Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1.    07 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    Outlook 2016 pst file disappeared. How to find/recover/reconstruct


    Wife's computer... Last Thursday she reported that the display of emails in her Inbox was blank. Subsequently found that the pst file named <her email address>.com(1).pst was not in the folder. It showed in Quick Access, date last accessed, file size of around 21GB, but clicking on it took me to an empty folder.

    Have done the usual search for it, run chkdsk, booted from a USB using Ubuntu and run a undelete command to find deleted files - it found a file ending in .com.tmp, but a much smaller file.

    Been running spinrite to check for disk errors. Level 2 (data recovery) ran in 30 mins and reported no recoveries to do. Now been running level 5 (data recovery and more) for the last 3 days and it reported it has read 3,2GB (of a 500GB disk) and found at least 3 bad sectors, unrecoverable, but no info on the files - might be/might not be. I've read of reports of spinrite running for days, but we can't wait that long.

    Around 3 months ago a similar incident where files in a folder and subfolders disappeared, but these were mostly jpg, pdf and word docs. No trace of those files either.

    Have no current backup of the current pst folder - have one from 3 months ago.

    Nothing in the Events folders to suggest a problem, beyond some process reporting that the pst file could not be found.

    This is so bizarre. Ignoring the earlier incident, though I'm thinking we should replace the HDD, I'm looking for ideas on what might have happened to that pst file, any suggestions or tools to search for/recover?

    Or, is there a way to copy the 3 month old backup of the pst folder to the HDD and then download just emails from the last three months on the email server? She's using POP and all her emails for years are on currently on the server. Given the pst file was 21GB, I'd rather not download all those emails if a filter can be applied or do I need to download and apply some filter as they are loaded?

    Thanks for any help!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    08 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2016
    Caledon, Ontario, Canada
    Posts : 4,102
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1703

    You said you found a pst file. Did you try repairing it with scanpst.exe? (part of Office)

    Here are some other locations the pst file may be located.

    https://support.office.com/en-us/art...ad=US&fromAR=1

    If you click file, upper left, Account settings, then account settings from drop down and then "Data" tab does it show where PST file should be located.

    I think you will find slipstick.com an excellent resource for Outlook issues. It makes sense to me that you should be able to import PST file into existing Outlook. It also makes sense that it will sync only required. That said how the server sees Outlook with this PST could be the deciding factor. If it thinks it is new then it would download all.

    If it down loads none then you might be able to sign on through a web portal and bulk forward messages worth keeping.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    08 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2016
    Crewe Cheshire
    Posts : 1,466
    windows 10

    How old is the pst file as it may exceed the size limits if it's old ANSI type a file that size is going to give problems after 12gig it gets bad better to have 2 files loading. If there are bad blocks on the drive that could be why it's gone
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    08 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    USA
    Posts : 1,595
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by jumper2 View Post
    Wife's computer... Last Thursday she reported that the display of emails in her Inbox was blank. Subsequently found that the pst file named <her email address>.com(1).pst was not in the folder. It showed in Quick Access, date last accessed, file size of around 21GB, but clicking on it took me to an empty folder.....
    Sounds like you have other issues going on with your PC. That said, need some basic information...

    • You say Outlook 2016... Is this Outlook 365?
    • Did you recently upgrade to 365?
    • Can you still access the .pst file? - If so, I would suggest you leave it as is since it can be easily imported into Outlook. Messing around with it could corrupt it, making useless.
    • Which OS on the affected PC are you running?

    If you are running Office 365, Outlook 365 no longer uses .pst files, but instead .ost files, and they are no longer stored in (My) Documents, but instead your user profile…. C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

    That said, you can still use and access your old .pst files, but they’ll need to be imported. This is what I’m doing with my old .pst files. This is why we need to know specifically which Outlook version you’re using.

    Oh, and this would be a good time to remind why we should always backup, and continue to backup, critical files. And it would also be a good idea to check why the PC is behaving the way it is. Perhaps a new HD is in order.

    Anyway please answer the above questions.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    08 May 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2016
    Caledon, Ontario, Canada
    Posts : 4,102
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1703

    I could be wrong but .ost file are associated with imap accounts. This user is using POP so pst is still used. At least that is my understanding.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    08 May 2017 #6
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    USA
    Posts : 1,595
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuria View Post
    How old is the pst file as it may exceed the size limits if it's old ANSI type a file that size is going to give problems after 12gig it gets bad better to have 2 files loading.

    .pst file size limits...

    The default .pst file size limit in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003 is 20 GB. If you are using a computer that has Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 installed, and you want to access a Unicode .pst file that was created in Outlook 2010 or later, you may have to reduce the size of the .pst file if the file size is at or near 20 GB. If the file size is greater than 20 GB, you will be unable to open the .pst file.
    They increased to 50gig in 2010 & 2013

    The file size limits of .pst and .ost files are larger in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013...
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    08 May 2017 #7
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    To answer the above questions...


