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MS Outlook 2002 Crash Error


And how to fix it

Not many of us are aware that there is a maximum storage limit to the amount of emails which Microsoft Outlook 2002 will store. It uses just one file to store all your emails and folders and when it reaches the 2GB limit the program stops functioning (with Outlook 2003, Microsoft switched to Unicode and changed the default limit to 20GB, though it recommends not going beyond 18GB).

With broadband internet and the ability to send large files, our mailboxes can very quickly reach this limit, and there is no warning that the mailbox is almost full.

There are 2 things you can do to prevent this

  1. If you are running Microsoft Outlook versions older than 2003, then you can download and install Service Pack 1 from (17.5MB) which prevents your mailbox from trying to accept more messages when it has reached the 2GB mark, which would otherwise cause file corruption.

  2. Compact your messages regularly. In Outlook, go to TOOLS/ OPTIONS / MAIL SETUP / DATA FILES / SETTINGS and select COMPACT NOW. It can take a fair amount of time depending on how many messages you have, and it slows down your computer while it's running, so try to do it during lunch-hour or when you leave for the day.

There's still good news for you if you have not applied the procedures above and your mailbox has become corrupted

Outlook has no built-in way to reduce a PST or OST file that has gone over the limit. However, Microsoft provides a tool at which you can download to restore the file to operability. Note, however, that the utility chops down about 25 to 50mb of data which then is not recoverable. But it is a small sacrifice to get back all of your other messages!

Your mailbox file is usually stored at "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\", where USERNAME is your Windows logon name. The default PST filename for your active mailbox is Outlook.pst, and you will only be able to work on it if Outlook is closed. I recommend making a copy of the file first, either onto DVD or into another folder on your hard drive, just in case!

Once you have used the tool to remove some of the data from your Outlook.pst file, you can use the repair tool on your computer at C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\SCANPST.EXE. When you re-open Outlook, it will ask you if it can restore the shortcuts, say "Yes" then when it opens your files will all be accessible again. Then you can COMPACT your messages (see No. 2 above), and install Outlook Service Pack 1 to stop it from happening again.




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