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We have got an installation of Outlook 2010 that corrupts every .pst archive opened with it, except for a newly created test archive which only had one mail in it.

All archives cannot be opened and give a message stating the archive ist corrupt, and afterwards, that error persists even for other installations, with the notable exception of the one mail test archive, which can still be opened by other outlook installations, but not this one.

Old friend google comes up surprisingly blank on searches, so I'm a bit stumped.

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4 Answers 4

You could try two things:

  • Check the integrity of you .pst archives to make sure they aren't the source of the problem themselves (as may be deduced from the success with a new, mostly empty test archive), use this tool: Outlook Inbox Repair Tool

  • Delete (or backup) every Outlook's configuration file to force him to regenerate fresh ones, then import the checked archive.
    Here are the related folders to delete:

Win7 & Vista drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook  
WinXP drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook  

and  

Win7 & Vista drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook  
WinXP drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
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First up: Thanks! The archives really get corrupted, and it seems it is spreading. Yesterday we got a load of Office and Windows updates in, right now we're wondering if the root cause might be in those. I'll go and try out the fresh config though, sounds like a good idea. –  Tobias Peters Dec 16 '11 at 7:10

I would also run a repair of Outlook from Add/Remove Programs. You'll need to fix the PSTs, but that isn't going to help if Outlook keeps corrupting them.

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In addition to Shadok's response, I recommend that you run the "Outlook Inbox Repair Tool" over and over until no errors are found.

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We've done that, ran the MS tool and a third party one. On some it fixes the archive and you're done with it, ob others the corruption reoccurs on every opening. –  Tobias Peters Dec 23 '11 at 6:56

You can repair your PST files using scanpst.exe but as it has been seen that often it fails due to its limitations so it is advised to use any efficient Third party Tool. Outlook PST Repair Tool is one of the complete solution for all PST files corruption related issues.

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