I’m trying to help a friend with a repair of a damaged Outlook 2007 PST file. Can you please recommend the best PST file repair tool? Even if I have to pay for it I’m willing to consider that.
Here are some more details:
I helped a friend with a laptop that wouldn’t startup (MS Windows Vista Home Premium). In the end I’m pretty sure that it was a nasty virus or spyware infection, but I did some initial troubleshooting and then decided to just save his data and rebuild his system from scratch. I pulled his HDD and mounted with my USB-SATA ext adapter, then copied over the entire C:\User folder. I double checked everything and then did a new Windows install, plus apps and tools, then copied the Users folder back. Everything seemed perfect. I delivered to the user.
Then even though the user had told me that they used web based eMail, they now told me that they also used Outlook. Oops, I knew I should have asked that question before hand but I figured no big deal because the PST files are always under \Users anyway. Well, I searched for it and the PST was not there.
I remounted the HDD externally and did a deep scan with my “File Scavenger” which found the two PST files and they had been in entirely strange location. Anyway I use my FS to recover them and then put it all back together and copied them over to the laptop, hoping that they were really recovered intact, but knowing that they’d probably need to be scrubbed.
Sure enough I went into Outlook 2007, it had created a new Outlook.PST, both Outlook-2010.PST and Backup-2010.PST (the recovered files). When I tried to open them in Outlook or import from them, it simply reported that they were not PST files. One is 3 GB and the other 10 GB, which I figured was OK since we’re dealing with Outlook 2007 and not Outlook 2003 or earlier.
So I tried the free Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool. It scanned the files, but gave me nothing. Then I started looking for third-party apps. I have found some as cheap as $60 and some as expensive as $250. Most work by showing you what can be recovered but only letting you recover if you register and pay for the app. I am OK with that as long as I know I’m not wasting the money and I would like to get the best one, especially if I get one of the more expensive ones.
Last night I got a demo version of Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST Repair that will cost $129. I loaded it and ran the scan, it took most of the night. This morning it reported a big success, 14,000 e-mail messages, 540 contacts, etc, etc. So now I’m excited, but I would really like other tech-heads to confirm that this app is a reputable one or if there’s another that will work even better I can jump on it. Gee, I hope I didn’t exceed the posting limit or kill anyone with boredom.
Here are some others that I’ve seen too: