Author Topic: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails  (Read 11214 times)

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rindi

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Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« on: January 19, 2007, 11:31:28 AM »
How can I use avast personal to scan my outlook pst file for virus mails and only delete those mails which contain viruses, and not the complete pst file? Avast currently only seems to check incoming or outgoing mail for virii, but not what is already there.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 03:41:44 PM »
With extreme care as there is a possibility you could lose the .pst file. The pst file is a huge database file with all your emails in it, avast may have difficulty in extracting a single infected email from within it and putting the file back together without corrupting it.

What version of avast are you using, Home/Pro ?

Some AVs could just see the pst file as infected and not an email within it and delete that or those that can try to extract an individual infected email might corrupt it, the end result being the same a loss of email.

Before doing anything backup your emails, etc. I don't use Outlook so I can't speak from experience if avast can extract infected emails from the pst file, but it can do this from OE's .dbx files.

You could run an on-demand scan either 'Local Drives' or 'Folder Selection' of the location of the pst file, that would include it, but it could be a risk. If you scanned it avast may be able to either give it a clean bill of health or report a virus, if it reported infection I would suggest you make notes of what it found particularly any reference to the actual email and choose No Action. This would allow you to open Outpost and try to find this infection and remove it manually, delete the email then clear the deleted items folder and then compact them (sorry don't know if this is an option in outlook or how to do it). This is I think the safes option, but backup before doing anything.
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Offline igor

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 04:14:14 PM »
The on-demand scan should be able to check the .pst files, but unfortunatelly, it won't be able to delete the infected messages (the PST unpacker doesn't support actions).

In the corresponding resident providers (Outlook/Exchange), however, you can check the option "Scan archives messages on open" - in which case avast! will not only scan the incoming/outgoing messages, but also older messages when you open them.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2007, 04:24:17 PM »
Thanks for the further explanation Igor.

I take it that when the 'scan archives messages on open' option is enabled is it then able to delete the infected email without problem ?
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Offline igor

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 04:32:18 PM »
I think so (but I don't use Outlook, so I actually never tried  :-[).

Offline DavidR

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2007, 05:39:37 PM »
I don't use it either, which is why I asked, the help file doesn't expand on what you said.
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rindi

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2007, 05:52:08 PM »
I'm using the home edition of Avast. When just Scanning the drives it'll say that the pst file is infected and then it asks if it should delete it. Of course I said no. Avast does have an on access scanner once outlook is open which will catch virii that I receive, but probably what I'm looking for is a button within Outlook that would allow me to scan the contents from within Outlook. Only I can't find such a button.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 06:03:48 PM »
Not a button within Outlook as such but a setting in the avast Outlook/Exchange plug-in, Customize, Scanner Tab, ensure the 'scan archives messages on open' option is enabled, see image.

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rindi

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2007, 07:06:08 PM »
I can't find any such options. Is that only available in the payed versions?

Offline DavidR

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2007, 07:18:27 PM »
I use the Home version and that is from my avast Outlook/Exchange plug-in, which is normally disabled as I don't even have Outlook, so stop looking in Outlook for it (if that is where you are looking).

Double click tha avast ' a ' icon if you see a button called Details, see image, click it. Now you should be able to highlight The Outlook/Exchange icon, now click Customize.
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Offline alanrf

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Re: Scan outlook pst file and delete virused mails
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2007, 03:40:28 AM »
Just one extra point on the option to scan PST files on opening them. 

Some other avast users have reported, in the past, they noticed a slowdown in opening PST files with this option selected.  I have have to believe that this is more likely to be an issue with very large PST files but if you do not archive your mail to separate PST files then your one and only PST file in Outlook will become very large. 

So, it may be best to select this option, make sure that your PST files are scanned and clean and, given that all incoming mail is being scanned by avast, you can then turn off the option to improve performance.