An email file is of many type and of many email clients, such as: Outlook Express uses DBX, EML and WAB files; Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail use EML and WAB files; MS Outlook uses PST, OST, MSG and NK2 files; Outlook for Mac uses OLM, MBOX and EML files; AppleMail and Mozilla Thunderbird both use MBOX and EML files; and IBM Notes uses NSF (Notes Storage Facility) database file.

A bitter truth is that any of these email files is not immune to corruption. Any specific or unspecific reason may cause email corruption and result in permanent data loss. Emails are highly crucial for both individual as well as organization. Like other computer files, an email file is also prone to corruption. It can be corrupted at any time without any prior warning. Some common email corruption reasons are pointed out below, they are categorized into two parts, i.e. Hardware reasons and software reasons:

Hardware Reasons

Hardware reasons include a few common but certain factors:

Unexpected Shut Down: Unexpected system shut down is always very harmful for a computer system. It may result in system hard drive failure or crash. While working on an email client or during the synchronization, situation may become worse if your system gets shuts down unexpectedly.

Storage Device Failure: A storage device is basically a drive in which your email files are stored, i.e. hard disk drive of a local computer. Due to an unexpected failure, you hard disk may contain some bad sectors. And if your email files, i.e. DBX, PST, OST, OLM, MBOX, etc. are stored in the faulty sectors of your hard disk, the data stored in the files are unreadable or inaccessible.

Network Failure: Network connection failure occurs due to poor quality of network devices, such as: network interface cards (NIC), cables, routers, hubs, and other devices. Network plays an important role, especially during the synchronization of OST file. Any interruption in network may lead corruption.

Software Reasons

Email corruption may also occur due to a variety of software related issues, such as:

Virus Attack: Malicious virus and computer bugs is always the topmost reason of computer files corruption. No computer file is immune to virus attack, so is the email file. In fact there are higher changes of virus attacks or infection in email files. A virus or bug may get received or sent through an incoming or outgoing mail respectively. A single virus or bug may infect your whole email file. Always use an updated Antivirus program to scan your system for viruses and bugs.

Improper Termination: The improper termination may be a severe issue sometimes. If you are working on an email client and the application get improperly terminated, the email files may become prone to be corrupted. Make sure you quit/close the email client application in a proper manner, i.e. save all the changes, close the email file and then exit.

Software Malfunction: Software malfunction refers to software failure or collision with other installed applications. You email client application may get corrupted or collide with any other application. This may result in corruption and you may lose your email files. Neither install software application provided by untrusted provider nor download from untrustworthy source.

Synchronization Errors: The synchronization between email clients and configured email accounts; or the email clients and servers plays an important role. If the synchronization process fails or gets interrupted by anything, it may cause corruption in the email files.

Deficiencies in Email Clients: Generally deficiency means lack of something. Every computer program must have some deficiencies, so does an email client application. This issue is highly expected, however can’t be fixed permanently. There is no solution for fixing it.

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