Repairing a broken .PST file

Here is a hypothetical situation.

If you were investigating an Outlook problem that turned out to be stuck read receipts, and you downloaded the Microsoft Exchange Server Information Store Viewer, which then couldn’t delete the read receipts, and you then went off-manual and tried clicking likely buttons to the extent that the original .PST file was completely broken, and then you discover with horror that your backup copy didn’t work properly1 – if all of these things are true this post is for you.

I completely made it up out of my own head, though.

The way out of such a situation is to look at the size of the .PST file and conclude that the emails and data are still intact, but you’ve completely buggered the folder structure has vanished, then find a tool to repair it.

You might think that the Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool will save your life. It will not. It will restore a default folder set, and that’s all.

What will save you is Stellar Phoenix Outlook Pst Repair Software, which is actually a magical program. Various programs tried and failed to understand what was going on, but Stellar Pheonix’ software scanned the file and reconstructed the entire thing in half an hour. No errors, no complaining, no nothing other than a fully readable .PST file at the end. I would, hypothetically, have its babies.

This is not an advert, and I have no connection to Stellar Pheonix. Their program does, admittedly, cost 90 quid, which is a bitter pill for something you’ll probably use once – especially as it’s activated+locked to a specific machine and can’t be transferred. But there are situations in which it’s totally worth it. Trust me.

In hypothetical future, though, just back stuff up properly, ok?

  1. this is why you should always double-check your backups []