Restore Outlook Contacts with Scanpst.exe Pro

MS Outlook is dependant on the PST file to maintain the integrity of all Outlook data including the contacts and address book.  When the PST file becomes damaged or corrupt, Outlook often stops opening and presents the user with a message indicating the PST file has been damaged.  Sometimes the damage is not severe enough to prevent MS Outlook from opening and running.  When the user attempts to access the address book or their contact list, they discover the damage.  Sometimes the contact information is presented with symbols the user cannot interpret.  Other times, the information is missing and the address book or contact list is empty.

The most common reason for this type of PST file corruption is the Windows Error Checking Tool.  This tool runs automatically when the operating system crashes.  The Windows Error Checking Tool runs before the operating system restarts and checks all of the files for integrity.  When it finds damaged files or disk sectors, it attempts to repair them.  Sometimes other files are inadvertently damaged as a result.

When the Outlook PST file is damaged in this way, it can usually be repaired by running the Scanpst.exe tool.  This utility is included in MS Outlook but cannot be used while Outlook is running.  Users can find the Scanpst.exe tool in:

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

Running the Scanpst.exe tool allows users to browse to the PST file and start a scan.  When the tool finds damage, it automatically repairs it.  In most cases, the Scanpst.exe tool will be able to recover the lost contacts and address book for Outlook.  In those rare instances when it is unable to restore this data, a third party application for Outlook PST Repair will be able to complete the recovery process.

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