Inbox Repair Tool – A First Aid Tool to Deal with PST Corruption Issues

After the corruption of PST files, Outlook users usually turn to the Scanpst.exe, popularly known as the Inbox Repair Tool, to fix the issues. The Inbox Repair Tool is a free tool from Microsoft, and is installed on the system by default along with the installation of MS Outlook. Also, it is available for download.

What does the Inbox Repair Tool do to Recover Messages from Corrupt PST?

In order to recover folders and items from corrupt PST files, the Inbox Repair do the following actions when it is run on the corrupt PST file:

  • analyzes the PST file directory structure and item headers
  • attempts to turn a file into mountable PST file
  • backs up PST file before attempting to repair it
  • validates and corrects errors in the internal data structures of the PST file
  • checks and repairs structures like BTrees and reference counts, if necessary
  • removes unreadable or corrupt block of the structure or table
  • removes the items to which the unreadable or corrupt block of the structure or table belongs
  • enters the removal of the blocks and items in the ScanPST log file
  • examines PST folders and messages performs corrective operations on them

Corrective Operations Performed by the Inbox Repair Tool on PST Folders

  • ensures that correct tables are associated with the folder
  • checks rows in the table to remove the rows without  messages or subfolders
  • validates the messages or subfolders in the rows to see if they exist
  • removes corrupt messages or folders from the table and deletes them from the database
  • double-checks the newly-recovered messages to ensure that the recovery is accurate
  • recreates the corrupted folders from the scratch

Corrective Operations Performed by the Inbox Repair Tool on PST Messages

  • validates attachment tables and recipient tables
  • synchronizes the contents of valid recipient tables with the recipient properties on the message
  • ensures that message folder is a valid one
  • checks message properties to ensure that they follow valid formats
  • recalculates sizes and compares them to the stored ones
  • display properties of the recipient are made consistent with the recovered table
  • collects all orphaned messages and puts them in an Orphans folder

Location of the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool

Outlook & Windows versions Location
Outlook 2013
(Windows 32-bit)
\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15
Outlook 2013
(Windows 64-bit)
\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15
Outlook 2010
(Windows 32-bit)
\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
Outlook 2010
(Windows 64-bit)
\Program Files\Microsoft Office(x86)\Office14
Outlook 2007
(Windows 32-bit)
\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
Outlook 2007
(Windows 64-bit)
\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

What to do if the Inbox Repair Tool Fails to Fix the PST Corruption Issues?

The Inbox Repair Tool is only a first aid tool to fix the corruption of Outlook PST files. It can solve minor corruption issues only. If the corruption is a serious one, you need to use professional PST repair tools like RecoveryFIX for Outlook.