Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Resolving ‘.pst could not be found’ Error

Once in a while, the PST (Personal Storage Folder) file of MS Outlook gets damaged, or otherwise harmed on an apparently regular basis. The reason of such problems could be PST 2 GB size limitation, insufficient system resources, unexpected power outage, etc. As a result, you might start receiving errors while starting or working with MS Outlook. To be specific, consider the following error message: 

“The file drive:\path\file name.pst could not be found.”

Here, drive:\path\file name.pst refers to the complete path of corrupted PST file. This error occurs when you start MS Outlook and the default PST is corrupted. In order to Repair PST in such conditions, continue reading.

Note: If the PST has not been stored locally, the same error can occur because of unavailability of the server. Microsoft does not support Network storage of PST file.

Repairing PST

A corrupted/damaged PST can be fixed using built-in utility of MS Outlook called Inbox Repair Tool. To run this tool, you will need to access its executable file – Scanpst.exe. Unless you are aware of its exact location, you might need to follow the below steps to locate the file:
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Files or Folders after pointing to Search
  3. In the Search for files or folders named box, type ‘scanpst.exe’, and click Search Now
  4. The Scanpst.exe must be visible now. Double-click it to run the tool.
The above steps may vary on the basis of Windows version. Before you run the tool, it is advised to backup the file. You can also view the log file of the process that has the same name as of PST file, but with .log file name extension. 

More Information

Inbox Repair Tool has limited PST Repair capabilities and so, in some situations, it might fail. To overcome such issues, you need a more powerful, third-party utility to repair and recover PST. These tools can run comprehensive, yet safe, scanning algorithms to analyze and then repair the corrupted PST.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

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