    • The pst file I do have is on an external drive. Full copy of the file as of 08-Feb-2017.
    • The pst file I do need cannot be found on the system. Is it hidden, under another name, deleted via a proper delete or corrupted, I don't know. Not in the Outlook folder in the path mentioned above that it was previously. What I don't understand is that Quick Access reported it was there and how it would then simply be gone.
    • Outlook 2016, part of Office 365
    • Windows 10
    • Outlook won't start, looking for that pst file in the specific folder
    • Old pst file (used since, I think 2007), but has been fine until last week
    • It seems that another pst file (that had older emails) that was also used until recently has disappeared
    • Yep, I know about backups. Everything essential, besides these files, is backed up to Dropbox. Unfortunately this is the regrettable exception. Beyond the regrets, I'm trying to make good of a bad situation.
    • I might have changed a setting in Malwarebytes 3 a couple of months ago to delete, rather than quarantine infected files. I've emailed them to ask if deleted files are recoverable. Is this possibly the issue, I don't know. Would it and others have been flagged, perhaps as false/positives, I don't know. Cannot access the system or any logs or apps right now as SpinRite is still running.
    • I'm thinking of cancelling the SpinRite. Now 4 days and no idea on progress/finish. Running from a bootable USB. Have read of some issues using a USB, but nothing clear.
    • Recognise that there may be other issues that warrant a HDD replacement to be entirely safe. Beyond these missing files, no other messages of any kind or misbehaviour to suggest other problems.


    I would really like to know what happened to these files or if there is anything I can do to try find/recover them. In the event that I simply try to recover best, how do I accomplish this using Outlook? Copy the Feb copy of the pst file to previous folder, start Outlook, import the file to Outlook, and/or create a new profile, download all the messages from the server and then import the old back up. Would appreciate a step by step guide to any options to ensure I don't mess up.

    Thanks for all the replies. Appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    08 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    We did go though upgrades to Outlook 2010 and perhaps 2013, so the file size limit would have, I assume, be ok. In any case, if it was a size issue, I assume the file should not have disappeared, but Outlook would be reporting an issue.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    08 May 2017 #9
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    USA
    Posts : 1,595
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by Caledon Ken View Post
    I could be wrong but .ost file are associated with imap accounts. This user is using POP so pst is still used. At least that is my understanding.
    Doesn't really matter in this instance for the OP's problem.

    BTW...
    The primary differences between the two types of Outlook data files are as follows:

    Outlook Data Files (.pst) are used for POP3, IMAP, and web-based mail accounts. When you want to create archives or back up your Outlook folders and items on your computer, such as Exchange accounts, you must create and use additional .pst files.

    Outlook Data Files (.ost) are used when you have an Exchange account and want to work offline or use or use the default Cached Exchange Mode. This type of data file is also used for accounts that you set up with the Outlook Connector for Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail). Outlook Data Files (.ost) are always copies of items that are saved on a mail server and don’t have to be backed up like Outlook Data Files (.pst).

    And I believe Microsoft started using .ost files from Outlook 2010 and on. By default, when Outlook (2010 and above) sets up an account it sets an ost file, not a pst file. Additionally most mail services now use IMAP instead of POP3. I have no POP3 accounts.

    Check this... Introduction to Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    08 May 2017 #10
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    USA
    Posts : 1,595
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by jumper2 View Post
    • The pst file I do have is on an external drive. Full copy of the file as of 08-Feb-2017.
    • Outlook 2016, part of Office 365


    I would really like to know what happened to these files or if there is anything I can do to try find/recover them.
    Quote Originally Posted by jumper2 View Post
    We did go though upgrades to Outlook 2010 and perhaps 2013, so the file size limit would have, I assume, be ok. In any case, if it was a size issue, I assume the file should not have disappeared, but Outlook would be reporting an issue.
    Since you have a good copy on the external drive, you can import that copy to Office 365 using these instructions...

    Import email, contacts, and calendar from an Outlook .pst file

    Your pst file size is fine. And yes, Outlook would have nagged. As to why your files are disappearing, I can't say other than perhaps a bad HD, but that's a guess based on some info you provided. It could also be malware wiping files. Have you done a recent virus scan?

    Edit: Check out this YouTube clip on importing a .pst file...

      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


Similar Threads
Thread Forum
Help to Recover Data File Password in Outlook 2010, Apr 2017
A friend asked my advice with a problem I've never encountered. He's a computer novice running Office 2010 on an Acer laptop with Windows 10 Home. He is recently unable to open Outlook 2010. The program is suddenly asking for a Data File Password...
Software and Apps
Backup Outlook 2016 via pst file (?)
Hi; Would like to sync (Win 7) outlook 2010 and (Win 10) outlook 2016. Specifically for email and calendars. I believe the easiest way would be a sync'd or shared pst file. Comments or suggestions appreciated. Vant
Browsers and Email
Solved My Outlook PersonalFolders.pst file Disappeared Overnight
When I opened Outlook this morning I got pretty much a blank screen, no mailbox, no messages at all. It took me little time to discover that my ThisPC/Documents/Outlook/PersonalFolders.pst file was gone. I did find a...
Software and Apps
File disappeared off desktop - cannot find or recover
Hi, I was transferring all my photos on my phone to a folder on my desktop, named 'Photoa'. A couple of seconds after the last photo was copied over I watched the folder suddenly disappear from the desktop. I was not performing any action at the...
General Support
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:04.
Find Us
Twitter Facebook Google+ Ten Forums iOS App Ten Forums Android App



Windows 10 Forums