One of the worst feelings in the world is to lose all of your data due to corruption, hard drive failure, or another issue. If you don’t have the proper backups, you need a solid plan to fix the problem so that you can get all of your critical files back. Nearing the top of the list of important files are your emails. You may assume that, when your computer takes a nosedive, your mail is irretrievable, but that’s not always the case.
Outlook uses a PST file, also known as a Personal Storage Table, as a database for your emails, contacts and other personal profile information. If something happens to this file, you won’t be able to access this information. Some ways that the file can be damaged includes your computer losing power while the file is being accessed, the physical hard drive becoming damaged or a virus altering the information in the database.
If your hard drive is physically damaged, there isn’t much that can be done. You should immediately take the drive to a specialist who can (hopefully) back up all of the information on your drive and attempt recovery of any damaged or corrupted files. Not all is lost if you have a corrupted PST file, however. There are several programs that can be used to repair Outlook files so you can have access to your email data again. This is a much better alternative than giving up on retrieving your emails, and it may be a useful option if you don’t have any nearby data recovery specialists or feel that your problems don’t necessarily warrant specialized recovery options.
The Repair Process
When you repair a PST file, you regain access to the information. Since a PST file is a complex database, some repairs may be harder to successfully work than others. Outlook repair programs make the repair process rather simple, automating most steps. The GUI will give you several options depending on whether you need to repair a single PST file or multiples. You generally select the PST files that need repairing and select the output location and format.
Some Outlook repair tools also supports repairing the PST files from the command line, in case you are not able to access the program’s GUI. You have many different options to create a PST repair that perfectly fits your needs. The repair program may offer several options, perhaps allowing you to split PST files at specific size limits, get attachments that aren’t associated with emails or go through quick scan options.
While the process that this software performs is complex, the actual usage of the program is not at all. You don’t even have to wait for your IT team to get down to your computer to begin the recovery process.
Avoiding Problems In The Future
You can avoid problems with your Outlook mail files in the future by keeping an up-to-date backup in several places. Many online storage services exist, and you may also choose to use a physical external hard drive as a backup location. You can also keep email on your server as well as pulling it in to your email client. As long as your PST file and your mail server don’t go down at the same time, you’ll be covered.
When your computer goes haywire, you may be tempted to give up on your files, but you should consider putting some work into them first. Through a bevy of specially made software, you have the chance to recover your important information without knowing the ins and outs of a processor.