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Corrupt PST? - File size

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Hi all,

We have a user with (several) PSTs...(roll-on our Symantec EV project!)...
They are suggesting emails are missing from one of their PSTs.
Within Outlook, PST size showing as 1.9GB, within Windows Explorer, the PST is showing as 2.3GB.
We have run several SCANPSTs and used Outlook Repair within Ontrack Easy Recovery Pro, but the user claims these emails are still missing.

Any suggestions?

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Different size reports as such aren't necessarily an indicator of problems.

For starters, depending on who you ask, a Gig can be exactly a billion bytes, or 2 to the power of 30 which is almost 74 million more.

Secondly, Windows itself will tell you overall file size, an application might report "in use" size which could disregard fixed overhead within the file and/or unallocated space within the data structure.


Bottom line, if you're suspecting data loss, employ some more sophisticated methods than expected vs reported file sizes.

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Damn, I'm going to sound like an ass, but still.

Microsoft warned about this years ago. There is a crucial flaw in their PST system and when the file reaches anywhere close to 2GB the risk of corrpution skyrockets.

Here it is explained;


microsoft has their own page on it, but that ones easier to read; a quick google will find microsofts (though it offers no solutions).


Honestly; the correct IT support answer is "We will restore from your last backup", when they say "I dont have one" you ask them, "Well, what did we learn?" I've dealt with HUNDREDS of these and they rarely can even be opened let alone fully recovered.


The ONLY luck I've had is importing the emails into Thunderbird. Having the client manually save the important ones, then nuking the PST file and starting again.



I wish you luck, try and find as many tools online as you can, make a backup of said PST and start trying them. Let me know what works for you (if anything)

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I think the reason is that you are using the old version of Outlook PST file(ANSI version), which only supports maximum file size of 2GB. Whenever your file reaches the limit or close to the limit, you will lose some emails.


Nowadays, all new Outlook versions(since 2003) has support new version of PST file(Unicode version), which does not has the 2GB limit any more.


So to solve your problem, the best choice is to convert your old version PST file to new PST format if you have Outlook 2003 or higher versions.


This article describe the problem clearly: https://www.datanumen.com/outlook-repair/problems/2gb-pst.htm


Hope that works.

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In case guide below about Scanpst will be ineffective, then you may refer to next links....


https://www.repairtoolbox.com/outlookrepair.html Outlook Repair Toolbox




Outlook Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) is a utility that you can use in this case to repair your damaged archive.pst. It is highly recommended that you backup the damaged PST first as running the tool can irreparably damage the file.

1. Quit the application

2. Scanpst.exe is a hidden file so make sure that the 'Show hidden files and folders' setting is enabled in the folder options

3. Click Start | Search, or Find and type 'Scanpst.exe' in the Search box

4. Double-click to open the file and browse to the location of your damaged archive.pst

5. Click 'Start' to start the recovery process

6. Try to open the file in question again. The corruption problem should not exist.

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