This morning, my Outlook inbox has messages with no ‘From’, no ‘Subject’, and nothing in the ‘body’. So, I’m thinking that the .pst file has been corrupted at some point. I Googled on ‘Outlook 2007 repair tool’ and came up with this Microsoft Support article “How to use the Inbox Repair Tools to recover e-mail messages in Outlook 2002, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007”. I followed the instructions to repair my outlook .pst file as follows:
Open windows explorer and navigate to the folder where my outlook files are stored. Normally, this would be in: C:\users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook, however, I’ve moved them to: My Documents\Exchange.
Check the file sizes. In my case, I have a whopper of a file! It’s 3.9GB. I’m thinking this could be part of my problems. The Microsoft article discusses file size max is 2GB for prior versions of Outlook. I need to find out what the file maximum is for Outlook 2007. I ran a Google search on ‘Outlook 2007 maximum pst file size and found an article from About.com Do Outlook PST Files Have a Size Limit?. This article says that beginning with Outlook 2003, pst file format capable of storing Unicode data, so it has no theoretical size limit. There is a practical limit of 20GB, however.
The file limits are now configurable, as I found out by reading Microsoft Support article “How to configure the size limit for both (.pst) and (.ost) files in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003. I now followed the instructions in this article to determine my current file size settings. They are configured in the registry. There are four (4) registry entries: MaxFileSize, WarnFileSize, MaxLargeFileSize, WarnLargeFileSize. I opened regedit and tried to navigated to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\PST, however, I could not navigate beyond Microsoft. Nothing was found. I then Googled on ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\PST values not found’ and found a post discussing this here. Based on this post, it looks like there is no need to mess with the registry as the default settings are at 20GB for the Unicode file format. I did not research any further as to why I don’t have the registry keys.
I’ve been using Outlook a very long time, and I’m wondering what my current file format is. Perhaps the format is still ANSI with a 2GB limit? So I Googled on ‘determining pst file format ansi unicode’ and found a MSOutlook.info article “Am I in ANSI or UNICODE format?”. Following the instructions, I opened Outlook and navigated to File | Data File Management. I then double clicked on the pst file in question and looked at the Format field. It reads ‘Personal Folders File’. According to this article, that means my pst file is in UNICODE format. If it would have read ‘Personal FOlders File (97 – 2002)’, then it would have been in ANSI format. Looks like my file size of 3.9GB is fine.
Continuing on with the Outlook PST repair procedure.
I exit Outlook. Open Windows Explorer. I need to make sure I can see hidden files. I’m running Windows 7, so in Windows Explorer, click Organize | Folder and seach options. Open View tab at the top. Make sure ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives’ is selected. Click Apply. Click OK.
Locate the ‘Scanpst.exe’ program by either navigating to it in Windows Explorer to: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12 or by clicking Start and entering ‘Scanpst.exe’ in the Search programs and files box. Run the program. Browse to the pst file and click Open. Click Options. Check Append to log if you don’t want the log file replaced. Click Ok. Click Start.
After completion, The Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Inbox Repair Tool found errors in my .pst file. It reads “Errors were found in this file. To repair these errors, click Repair. Folders found in this file: 767 Items found in this file: 40699”. I clicked on Details and the message reads: “Internal errors were found in this file. They must be repaired for this file to work correctly.”. I clicked Ok. I checked ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing’. I then clicked Repair.
The repair procedure took a considerable amount of time. Well over 20 minutes. Upon completion, a message box appears “Repair complete”. I clicked Ok. I then went back into Outlook. The blank emails are still present in my InBox. I do not see any evidence of any recovered emails.
The Microsoft support article proceeds to step 2, a discussion about how to recover the repaired items. Following along with the article, I open the Personal Folders of the one I repaired. The article says I should have recovered folders: Calendar, Contacts, Deleted Items, Inbox, Journal, Notes, Outbox, Sent Items, Tasks. I see none of these. However, at this point, I realize that the blank emails are actually coming in from my Office Live account from the Outlook Connector which is a different profile altogether. So I went back into my Data Files to see which file is storing these emails, and it says Filename “Not Available”.
The resolution of my blank emails
All the above information is nice to know, but it still hasn’t solved my original problems. A solution is about to finally appear. So I perform a Google search on ‘officelive outlook 2007 blank emails’ and find a post about this topic, Outlook getting blank emails. No solutions are found here.
However, the solution finally is found in another post Outlook Connector downloading blank emails that states I need to disable the email integration with my anti-virus software.
I’m currently using Norton provided from Comcast. I opened up Norton Security Suite. Navigated to Settings | Antispam and clicked off the Antispam feature. Clicked Apply then Back. Then clicked on AntiVirus | Scans and Risks. I then clicked off the Email Scan feature. Clicked Apply then selected ‘Permanently’ to stop it from scanning emails altogether. Clicked Apply then Back then Close then exited the program.
I then restarted Outlook. As expected, the blank emails are still there after doing a Send/Receive. I then clicked on Outlook Connector | Mail Settings. It took me to the OfficeLive Website. I logged into my account at Microsoft OfficeLive.
Re-Downloading all the blank emails from OfficeLive
**After trying to find some settings that might help, I went into my OfficeLive InBox. I then checked all my emails, and selected Mark as Unread. I then went back into Outlook and clicked Send/Receive, and all my emails re-downloaded! Cool! Now all my blank emails are gone. Unfortunately, I deleted many blank emails from my inbox prior to all this, and now they did not re-download, and even worse, I have no idea what they are/were. Since the majority of them are not important, I’m not pursuing this any further.