Outlook started acting up, so as part of my attempts to fix it I tried to copy the PST to another location. The copy failed part way through with a cyclic redundancy check error. How can I get past this and back up my data?
A cyclic redundancy check, or “CRC” error, indicates a bad spot on your hard drive. The fact that you see it when trying to copy a file indicates the bad spot may be within the file itself.
We need to verify that, try to recover your file, and repair your hard drive.
I need to backup or make a copy of my mail folders in Outlook, which as you know are stored in something called a “PST” file. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it. Where does Outlook hide my email? Where does Outlook keep my PST file?
PST stands for “Personal STore” – as in your personal mail storage. PST files are actually fairly complex databases that contain your mail, your calendar, your contacts, and even more when you use Microsoft Office’s Outlook mail program. (Not to be confused with Outlook.com, the online mail service from Microsoft, which is completely unrelated.)
The default location has changed a time or two over the years. Of course, there’s always a chance that your PST is stored in some other, non-default location.
Rather than telling you where the default location is, let’s use Outlook itself to tell you the exact path of your PST file and then use Windows itself to do the same.