|The problem with outlook -(according to Izaac)
||[Mar. 21st, 2004|11:52 pm]
Well, herein lies the rub:|
Outlook can't /read/ PST files of greater than 2GB in size, but it sure can write 'em. So there you are, with a perfectly working Outlook and then -- WHAM! -- a new email from your grandmother causes the thing to hang. You reboot, as is your reflex from years of Windows use, and try to open Outlook again. Nothing.
Hangs at the splash screen.
How do you fix it, you ask?
Well, first you run 'scanpst' on it, which will report that it is a perfectly valid and good looking PST file.
It is a PST file that young PST files should look up to. A fine, upstanding PST file.
You then scratch your head and consult the MS website, which will instruct you to download a little tool.
This little tool does something really nice: it truncates the file.
That's all it does. It's even poorly designed, too. I could write something like that in 10 lines of C, probably less.
They, however, put a nice GUI on it which goes backwards: how many megabytes would you like to truncate off the end?", it asks.
So, whip out the calculator and subtract 2048 from the file size in megabytes. Ohh, except that the new index will take more space. So you need to carve off more file -- your email, incidentally, not just empty space; but your most recent email -- to make room for it. How much room? Who knows. So when that's done, you now have a PST file that's somewhat smaller than 2GB; but it's terribly horribly broken. It's like cutting off your finger at the second knuckle because your arm is too long. That's all it does, take an axe to your file. Now it won't open, but you get an error mesage from Outlook .. which you should expect, considering the file is still hemoraghing all over the floor.
Now run scanpst again and repair it.
And one more time for good measure, because the thing can't do it all at once, you know. The repairs cause problems themselves.
Basically, keep running it until scanpst declares that it's a fine upstanding PST file again. Then open it in Outlook.
And try to delete or archive that mail as quickly as possible.
You don't actually "open" these files in Outlook. See, the PST file carries
all the non-email crap along with it: contacts, calendar entries, tasks, cake
recepies, income tax exemption itemization, elementary school math grades, the
collected works of Silliam Whakespeare, and the contents of your refrigerator
for good measure.
You have to 'import' it into another, existing mailbox. So you somehow have to
fool outlook into making these files again from scratch. How? Delete them.
Uhh, where does it keep them? Well that's for you to find out, isn't it!?
Usually: "C:\Documents and Settings\joeschmo\Local Settings\Application Data\
Don't fall for the red herring of the same path without "Local Settings," unless
of course you use NT authentication over the network and keep home directories
in some other equally useless place. Or the moon is full. Or the tide is
coming in. Or some pidgeon is sitting on the sill outside your window laughing
Now, delete the files there. This will break Outlook horribly. But that's okay, because it will go looking for a new "Personal Folders.pst" to open. But you
can't open the one your repaired, because that's probably sitting on the desktop
or some other place it ought not to be .. because Outlook is too stupid to
remember it's there.
So, you go into the directory. You'd think there'd be a "new" button, but no.
You drill yourself down into the directory until there's nother further to
drill into. You select nothing in the window at all, and then choose "open."
Which will cause the thing to disappear and supposedly everything from that
point is hunky dorey. Except that you have to re-open Outlook again and tell
it that it should choose the file it just itself created, however silently, the
Then, re-import your mail from your recovered PST file.