Outlook Truncation Tool To Overcome Corruption Due To 2 GB File Size Limitation

MS Outlook 2013 is the latest version of the desktop mail client for Windows OS, but prior versions like Outlook 2002 is still in usage. Microsoft upgraded this program to bring or to overcome from variant mitigation of earlier office suite and upgrading standard file format is one of them.

Yes, if you are using Outlook 2002 and 2007 in two different machines, then go to their data file section and dig out the PST file format which MS Outlook is using to store emails. You will find the difference between them because these editions of Outlook used two distinct types of file standard: ANSI & UNIOCDE.

Now, the question is Why Microsoft took such decisions to change the file standard from ANSI to UNICODE?

Microsoft has found that ANSI PST lacks in many aspects like storage capacity (which is 2GB) & does not support multiple character set and along with keeping these factors in mind they fixed a new Outlook Data file standard (UNICODE) for their new version of Microsoft Outlook. However, it does not mean that Outlook does not allow to create a PST file in ANSI format, but by default Outlook creates UNICODE PST file in their new versions of Outlook (2007, 2010 & 2013).

The major vulnerability of ANSI PST file is that it comes with 2GB storage limitation, whereas in UNICODE file format this limitation has been increased up to 20GB. But, still there are numbers of users who either use Outlook 2002 or store data in the ANSI PST file generally encountered 2GB PST file corruption issue because data data overflow data starts causing error and flooding. In such cases Outlook truncation tool should be used to recover the corruption issues.

Error Encountered In MS Outlook

If Outlook has been used for a long time and large amount of data has been stored in it, the following situation may happen. When MS Outlook is started and trying to open a personal folders, sometimes users could receive the following error message:

file path

Typically, a user runs Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe), but in most cases re-occurrence of this error has encountered even after repairing it.

Cause of the Error

Resolution to Error - Use of 2 GB Truncation Utility that can be downloaded fromMS Download Centre.

The tool should be used to create a truncated copy of the PST file. The copy that is left after the utility is executed, does not have all the original data because the tool cuts a user defined amount of data from the file.

Recovery Limitations of the 2 GB Truncation Utility are mentioned below.

  • To make a copy of the PST file, there should be free hard disk space of 2GB size.
  • The utility truncates the PST file to under 2 GB. The file should be truncated between 20 to 25 MB less than 2 GB size limit, to have enough working space. The truncated data is removed from the new copy which means that some messages are missing from the recovered copy.

The following steps should be used to recover the data:

  • Download the tool and extract the 2gb152.exe file to an empty folder. The following five files such as Msstdfmt.dll, Msvbvm60.dll, Pst2gb.exe, Readme.rtf, Readme.txt should be seen.
  • Start Pst2gb.exe program
  • Click Browse to select the oversized PST file and then click Open
  • Click Create, select name and location of the truncated data file that is to be created and then click Save.

Type the amount of data that you want to truncate in the PST file. There is not a correct amount that you use. Best results can be received if 20 to 25 MB is used, but more or less amount of data may be truncated. For E.g., if 25 MB of data is truncated and the process works, the process should be repeated and should be truncated by only 15 MB. If that also works, then it should be tried with 5 MB. If 25 MB does not work, repeat the process and truncate the original file by 35 MB. If the process does not work, increase the amount until the process is successful.

  • Run Inbox Repair Tool (the Scanpst.exe file) on the smaller PST file
  • Open the repaired PST file in Outlook

Note: This step is recommended but the step is optional.

  • If the file opens, right-click the root folder of the PST, click Properties and then click "Compact Now" to start the compression. For a file of this size, the compression may take approximately 4-8 hours.
  • If the file does not open, the truncated PST file should be discarded and the process should be repeated with the original PST file. More data should be truncated in the first attempt and the process should be tried again.

Depending on Outlook version, install the update or hotfix. These updates prevent Outlook from allowing the PST file to exceed the 2 GB maximum size. Use one of the following methods to manage the size of the PST files and they are:

  • Use more than one PST file.
  • Use the "Archive" feature.
  • Save attachments to a file system folder and delete them from messages

The 2 GB Truncation utility can be used to overcome from the 2Gb PST file corruption issues, but is not 100 percent successful. If this tool does work, it does not recover all of the data because it truncates spare part of the oversized PST file.

Error Which can Occur due While Running 2GB Truncation Tool

Run time Error 713

If you receive this error message, use the following steps for Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

  • Copy MSstdfmt.dll to the C:\\System32 folder
  • Open command prompt and type the following command:

REGSVR32 C:\windir\System32\MSSTDFMT.DLL; where windir is either the WINNT or the Windows directory.

Steadfast Tool For Successful Recovery

It is found from the above technical discussion that none of the above utility or procedures can recover the complete data from a corrupted PST file. Therefore a third party tool called Outlook PST Recovery should be used as an Outlook truncation utility instead of implementing the above complex steps. This is one such tool that can recover damaged PST files from any version of Outlook and from any level of corruption including 2GB corruption issue.