Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) Cannot Fix PST File

MS Outlook users often encounter problems with corrupt PST files.  This is because the PST file is used to store a large amount of divers data needed for Outlook to function.  When any of this data becomes damaged or corrupted, the PST file is unable to supply Outlook with all of the information it needs to function correctly.  To address this problem, Microsoft includes a utility to fix broken PST files called the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe).

The Inbox Repair Tool cannot be run while Outlook is open.  Users need to locate tool in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033

The Inbox Repair Tool is listed here as Scanpst.exe.  Double clicking on it will open the user interface for the Inbox Repair Tool.  Browse to the PST file and click Scan.  Most of the time, the Inbox Repair Tool will be able to automatically fix a broken PST file.  When it is unable fix the file, users will be shown one of the following messages:

  • An error has occurred which caused the scan to be stopped.  No changes have been made to the scanned file
  • Internal errors were found in this file.  They must be repaired for this file to work correctly
  • Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close.  Sorry for the inconvenience
  • Message Interface has caused an unknown error


When a user encounters one of these error messages while running the Inbox Repair Tool, they will need to use a third party solution such as scanpst.exe Pro to resolve the issue.  Outlook PST Repair applications are able to successfully fix heavily damaged PST files and restore access to MS Outlook.


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