I usually backup my Outlook datafiles a couple times a month. Today I was preparing to backup delete them.

I have some remote locations where I save them and the process goes like this (bad order!)

  1. Delete the old backup
  2. Clean the backup source (delete if anything is unnecessary)
  3. Do backup

Well... step 2 is a bad idea!

I had a "feeds.pst" file which should be deleted. Done that but the feeds file was still there. That was the moment when I realized that I've done someting bad. What I did was to delete the "Archives.pst" file, the file that contains the archive of my mails older than 6 months.

I immediately turned off the computer, inserted the Hiren BootCD and started the file recovery utility. I recovered the file but Outlook said that the file is corrupted (Damn!), repaired the file but only some mails could be recovered :(

Luckily I have a backup just one week old on one of the servers from work. Will take that on Monday and hope I didn't archived the mails this week (can't remember).

However, in all this it is a good thing. I've found out that Outlook has an utility called SCANPST ("c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\SCANPST.EXE") that can check and repair pst files.


  • Shift+Delete is a bad combination. Use Delete instead.
  • Recycle Bin is not evil.
  • The word "Archives" does not start with the same letters as "Feeds".