Resolving 'the file xxxx.pst could not be found' Error in MS Outlook
Are you familiar with the Personal Folders dialogue box that displays messages of the kind 'the file C:\Documents and Settings\User1\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst' could not be found'? Even if you are not, you might have confirmed that it was an Outlook error message, on seeing the .pst extension of the file name. Yes, you are right! It is an Outlook error message. Sometimes while starting Outlook, only this error message is displayed. Upon clicking OK on the error message dialogue box, the Outlook displays Create/Open Personal Folders File dialogue box. (You can try opening a new PST file by clicking Open after typing the name of the PST file in the dialogue box.)
Microsoft Outlook uses PST format to store the copy of Exchange Server messages, contacts, calendar items etc. in the local computer. So working with MS Outlook is entirely dependent on PST files. But error messages like 'the file xxxx.pst could not be found' indicate that the PST file is corrupt. This anomalous behavior of MS Outlook can happen in the following situations:
The Outlook PST is located on a server that is not available
When the Outlook PST is located on a server that is not available, the user won't be able to access emails, contacts, address book etc. The system administrator can find a suitable solution for this issue after studding the Exchange server infrastructure of the organization.
The Outlook PST file is corrupt
The corruption of Outlook PST can occur due to various internal as well as external reasons. Corruption of PST files makes them inaccessible with MS Outlook. As a first aid tool to deal with the PST file corruption, Microsoft has incorporated Inbox Repair Tool with the MS Outlook application. So, whenever in trouble with Outlook PST file, you can use the Inbox Repair Tool to fix those issues. If the issue persists even after using the Inbox Repair Tool, it's better to rely on a good PST repair tool like Kernel for PST Repair for quick and complete recovery of the corrupt PST file.
Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe)
Inbox Repair Tool has been included with MS Outlook to resolve corruption issues related to Outlook PST file. Depending on the Outlook version and the Windows OS, there can be slight variations in the usage procedure. However, you can deduce it from the steps given below:
The Inbox Repair Tool provides an option to keep a backup of the file before attempting to repair it. It also, keeps a log file for the repair process in the same name as that of the .pst file, but with the extension .log instead of .pst.
Kernel for PST Repair
Kernel for PST Repair is a third party software tool widely used by organizations across the world to repair of PST files instantly. When the Outlook displays the error message 'the file xxxx.pst could not be found,' it is almost sure that the PST file is corrupt. So you can try this tool without any doubt and recover your corrupt files completely. It works for almost all versions of MS Outlook, and can be installed on Windows systems with minimum system requirements. More information about this tool is available on https://www.nucleustechnologies.com/outlook-pst-repair.html