Wednesday, 26 June 2013
6/26/2013 10:55:00 pm 0

How to resolve Outlook error: “Unable to expand the folder” due to OST corruption?

Outlook OST file are also known as offline storage table. This file plays a vital role when you are using Outlook with exchange .Like other files these files can also get corrupted due to various reasons such as Exchange Server crash, virus infection, down Exchange Server, oversized OST file, etc. 

Due to corruption the data within OST files turn unusable and in inaccessible. Whenever a user tries to access data from a corrupt OST file, He is prompted with several errors. Due to corrupt OST file user might also face several Exchange to Outlook synchronization issues

The below given is a common error messages that an Outlook a user faces when he tries to access a corrupt OST file:

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  • Incorrect Outlook email account settings.
  • Incorrect mail profile.
  • OST file corruption.

This error might be caused due to incorrect email account settings. In such case follow the given steps:
  • First make sure whether the Outlook email account settings are correct or not.
  • Then, check if Outlook correctly connects to your Exchange server or not.
  • Restart Outlook.
  • Click send/receive which will automatically synchronize the Outlook mailbox data with the Exchange mailbox.
If this method doesn't help you, then the error might be occurring due to incorrect mail profile, you must delete it and create a new one, as follows:

You can create the current mail profile delete it and then recreate it:

1. Close Microsoft Outlook.
2. Click Start>Control Panel.
3. If you are a Windows XP user (or higher versions) then, Click Switch to Classic View
4. Double-click Mail.
5. Choose Show Profiles from the Mail Setup dialog box.
6. From the list, Select the incorrect profile to be removed and click Remove
Note: You need to Repeat 6 until all incorrect profiles have been removed
7. Create a new profile by Clicking Add and add email accounts based on the server settings.
8. Restart Outlook and let your Exchange mailbox re-synchronize with outlook mailbox

Hopefully, the above steps will resolve the problem.

If the above two methods, let’s give one more try .The error can also occur due to corrupt OST file then, you need to repair the corrupt OST file.

So, follow the given steps to solve the error:

1. Exit Microsoft Outlook application. (Also close any other applications that are accessing the OST file).
2. The next step is to find the location of corrupt OST file that is generating the error.
If the error message itself depicts the information about the error causing OST file you can easily find the OST file based on the information in the error message. If you are not able to do so then use the Windows Search function to search for the OST file.
3. Recover the offline data in the OST file with the help of OST Integrity Check tool
4. Create a Backup copy of the original OST file. So that, if something went wrong you can restore the data from it.
5. Rename or delete the original OST file that causes the problem.
6. Restart the Outlook application. Once Outlook is properly synchronized with the Exchange server it will recreate a new OST file automatically.

Steps to recover the OST file with the help of OST integrity tool:

Whenever the OST file gets corrupt then the user faces troubles while synchronizing the OST file with Exchange and prompted with several error messages. It may be possible that you can synchronize your OST file with Exchange but find many items missing from it.

You can use the OST Integrity Check tool to diagnose and repair the OST file synchronization related issues. It scan the corrupt OST file as well as Exchange server mailbox then,  compares the items on both mailboxes . If some differences are then, it records them in a scan log; you can see them and reconcile those discrepancies.

Before running the OST Integrity check tool ensure that your Outlook mail client is connected with Exchange.

To use the OST Integrity Check tool, you must connect to your Exchange account so that the tool can scan your mailbox folders and items. If you previously set up Outlook to start offline automatically, the OST Integrity Check tool will not be able to access your mailbox on the server running Exchange. Therefore, before you run the tool, you need to change your Outlook start-up settings temporarily.

Later on, if the issues still persists or you are not able to open the OST file then, run Inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to repair the OST file. It will scan the corrupt OST file, diagnose the error and let you repair them with the help of the tool. It scans the file and makes sure that the file structure is intact.

Repair errors by using Scanost.exe

1. Close Outlook application.
2. Run Scanost.exe by double clicking the exe file.
Location of Scanost.exe: drive: \Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.
3. If Outlook prompts you for a Profile Name then click your Profile name(profile that contains the .ost file). Click Connect if you are prompted to Connect or Work Offline
4. Click Begin Scan.

If you check the checkbox Repair Errors then the tool will automatically resolve the problems found during scan. If you don’t choose this option then it will create a log of the errors, you can find the log in Deleted Items folder of Outlook. Any problems will be noted in a message with the Subject "OST Integrity Check."

Steps to repair the OST file with the help of Inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe):

1. Close Outlook application.
2. Run Scanpst.exe by double clicking
Location of Scanpst.exe: drive: \Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12.
3. If you know the exact path of the ost file to be scanned then, enter it in filename box or you can also search the ost file using the Browse option.
4. You can select the desired scan log options from the Options tab
5. Click Start to initiate the scan process
6. You can view the list of errors from the scan log and proceed further to resolve them.You can choose to backup the file before starting the repair process.
7. Click Repair.
8. Now, Start Outlook
9. Click Go>Folder List.

Here, you will find a folder named Recovered Personal Folders or a Lost and Found folder. You can find your recovered items in the Lost and Found folder .The Items that cannot be repaired will be missing from the Lost and Found folder

10. If you find a Recovered Personal Folders folder in the folder list then, you can create a new .pst file and drag the items from Lost and Found folder to it. Once all items have been moved you can permanently delete the  Recovered Personal Folders or a Lost and Found folder

The free inbuilt utilities Scapst.exe and scanost.exe easily helps you to resolve the issue. But if the corruption level is high then, these tools may fail to recover your data. In such situation don get hopeless, there are some alternative OST repair software available in market that works great to deal with all levels of OST corruption and synchronization issues. 


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