Solved

Microsoft Outlook: "The operation failed"

Posted on 2001-07-05
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Client: Outlook 98
Server: Exchange 2000
Message: Plain Text

New message being sent only to & cc person's mgrs -- inhouse, inside firewall. Pressing send produces a messagebox with the title of this question. Three such messages, created separately, uniquely, now exist in drafts folder. The day before and after, similar transmissions worked fine. Addresses inserted from Global Address list.

I look today, it seems a new message will go, but the day-old ones won't. Still stuck. What broke? How to prevent? How to fix? When closing window (or pressing escape) it asks if we want to save changes. What changes? Tried to send and failed, is this logged somewhere inside the message?

As I look, Same desktop, some months before, had two outbound messages go to Outbox. Where they remain. Something stuck them there, they just won't go.

The best clue I got is that I think all cases involve users on separate servers, but it does not happen all the time.

The admin says we know the fix, just reboot and make new messages. Well, the broken messages are old.... but I'd really like to know more of what is really going on there, for cases of higher priority of IM so to speak.
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Question by:SunBow
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17 Comments
 
LVL 6

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by:xSinbad
ID: 6258367
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LVL 16

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by:Neo_mvps
ID: 6258371
Every once in a while one of the default Outlook folders can lose their magic and cause the error above.  This generally requires the user/support person to start the client one time with the /resetfolders command line switch.

The other reason the error message shows is because of a corrupt message. (e.g. stuck in the outbox), try to delete them after copying the body text into a new item.  If they don't delete, hopefully the system admins will run an edbutil to correct any corruption in the exchange information store.  However, most will resort to deleting and recreating the account rather than take the server offline.
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by:SunBow
ID: 6265258
After a few tests, a complete copy, of each character into a new memo was sent, recevieved in seconds. They did have 'strange characters' (symbols, non-alpha), so I wondered on filters, but I had doubts since the three affected memos were each different that way. I 'assume' that validated that content was no issue.

On xSinbad, 1st link, M$ recommended two '98 upgrades:
   Outllib.dll   8.05.7501.0000
   Msoutl85.olb      8.05.7027.0000
for "Outlook May Leave Messages in Your Outbox When Originally Composed by a Delegate"

There was no (known) delegate, but all were forwarded mail. Both those files had been upgraded, and messages were left in 'drafts', never making it to outbox. For the 'problem' months before, I checked and found that they were also forwarded mail, and that the two 'patches' above had not been applied. But again, no known delegate, just a forward of internet mail, usually with a lead comment. As far as known same methods applied before and after 'event', with no such problem.

So messages got stuck when a 'something' happened. There seems nothing visibly wrong with any, yet they remain stuck!

On 2nd link, <heh> Microsoft still has the problem two major upgrades later? (2002 version) Well! the Q_article addresses attachments when Outlook is offline for specific protocols. Outlook was online, there were no attachments. My error message, but not my situation. If it is corrupt and thinks I have an attachment that is missing, it should be kind enough to tell me.
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by:SunBow
ID: 6296327
Looks like I lost a earlier comment here for Neo <sigh>. Oh well. Had another occurence today, question title, Outlook98 on NT4 to exchange2k. Main diff. was much goings on for network & exchange, numerous other probs, over 24 hr period, desktop eventually died. Well, Outlook & IE did, so went with the silly reboot trick, but this time work in progress, being edited EM went away before going auto to draft folder.

Dunno if it matters, the initial failure was again a fwd to user not on Exchange, but intranet. And a 2nd. Nearly immediately after success at a send over internet (the fwd feature of outlook can reduce time between sends).

I returned to thread tho' not to post news but to see about closing (cleaning up). Doesn't seem like real good answer yet tho' for paq. Will leave open a bit longer then.
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by:xSinbad
ID: 6296340
I am out of ideas on this one SunBow, sorry.
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by:PandoraMod
ID: 6366406
SunBow, are you still having a problem? If so, please provide more information. If you solved your problem, please let us know how and then we can archive this.

