Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair
I get a TON of mail in every day because of all the websites I run. Microsoft Outlook has a 20 gig limit for the data it can store in its inbox. 20 gig might sound like a lot, but I can fill that up really quickly. I archive out old mail every quarter, too, so that I only keep 3 months worth of data in my "live" files.
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Sometimes when you max out your Outlook system it can get errors. It tells you to run the Inbox Repair tool. However, that tool isn't on the Outlook menu! It's an entirely separate program you need to run. I keep a link to it on my desktop so I can find it quickly when this emergency situation hits.
You have to track down the Scanpst.exe on your hard drive. Microsoft's official page explaining this is here - Microsoft Inbox Repair Page - so you can know I am giving valid information :) If you do NOT have this on your system, track down your original install CDs and make sure you get this file set up. You'll probably need it at some point.
Run the tool and be prepared to wait. It can take a half hour or more on my system because my files are so huge. It seems to go message by message to ensure each one is intact.
A key for anyone who uses mail regularly is to back up your mail file - your outlook.pst file - at least once a month. That way if your mail file DOES crash catastrophically you don't loose all mail you've ever gotten. Also, be sure that your backup is on a CD or DVD or something OFF your system. That way if it's your system that dies it doesn't take out your main outlook file and your backup file all in one fell swoop.
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