Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fixing Microsoft Outlook PST File 2 GB Size Issue

PST is the most important and core component of Outlook, responsible for storing all the data items, such as messages along with attachments, contacts, notes, journals, etc. This long list of items just increases and so does PST file. Outlook PST file size is the biggest concern as it is susceptible to get corrupt when reaches or goes beyond its size limit. Microsoft has defined default size limits for PST in different Outlook versions. In earlier versions of Outlook, such as Outlook 2002 and older versions, offer a PST file of 2 GB limit.

In this case, when the data exceeds 2 GB limit, users face the following error message:

Errors have been detected in the file <file_path>. Quit all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox Repair Tool.

The message suggests users to run Inbox Repair Tool, which is an Outlook inbuilt utility used to repair a corrupt or damaged PST file. However, in case of specifically this message, the tool fails to fix the issue. Therefore, Microsoft recommends using 2 GB Truncation Utility, down loadable from Microsoft Download Center. The utility necessitates the following:

  • Hard disk must have 2 GB free space.
  • It is able to truncate the file to under 2 GB. It is sufficient if the file is truncated between 20-25 MB.  Note that the data user truncates is deleted and some messages go missing.

Use the tool as follows:

Step 1: Once the tool is downloaded, place the 2gb152.exe file in an empty or new folder. The following files will be shown:
·      Msvbvm60.dll
·      Msstdfmt.dll
·      Pst2gb.exe
·      Readme.rtf
·      Readme.txt
Step 2: Run the tool.
Step 3: Select the target .pst file by clicking on 'Browse', click 'Open'.
Step 4: Click on 'Create', specify the path and name for truncated data file, and then click on 'Save'.
Step 5: Specify the amount of data of PST that has to be truncated, results are great if users choose to truncate in between 20-25 MB.
Step 6: Run Scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) on the truncated file.
Step 7: Access the PST file that is just repaired in Outlook.
Step 8: If it is found that file is opening easily, right-click the root folder of PST, click on 'Properties', and click on 'Compact Now'. It will compress the file. Note that a large sized PST may take maximum 8 hours to compress. Alternatively, if file does not access, discard the .pst file that was truncated in above steps and perform the whole task again on original PST to truncate it. Consider truncating more data this time.

In order to manage a large PST, users may implement many other techniques, such as split the file, use archive feature, and keep attachments on the file system folder and remove them from messages.

However, there are situations that do not let any of the mentioned techniques work effectively. In such cases, it would be great if users go for a professional Outlook PST repair utility that will ease the task with least user intervention. One such utility is Stellar Phoenix Outlook PST repair. 

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