What is PST file?
Personal Storage Table (PST) is the format of a data file that MS Outlook creates locally on your computer to save emails, contacts, drafts, notes, journals, calendar items and inbox information. These files can be used for the purpose of archiving emails and storing them on local computer. Personal storage files are very important, because if these gets corrupt, the user cannot access his mailbox.
This file extension created by earlier versions of MS office, had a size limit associated with them that means, the size of these files could not exceed the limit of 2GB. On crossing this limit, either the Server may crash or the mailbox tables of Outlook may get corrupt and unreadable. Microsoft Outlook has an inbuilt tool for PST fix namely, "scanpst.exe" that can be used to recover such corrupt mail files. However, this tool often did not work if the amount of damage in personal mail tables was major.
In order to reduce the damage in personal storage folders due to size limitation, changes in the character format have been made in new Outlook versions, which support both UNICODE and ANSI character formats. Therefore on these latest mail versions, size of PST can be up to 20 GB. The latest version of MS Outlook i.e. 2013 and 2016 supports UNICODE character format and the file sizes created using this has the default size limit of 50 GB, which can be modified by making some changes in the Registry entries. For further information about modifying size limits of mailbox folders in Outlook, please refer to this link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/832925.
Issues with PST file
Whilst there are advantages of PST file, it carries some disadvantages as well. Corruption of these tables most often leaves you in the critical situation of data loss due to which you need to PST fix to recover the lost data. There can be several reasons for the damage of this mail folder. For example, if these personal files are being accessed over a network, then it may get damaged due to many problems in the network connection during the read/write operation. Therefore, Microsoft never recommends these outlook files over network.
Other reasons that may lead to the damage of PST file are sudden system shut down, corruption of the PST header, hard disk corruption, virus attack, exceeding maximum size limit, failure of MS Outlook, etc. Due to any of these reasons, the Outlook.pst file may get damaged and all emails, notes, contacts, journals, etc. stored in it become inaccessible. At this moment, you need to fix PST to reclaim the lost emails and other items from the corrupt PST.
Emails deleted from user's outlook mailbox are in fact marked as deleted but not actually deleted. Hence, the size of Personal mail folder is not reduced. The space consumed by the deleted items is marked as unallocated for further use. If you need to recover some important emails that have been deleted by mistake then use scanpst.exe to get back the lost mails. After you have repaired these tables with Scanpst.exe, you will see the recovered deleted items in the "Deleted Items" folder in your mailbox.
Default Microsoft Solution to fix PST
Emails, contacts, calendar entries and other related items can have enormous importance for Outlook users. Microsoft has provided a default tool named Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to fix corruption in the personal storage tables. The Inbox Repair Tool can effectively deal with these types of minor corruptions, but in case the PST is severely damaged, the tool fails to repair the corruption of these files. However, if you are still not sure about how to repair damaged personal outlook files, then use a third party fix PST tool.
PST Fix Tool to Repair PST
PST fix tool is the best solution to recover emails, contacts, notes, etc. especially when these outlook data tables are severely damaged and Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool has failed to repair the user's mail account. The fix PST tool supports both ANSI and Unicode character formats. Comprising of self-descriptive user interface, this recovery software can be used without having much technical knowledge.