Scanpst.exe is an Inbox Repair Tool which helps you fix corrupt offline Personal Storage Table (.PST) and Outlook Storage Table (.OST). This PST repair tool is automatically installed with MS Outlook and is most effective at rebuilding damaged or corrupt PST files. However, it may sometimes fail to repair a PST file due to a few limitations which are as follows,
- Scanpst.exe may freeze or crash while attempting to repair severely corrupt PST.
- It may fail to repair a PST file larger than 2GB. It often freezes and crashes in such cases.
- It can’t fix an encrypted or password-protected PST file.
Besides these limitations, Scanpst.exe may also fail to repair your Outlook PST file due to:
- Drive errors
- Bad sectors
- Missing DLL file
- Damaged MS Outlook
How to Fix ScanPST.exe Error
Here we have listed some DIY troubleshooting methods when scanpst.exe tool fails to repair your inaccessible Outlook PST file.
1. Run CHKDSK to fix bad sectors, if any
- Press Windows + S and type command prompt.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and choose ‘Run as administrator.’
- Type chkdsk /f to run a CHKDSK scan.
2. Check Drive for errors
- Open File Explorer and right-click on C: drive.
- Choose ‘Properties’ and click on the ‘Tools’ tab.
- Click the ‘Check’ button. And then click ‘Scan Drive’ in the Error Checking dialog box.
- After the scan, reboot your system and then try to run scanpst.exe to repair corrupt PST.
3. Run SFC Scan
System File Checker or SFC scan fixes damaged system files, which may cause inbox repair tool to crash or freeze during PST repair. To run an SFC scan,
- Open Command Prompt as administrator and type sfc /scannow.
- Press ‘Enter’ and let it scan.
- After the scan, try to repair your corrupt PST file with scanpst.exe tool.
4. Repair MS Outlook
There could be a problem with the scanpst.exe itself. You can fix this by repairing the MS Outlook app.
- In Windows, open Settings>Apps and search office.
- Click on the Microsoft Office version name and then click ‘Modify’.
- Now, choose ‘Repair’ and click ‘Continue’.
- After the repair is complete, open scanpst.exe and try to repair your PST file.
5. Move PST to another PC
To avoid Scanpst.exe error, you may also move the damaged PST file to another Windows PC with MS Outlook installed. Then use the Scanpst.exe of that Outlook app to fix the corrupt PST file.
What to do if ScanPST.exe still fails to repair Outlook PST File?
If the Scanpst.exe fails to repair corrupt PST, there’s no option left but to use a PST file repair utility. A PST repair utility such as Stellar Repair for Outlook helps you fix a severely corrupt PST file of any size in an instant. And unlike Scanpst.exe, it lets you repair a password-protected or encrypted PST file.
Plus, the utility also lets you split large PST files in smaller corresponding PSTs that helps you avoid PST file corruption.
To repair your corrupt PST file by using Stellar Repair for Outlook, follow these steps:
- Download and install Stellar Repair for Outlook on your Windows PC.
- Close MS Outlook app and launch the software.
- Click ‘Browse’ to select your corrupt PST file.
- Click ‘Repair’.
5. After the repair, click ‘OK’ and then click ‘Save Scan’.
Save Scan & Load Scan options help to avoid rescanning a corrupt PST file again. It saves time, resources, and facilitates exporting mail items in stages. Use the feature when PST file is large or severely corrupt.
6. Select the mail items you want to export. The software also recovers and previews deleted mailbox items.
7. Click ‘Save Repaired File’ and choose the PST format. You may also export individual or multiple mail items to EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, or PDF format.
8. Then, choose a destination and click ‘Save’.
You can now replace the ‘corrupt PST’ file with this ‘repaired PST’ file. You may also import this PST file to your MS Outlook account through the Import/Exportwizard.
Tips to Avoid PST File Corruption and MS Outlook Errors
- Keep PST file size under a few GBs, preferably 2-3GB. Split the PST if the size exceeds this limit.
- Always close MS Outlook app before turning off your PC.
- Avoid installing unnecessary MS Outlook plugins.
- Install reliable antivirus & anti-malware protection.
- Monitor your system drive’s health and SMART status.
- Keep Windows and device drivers updated.
- Keep a regular backup of your Outlook Data (PST & OST) Files.
- Never store PST on a network storage drive.
Personal Storage Table or PST file corruption is common due to large and heavy file size. It may also happen due to reasons such as virus or malware intrusion, drive errors, incompatible Outlook plugin, improper shutdown, etc. To fix corrupt or damaged PST file, MS Outlook provides a built-in Inbox Repair tool, i.e. Scanpst.exe. The tool reconstructs damaged PST index and makes an inaccessible PST readable.
However, the scanpst.exe tool may fail to fix a PST file due to the limitations discussed above. To overcome those, you can use an Outlook PST repair software such as Stellar Repair for Outlook to reconstruct corrupt PST and save mailbox items in a new PST file or other file formats such as EML, MSG, RTF, HTML, or PDF. You can also export a repaired PST file directly to Office 365 account using the Technician version of Stellar Repair for Outlook.