Computers & Electronics

Outlook data file corrupt

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  • Sep 7th, 2017 10:14 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1542 posts
36 upvotes
usa

Outlook data file corrupt

Over the years, my Outlook data file always gets corrupted and I lose years of my work emails. My previous data file was inaccessible in April 2017. I've left it running for over 4-5 hours while Outlook was trying to analyse and fix it, even my IT dept was unable to fix it. My most recent data file became inaccessible earlier this week. When my portable hard drive is plugged in, an error message popped up in Outlooj and close. I had to remove the data file from Outlook so I can keep the portable hard drive plugged in to access my other docs.

Does anyone have any suggestion to fixing it? I hate to lose all the emails again. Can I set it up so that my Outlook data file is stored on SD card? I read that the read speed is too slow.
14 replies
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
12324 posts
1882 upvotes
Kanata
SD card isn't ideal, as outlook does plenty of reads/writes to the PST file. It can wear out an SD card.
Perhaps you are running into an issue of the size of the PST being the problem?
One thing you should really consider, is to start doing an auto-archive to a PST, then having that PST backed up on a network share that is also backed up to some other media.
Where is your PST file being stored? Are you using Outlook and not an Exchange server along with it?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1542 posts
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usa
I am on exchange, but my IT dept setup some of the staff's Outlook with a data file stored on a portable hard drive and told us to move files into the archive to free up space.
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
The problems I've previously had with Outlook all showed up when my data file was around 2.5GB. I would archive once in a while to keep it under that, and my problems went away.

Now, that was from probably Outlook 2007 or 2010, so not sure if it's still true. But I moved to Thunderbird; not as feature-rich, but it always works. It's data file is around 10GB presently (I should probably fix that), and happily does it's thing.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Sounds like you guys still have emails from the 90s

Honestly, do you really need an email that was sent 10 years ago?
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
12324 posts
1882 upvotes
Kanata
gta1216 wrote: I am on exchange, but my IT dept setup some of the staff's Outlook with a data file stored on a portable hard drive and told us to move files into the archive to free up space.
Are you closing outlook properly, then waiting a minute or two before disconnecting the portable hard drive? Closing Outlook will close the UI, but it still runs in the background, and it has many hooks into the PST files so it takes a bit for those to be released. If you disconnect while it is releasing those hooks, it can corrupt the files. It sounds like you may have large PST's which will take longer to release.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1542 posts
36 upvotes
usa
goofball wrote: Are you closing outlook properly, then waiting a minute or two before disconnecting the portable hard drive? Closing Outlook will close the UI, but it still runs in the background, and it has many hooks into the PST files so it takes a bit for those to be released. If you disconnect while it is releasing those hooks, it can corrupt the files. It sounds like you may have large PST's which will take longer to release.
I usually don't shutdown my laptop when I take it with me. Outlook stays open. I just pop it out of the docking station and unplug the portable hard drive from the docking station.
Member
Jan 20, 2013
479 posts
81 upvotes
Woodbridge
As an option for future does not solve your problem completely, but...
I have my setup all incoming messages are copied to my gmail. So, it does not help with outgoing, but at least you have a copy of all incoming
Why you have to backup on an external drive? If you have to move some staff from main pst into the archive, the archive could be on your main SSD. In this case you will not have problem disconnected drive while outlook still working.
But, probably, your IT should have the best solution for your current situation. There are a lot of different options, what would be best for you is depends on many small details.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 18, 2005
5011 posts
1390 upvotes
Kitchener
Get IT to move to Office 365, Exchange sucks and it's not getting any better. My office switched last year and it's been good, no need to archive and worry about a full mailbox
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Mar 31, 2005
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Calgary
gta1216 wrote: I usually don't shutdown my laptop when I take it with me. Outlook stays open. I just pop it out of the docking station and unplug the portable hard drive from the docking station.
If you are keeping your laptop on when you leave and severing your connection you could be causing yourself problems. These shouldn't be causing repeated Outlook .pst issues though. I would, however, shut your system down and disconnect your portable hard drive properly when you leave.
Deal Addict
Aug 2, 2003
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Toronto
PSTs became virtually unlimited if it was created after outlook 2007. Has your IT staff run the SCANPST app to repair the PST? 9/10 times successful for me. As for your setup, what you should do it keep the PST on your hard drive, and setup a synctoy that will send a copy of the PST to where ever on demand. That way you have a copy of it on your C:\ and on your portable.

For the people I support, I setup auto sync @12:30pm and 5pm everyday. I tell them to close outlook before lunch so the file doesn't get locked. We're still on 100mb limit on emails so PSTs are very common here. Largest PST i've seen to date is about 15gb,
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
Gee wrote: Sounds like you guys still have emails from the 90s

Honestly, do you really need an email that was sent 10 years ago?
I just have incompetent vendors that send 10+MB e-mails pretty often; adds up when you have 2-3 people doing this a few times / week. I usually nuke all e-mails with attachments older than a year, but I haven't done it in a while.

FWIW: I pretty often have to search back 4-5 years for e-mails, so having an archive is worth it. Also, my oldest e-mail is 2002 ... in my old Hotmail account :).
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
ChubChub wrote: FWIW: I pretty often have to search back 4-5 years for e-mails, so having an archive is worth it. Also, my oldest e-mail is 2002 ... in my old Hotmail account :).
If you have to go back 4 or 5 years, you're better off reaching out to the person to clairify or update the situation.
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
Gee wrote: If you have to go back 4 or 5 years, you're better off reaching out to the person to clarify or update the situation.
I'm going to guess you aren't an engineer (that's not an insult; we're generally idiots); turnaround in project management is insane, and IT departments at manufacturing facilities are abysmal, so workstation data-loss is relatively common. Any engineer with even a shred of common sense is snapped up by headhunters, and move to greener pastures. The reason I have a job is basically because turnaround is so quick; projects are overseen by so many people in the time it takes to finish a job, that nobody knows what decisions were made in the beginning. When I have a question, I almost always get the answer "(s)he's been gone for a year; just do what you think is right" ... so I am hunting through e-mails for a glimmer of what might theoretically be the answer.

In the end, "I" am generally the one that people reach out to for clarification, hence why I keep e-mails (and a lot more information; e-mail is probably like 0.1% of my stored data). As in, I have better documentation of these companies' own projects than they do.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33861 posts
7500 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
ChubChub wrote: I'm going to guess you aren't an engineer (that's not an insult; we're generally idiots); turnaround in project management is insane, and IT departments at manufacturing facilities are abysmal, so workstation data-loss is relatively common. Any engineer with even a shred of common sense is snapped up by headhunters, and move to greener pastures. The reason I have a job is basically because turnaround is so quick; projects are overseen by so many people in the time it takes to finish a job, that nobody knows what decisions were made in the beginning. When I have a question, I almost always get the answer "(s)he's been gone for a year; just do what you think is right" ... so I am hunting through e-mails for a glimmer of what might theoretically be the answer.

In the end, "I" am generally the one that people reach out to for clarification, hence why I keep e-mails (and a lot more information; e-mail is probably like 0.1% of my stored data). As in, I have better documentation of these companies' own projects than they do.
I wanted to be an engineer, but I had bad study habits and dropped out. I ended up in accounting and I'm a CA before they changed all the designations.

I actually worked in a few engineering firms at different capacities. I totally understand your need to archive email.

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