BYTE Magazine > Chaos Manor > 2001 > December

The Day the E-Mail Died

By Jerry Pournelle

December 31, 2001

Column 255

Time to panic, because I haven't backed up that Outlook.pst file in
a while. Incidentally, while you can simply copy the Outlook.pst
file to a different folder, a better way to back up your Outlook files
is with a shareware program called OUTBACK PLUS, which
handles both backup and restoration provided that you use it,
which I hadn't for some time.


The next step was to see if outlook.pst was broken. The way to
do that is to drill down to \Program Files\Common
Files\System\Mapi\1033\NT (Ridiculous, isn't it? But a good
reason to use a GUI rather than command line; imagine typing that
in!) and double-click scanpst.exe. That will bring up a dialog box
to let you locate outlook.pst. (If you don't know where you keep it,
use search, then browse; I keep mine in a folder called,
unsurprisingly, \OUTLOOK.) Scanpst.exe is an invaluable
program that can find, and often repair, problems with that
enormous and unparsable outlook.pst file that contains most of
your life. It really works well, and has been a lifesaver more than

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Last Modified: March 9, 2008