Deleted pst File Recovery – Why using undelete or any other type of standard data recovery software will not recover pst files.
Outlook PST files are almost always in use. Data is received from your e-mail server and saved to the PST file. At the same time, you may be performing various tasks: writing a document, editing a spread sheet, saving pictures or music, generally going about your digital life. While you are saving data to your hard drive, your PST is also writing to the disk as it receives mail. Generally, your PST file is one of the larger files on your system.
So, why is it usually impossible to recover deleted PST files in full after a deletion or a soft system crash? Its because your PST file is usually the most fragmented file on your system.
When a user deletes a file, that portion of the drive is then marked as free usable space. As we go about our digital lives, we save and delete many files. Programs are also installed and uninstalled. This is how file fragmentation occurs. Fragmentation means that the files are not contiguous. In a perfect situation all files would be written contiguously. An example of a non-fragmented file would be a doc file 24kb in size that NTFS writes at cluster 100 through 105 with a 4k cluster size.
Windows doesn’t always write to contiguous clusters and will usual write data arbitrarily to the first available space on the drive. A set up for fragmentation. Using the example above, the file would be fragmented if you had previously deleted a file 12kb in size from that space and Windows used that area and then wrote the remaining 12kb somewhere else on the drive. (It is unlikely a file this small would be fragmented and was used just as an example).
Scanpst’s default location within Office 2003 is “C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMSMAPI1033SCANPST.EXE”.
Scanpst will do a pretty fair job of making a usable PST file out of a portion of the complete file.