Scanpst.exe, commonly known as Inbox Repair Tool, is found in your Microsoft Office suite by default. The default path of scanpst.exe is “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12” in Microsoft Office 2007. The locations may differ according to versions of Office suite and operating systems. But the working of scanpst.exe is the same in all the versions. The scanpst.exe is developed with the intention to help the corporate Outlook users, where people need a defensive tool to save their data on major disaster.
What is it?
The inbox repair tool is built for repairing .pst, .ost files and to resize the oversized PST. The tool used to repair .pst is called “scanpst.exe” and the tool used to repair .ost is called “scanost.exe”. The .ost is called offline storage table it manages the offline Outlook data. But eventually it’s not in use nowadays as the Microsoft corp. itself stopped the support to repair damage in offline Outlook data. Because if there is damage in offline Outlook data it is better to delete the .ost file and re-download it from the Microsoft exchange server. It will be more efficient. Even if the Microsoft exchange server fails you can import the .pst to .ost easily.
What scanpst.exe does?
The .pst file is responsible for all the data and settings stored in the Outlook program. PST stands for personnel storage information. In Outlook you can maintain more than one .pst file. Here all the data are stored in the form of rows, columns and tables. The actual problem rises when the .pst file is damaged or corrupted. There are several reasons that make the .pst file corrupt. This is the place where there is a need for inbox repair tool occurs.
You can use inbox repair tool to repair your Outlook PST file at times of corruption or damage, which resulted to inaccessibility to your Outlook profile.
Positives of Inbox repair tool
- It can restore .pst file from personnel folder corruption which blocks the entire Outlook program while opening
- A backup option is provided at the time of repairing PST files which will save the same backup file in .bak format along with .pst file
- The tool will work perfectly in repairing 97-2002 .pst data files in MS Outlook 2003 and 2007
- It restructures the damaged default personnel storage table row by row. This will ignore the unwanted attributes ultimately
The scanpst.exe mends the corrupted PST file but it is a more complex task which requires some technical knowledge to find where the tool is located in your system and also it’s up to the user to find the actual .pst location and repair it manually. It is not finished with this, after successful repair you have to import the recovered and modified attributes to the new PST file.
Since, it’s a free tool which comes with the MS Office package, so there is no harm in trying it once. But the individual has to be very cautious and must take a backup of PST file first. Because of the below mentioned reasons.
Limitations of Inbox repair tool
As it’s said “A drop of poison is enough to spoil the entire milk”, here it suits perfectly. Though the inbox repair tool comes with Microsoft office suite, it is not up to the mark. There are several areas where the Scanpst.exe lacks behind…
- Lot of manual effort is required which requires more technical knowledge
- The major drawback is the tool cannot repair oversized PST. Each attribute in Outlook profile can hold data only up to 2 GB. After that, MS Outlook will show error message and will never open. Outlook program will work properly only after successful repair of .pst file
- If you forget to check the option “Make backup of scanned file before repairing” and unfortunately if the repair process crashes or failed due to some reasons, then it’s a major disaster
- You have to find the location of the PST file manually and by default it will be in hidden mode
- The backup file generated by the tool is not the duplication of the original one. Only the major things like the header and the Meta information about the actual .pst is replicated. It repairs only the header of the damaged PST file, rather than the entire file
- Moreover if damage to the PST file is severe, the scanpst.exe fails
Hence, I guess Inbox Repair Tool will be helpful only in minor corruptions of PST file.
As you saw, there are some advantages; but the drawback explodes out of the bag. So it is better to use any eminent third party software to repair the corrupted PST files that have some advantages like scanning and picking the available PST automatically, repair the PST file from severe issues including virus attacks, attachment failure problem, etc. One of the tools which I found best is Remo Repair Outlook PST, which fixes the PST file completely unlike scanpst.exe tool.
Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives and Cloud storage networks.
He has published more than 200 articles in Remo Software blog. He actively engages in research and problem-solving techniques to consistently generate great web content. Fixing various hardware problems on computer and storage devices along with a great knack for fixing Outlook errors, Tony is also the fun-time IT guy for all his work friends. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys cycling.