How Hard Deletion of Email Occur in Microsoft Outlook?
PST (Personal storage table) is basically a file format that is used to store Outlook data (message, calendar, contacts and other Outlook items). When you delete emails, contacts or some other items from Outlook, these emails are moved to "Deleted Items Folder" and this entire process called soft deletion. The soft deleted items of MS-Outlook can be completely recovered or restored by simply dragging or moving those emails from the “Deleted Items Folder” to desirable folder.
But, when an item is deleted using "Shift+Delete", it does not go to the "Deleted Items Folder” and this functionality is known as "Hard Deletion" and the permanently lost data called hard deleted items of Outlook.
How to recover permanently deleted emails from Outlook if you are using Outlook as a Stand-alone mode?
There is no way to recover the permanently deleted emails from MS-Outlook if you are using Outlook in stand-alone mode. And the noted myth about “scanpst.exe” which ensure that scanpst.exe or Inbox Repair Utility (a free inbuilt of MS-Outlook) also deals with permanently deleted emails of Outlook is totally wrong.
There is one scenario or workaround which can somehow help user to recover these kind of “Shift+Delete”or mistakenly hard deleted items of Outlook, which is the connectivity of Microsoft Outlook with an Exchange server.
If you are connected with an exchange server, then there is a medium to revert back all the permanently lost data with the help of “Dumpster” features. This feature exists in Exchange, which stores the Outlook data after its hard deletion from Outlook for a limited time period which is known as “Retention Period”.
For more about Dumpster feature in Outlook: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2786067
Is it possible to recover deleted emails from Outlook using Hex Editor and scanpst.exe tool?
As it is already discussed in the above paragraphs that “Scanpst.exe” or Inbox Repair Utility is a free inbuilt tool provided by Microsoft Outlook. It should be always a prime choice to repair Outlook PST file but its not a master solution to recover the hard deleted items of MS-Outlook.
To assure and prove the fact that “Does scanpst.exe really recover the permanently deleted items emails of Outlook or not?”we are going to show a practical demo recovery of deleted items with the help of HEX Editor.
In this experiment, we will first delete the content of PST file by using Hex Editor and then try to recover them by “scanpst.exe” which will clearly show you that “scanpst.exe” is not an alternative to recover the hard deleted items within MS-Outlook.
Follow the given steps to check and analyze the real working capability of “scanpst.exe”:
• Make a duplicate copy of Outlook PST file
• Open Hex Editor (Download Hex Editor)
• Open PST file with Hex Editor from which you want to recover emails
• Delete the position 7 through 13 with the space bar. In the Hexadecimal system, this process actually deletes 13 characters at the following positions:
00007, 00008, 00009, 0000a, 0000b, 0000c, 0000d, 0000e, 0000f, 00010, 00011, 00012, 00013
(When you clear a position using spacebar, the editor displays the value "20" each time.)
• Select the value start from 07 to next 13 values. Go to » Edit » File Selection » Ok
• This action will replace all values to 00
• After clearing these positions, save PST file. Now, you have corrupted PST file.
• Run scanpst.exe tool
• Browse corrupt PST file and scan
• Repair PST
• Now open PST file and check deleted items.
Switching on third-party software like Outlook recovery software (Download) reduce the risk of data lost even if you are facing the scenario of Hard Deletion. This recovery solution is composed with the advance algorithm which makes the recovery of Hard deleted items possible without any kind of alteration in the original file.