lot in exchange whan you upgrade.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes I did, Office XP to Office 2003. .PST files are compatible all the down to Office 97. When you add them to Outlook, you can choose what version it came from. But the problem isnt really with this. Its before I even upgrade it that the problems are found when taking the .pst file of and rejoining it. Thats when the problem arrises if it is corrupt or not.
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