In recent years, a number of new mail services have been introduced with modern design and solid functionality. None of them have really managed to compete with the mainstay Microsoft Outlook. But for all its years of development, Outlook has some odd quirks and problems too. Few are more frustrating than the dreaded “0x8004010F: Cannot access the Outlook Data File”. But what does that mean and how do you fix it?
Whether you use your computer for work, play or school, it’s a big deal when you suddenly can’t open up your Outlook email, so it’s logical to seek a solution. The good news is that there is a solution, a program called Recovery Toolbox for Outlook, that will restore all of your valuable email messages. And if you use Outlook for work, you already know that being locked out of your email can be a huge problem. Heck, if you’re like most people, you send and receive correspondence, negotiate with clients, conduct webinars, and much more. All inaccessible!
First, though, let’s talk about what happened.
WHY CAN’T THE OUTLOOK DATA FILE BE ACCESSED?
Microsoft Outlook uses a PST (Personal Storage Folder) file as a container. It is responsible for all Outlook data, including notes, contacts, mail messages, etc. It is also sometimes called the Outlook Data File.
Suffice to say, when the message “Outlook data file cannot be accessed” appears, it generally means one of two possible things; the data file containing your information is damaged or lost.
There are several reasons that this might occur:
1. You’ve been infected by malware or a computer virus.
2. The system failed or shut down during a power outage and corrupted the file.
3. Outlook software errors (which do happen!)
4. Corruption due to an OS crash or mail client failure.
5. Incorrect operation of network data storage, or interruptions to the Internet.
NOTE: If the damage to the Outlook file was caused by a virus attack, then before proceeding with information recovery, you must first remove the virus with a good anti-malware program. Otherwise, the process will be endless.
The Outlook information manager uses stand-alone OST files to store information along with the PST data file. The OST files, however, are typically nothing more than a duplicate copy of a mailbox, and, therefore, their loss is not so critical.
By default, PST and OST files are saved on the system drive in the Documents and Settings folder or the Users folder. You can also choose the storage location yourself, in which case you’ll need to find the file storage area before you can proceed.
HOW CAN YOU FIX OUTLOOK?
The first thing to do is try the free ScanPST.exe repair tool, which is included with your copy of Microsoft Outlook. This tool only fixes minor damage, however, so while sometimes it can fix the problem, often it’s insufficient. Before you try using ScanPST to try and fix things, it’s a smart idea to create a backup copy of the data file. That way if it fails you can try again with a more powerful tool.
There are many email recovery services, but most are paid. As a consequence, you need to decide how much you are willing to pay to have your data recovered. Recovery Toolbox for Outlook is an example of affordable commercial software with its $50 product license. Expensive? Not at all if it can recover even one important email message, let alone months or years of messages.
Recovery Toolbox for Outlook Can Repair Damaged Files
Start out by going to the developer’s site and downloading the very latest version of Recovery Toolbox. Then launch the installer, select the language, accept the user agreement, and let it get to work.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a license immediately. The demo version will recreate the structure of the mailbox, and you can view the contents and confirm it’s able to recover the content of the file. All you will be prevented from doing without a license is actually saving the new, fixed database and files.
To repair and recover your mailbox and Outlook data, that $50 now seems quite affordable. Once you’ve entered a payment method you’ll get a license key. Enter that in the program and you’ll receive an immediate confirmation that it’s now licensed and offers access to every feature and capability.
The program’s interface is so simple and straightforward that no other prompts are required: You just have to select the damaged file on the main page:
Then decide on the mode of operation you prefer, either recovery, conversion, or search for deleted data.
Once it’s analyzed the corrupted data file, create a destination folder for saving the recovered data and specify whether you want the resultant information as separate files or a PST (Personal Storage file):
After that, all that’s left is to save the resurrected information to the disk:
Alternatively, you can use an online service to restore your email account. Price is then based on data file size. Checking 1 GB of information will cost $10. If you have good Internet connectivity, you can upload data from almost any device, even dig files, and it will work just fine.
The recovery procedure starts with going to Recovery Toolbox for Outlook Online then selecting and uploading your OST file. Your data file will be on the remote server for a few days as part of the service, so if you want more privacy, the downloadable app is a better solution.
Advantages and Disadvantages of RTO Online
Like any tool, Recovery Toolbox for Outline Online has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s consider both.
This tool was designed to analyze and troubleshoot Outlook Data File problems. It can read corrupted PST file, analyze and recover corrupted data from them, and save it to a new PST file. The tool copes with all these processes quite quickly, although it all depends on the size of the source file. In my case, its size was 325 MB, and it took less than half an hour to recover.
All software features include:
• Recovers corrupted PST files from Outlook 97 and above, as well as OST files from Exchange Server and Office 365.
• Reanimates all deleted information (letters, attachments, notes, journals, contacts, etc.).
• Converts OST to PST, MSG, EML, and PST to MSG and EML.
• Exports recovered data to separate files.
• Reads and recovers not only encrypted but also password-protected OST and PST files. Moreover, their size can be any. Repairing large files should be done on a PC with a 64-bit version of Microsoft Outlook installed.
• Compatible with all Windows machines, including 10.
• The disadvantage is the cost ($10 versus $50).
• The recovery process itself is simple, but it is not a one-step process.
• You may experience startup issues if the PST file is too big.
• The recovered data is saved in different folders, which is not very convenient.
• With a large amount of information, the process takes a very long time.
A corrupted Outlook data file can be a nightmare, but there are ways you can try to fix it rather than just delete it in frustration. Start with the tool ScanPST (included with Microsoft Outlook) and if that doesn’t work, it’s worth trying out Recovery Toolbox for Outlook, either the downloadable app or the online edition. Good luck!