When you use the defragmentation tool in Microsoft Windows accessories your computer opts to move file contents closer together so as to cut down access time for your computer’s internal hard drive. This is a very similar process to that used by Microsoft Outlook when one chooses to compact the Outlook inbox PST file. The PST file is a text database that stores all of the content of your email messages along with any customizations and other template settings. Functions such as calendar scheduling are also stored in areas of the PST file.
As with any data recovery process it is important to remember that simply deleting a file, even deleted from the Microsoft Outlook PST database does not permanently remove that data from your computer’s internal hard disk drive. Quality PST recovery programs are designed to locate that original file information and allow you to recover it to a secondary location. As when using any program to recover Outlook PST information one must always attempt a recovery process prior to compacting the Outlook inbox. Compacting Outlook folders amounts to overwriting hard drive sectors with new information thus rendering the original information unrecognizable.