Oh No! My Outlook email client is missing folders and email!!!

It has been awhile since I have done a “tutorial.” Recently, a co-worker lost a folder in her Outlook email. She came to me in hopes that I could retrieve it. Indeed I can. Let’s get started….

Outlook saves email in a file called a .pst file. .pst is a Microsoft extension. In general, the .pst is a database which stores all of your emails and settings. When you remove an email or folder, a marker is removed from that email or folder and the email or folder is no longer displayed. So in a sense, it never REALLY gets rid of your information. So in theory all you would have to do is remove the marker that tells outlook not to display the unmarked files and Vioula! I’m sure there are a million ways to do this, but I was taught this by using a hex editor. I’m not going to go into what Hex is, but lets just say there is a viewer that allows you to see your .pst file in hex form. My favorite hex editor is HxD Hex Editor.

After you have your Hex editor you are going to need to get your .pst file. The easiet way to get this is to go into Outlook go to account settings and look for the data file. It should give you a path similar to this: “C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlookOutlook.pst” When you go into the Outlook folder, I would copy and paste the .pst file somewhere that way you are not working with the live file. (make sure you have outlook closed when messing with the .pst). Open your Hex Editor and open the pst file within the hex editor. You then want to delete lines 7-13. (00007, 00008, 00009, 0000a, 0000b, 0000c, 0000d, 0000e, 0000f, 00010, 00011, 00012, 00013 (The editor displays the code “20” each time you clear a position with the spacebar.)) After clearing those positions, save the file and Run the Inbox Repair Tool, SCANPST.exe, to recover the file.

Some areas where this may be:

On Win2K and WinNT systems, the executable is located in
C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi1033NT

You can also find it on the Office 2000 CD-ROM in
Program FilesCommonSystemMapi1033NT.

On Windows XP, the file is located in
C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi1033

And Windows XP Office XP/2002 SP2
C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033

In Windows 7, simply go to start and in the search box type scanpst.exe.

After it has run and fixed everything, go back into Outlook and open the .pst file.

This will open the .pst and you can copy over your emails to your current working one, or just move the items that you missed.


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