Thanks,
PandoraMod
Moderator @ Experts Exchange
e-mail: pandoramod@experts-exchange.com

well, it wouldn't be fair to treat you any differently :-)
*ping*
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by:xSinbad
ID: 6405170
How is this one going Sunbow?
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by:PandoraMod
ID: 6467512
SunBow - do you want me to close this for you? please post.
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Expert Comment

by:amp072397
ID: 6712974
SunBow: Please give us an update here. If no update within 7 days, we'll kill it.

thanks
amp
community support moderator
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by:Moondancer
ID: 6737417
Off topic here, but ... SunBow, you have a Points for SunBow question awaiting you in CGI Programming for your comments or Proposed Answer at this question:  qid=20249775

Moondancer
Community Support Moderator @ Experts Exchange  
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by:Moondancer
ID: 6741743
Asked ComTech to Email SunBow about open questions today.
Moondancer
Community Support Moderator @ Experts Exchange
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by:SunBow
ID: 6754433
> If no update within 7 days, we'll kill it.

Is this still alive? It remains unresolved.
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by:SunBow
ID: 6754499
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en=us;Q156982
"OL97: Additional Command-Line Switches (Q156982)"

Quote: "WARNING : ANY USE BY YOU OF THE COMMAND LINE SWITCHES PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Microsoft provides these command line switches without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. "

Say What?

Today I see two messages 'stuck' in my outbox. On a Win2k box I just tried Neo's switch of resetting folders, in both usages of case, just in case. It fails as expected. But as fyi to supplement the combined efforts above, I ran another search and found the MS Q article, which lists nine such switches that are NOT mentioned in help files on the client. For example, here is how it describes Neo's switch:

   /ResetFolders            Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.

I think some prior comments have been lost in this thread, but that neither the cause nor the cure have been identified. It has only happened to me twice, so it is not major issue, I now classify as aberration. The messages themselves are available, I can copy and paste both the text piece and the addressee list into a new message, and there is no problem sending. So words like 'corruption' are hard to swallow. There's been what, nearly six months without recurrence, for whatever reason. Over time, I have upgraded patches for this and that, quite possibly one of them provided some fix, tho' not the files/versions listed in xSinbad remarks.

So this thread went nearly nowhere. But due to the comments and links provided, it may have value as PAQ. So I offer the poorest grade with points for xSinbad, for sticking it out with me over time. (I just gave Neo a PAQ for something else, so not quite a total loss there)

But some experts complain if they get less than an 'A', so I'd like xSinbad to speak up quick if any objection. Else it is yours. Not sure which comment <heh> the "I am out of ideas" actually seems most applicable this time.
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by:xSinbad
ID: 6754771
No Sunbow keep them, just ask the mod to PAQ and reduce to 0. Thank you very much for the offer though, I hope I can be of more help to you in the future.


Cheers
Marcus
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by:SunBow
ID: 6755113
OK, whoever is mod, there you have it.  More than one of us think it should be PAQ.  Personally, I don't require the points back, so I don't mind sending them all to xSinbad. (I'll also post something in another thread where Moondancer has been).

The deal here was two short term problems, where message went to OutBox, and stayed. Duration was brief, maybe an hour. 1st time three messages stuck. Those I copy/pasted to send out, one at a time, watching close. Then deleted. 2nd time two got stuck. As they were less important, I left alone for debugging.

With no know behavior change, no reboot, or open/close of outlook, the messages began to flow again properly, all by themselves. As this 'event' was unexpected, my times are not precise since I was not watching well. No similar problems ever since those two occasions, as the months fly by. But it went from good to bad to good, within an hour or two.
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Accepted Solution

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amp072397 earned 0 total points
ID: 6755210
Done! PAQd at Askers request.


thanks!
amp
community support moderator
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