Outlook XP: Error message "Unable to start processing services. The attempt to log onto the Microsoft Exchange Server computer has failed"

hopkinsm used Ask the Experts™
We've just started getting some user logging onto their systems coming up with the error "Unable to start processing services. The attempt to log onto the Microsoft Exchange Server computer has failed".

We've deleted their outlook profile and recreated from scratch - also deleted their roaming profile completely. Still get the same error. There are no relevant items in the event logs on these computers.

The only item in Knowledgebase that mentions a similar issue is Q244385 refering to Outlook 2000 rather than Outlook XP. This suggests deleting corrupted Offitems.log and Outitems.log. Neither of these files appear on the computer even with Show hidden files switch on.

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1. Close Microsoft Outlook XP.
2. Click on the 'Start' button, select 'Control Panel' (either from the menu or under the heading of 'Settings').
3. Double click on the 'Mail' icon to bring up the Mail configuration window.
4. Click on 'Show Profiles'.
5. In the box titled 'The following profiles are setup on this computer', check if there are two or more profiles listed. If so, check to see whether 'Microsoft Outlook Internet Settings' is the one Outlook is configured to use. If so, the problem may be that the profile is damaged.
6. To correct, configure Outlook to use the second profile by clicking on 'Always use this profile' and selecting the second profile listed.
7. Click 'OK' to exit the Mail control panel.


Thank you for your comment avatar-e but as stated in the original question we've deleted the profiles and created new ones from scratch already. It didn't make any difference.

Uninstall Outlook from Office setup, delete any Outlook folder from disk, clean any Outlook reference with Regedit and/or RegCleaner and install again.
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Further to avatar-e's suggestion; with some contracts we would be able to simply uninstall and reinstall an application such as outlook. With this client, however, all PC's are a standard build and we can't just uninstall and re-install an app. All these PC's have been working fine so the only change should be either;
     a) a recent patch applied i.e. MS Security
     b) an issue on the Exchange Server

The clients are all able to talk to the Exchange Server as the "Check Name" function when creating an new profile/account works. This is happening on multiple sites within the same client group.

The Antivirus software on all the PC's is McAfee and is up to date.

We will be able to do more investigative work on Tuesday when engineers and 3rd line are back from a Bank Holiday weekend. In the meantime I'm looking for a quick and dirty fix/patch if possible and/or the cause of this issue.

Im just saying my traditional way to fix after hours of stressing researching over google :P hehehe....

Are these users Administrators on their PCs?  Is this a large percentage of the users or just a handful?  Are they logging in to the domain with the corresponding user name?  Does this client have access to Outlook for the Web?  Can you add their mailbox to an administrator's profile and view their inbox?  Create their profiles on other PCs and see if you get the same error.  Add profiles of other working user names to the computers in question and see if you get the same error.  

Just trying to narrow it down to the pc or the server.


3rd line came back in after the bank holiday and resolved the error at the Exchange server.
Closed, 500 points refunded.
Community Support Moderator

The points may be distributed over participants :P
We are experinecing this very same problem!  It is unclear as to how this problem was resolved, my 3rd line is away also and I can't wait.  Can you pass your good fortune on to us?


I paid $10 for this????

Your site led me to believe there was a solution.

uhh, what I mean is that I searched the site and it said "to see the solution to this answer sign up for our services". So I paid you $10 to see that *there is not an answer posted*.

I didn't have time to ask the question. I had time to read the answer.

I will ask the question but seeing as how it didn't get answered the first time around, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will be answered again quickly.

I think that if you don't have a solution to a question then you shouldn't advertise that you do.

Hello djslack, not al solutions are in the past, part of the 'Guarantee' is that you have the ability to ask the question if you cannot locate the solution in the database.  Each person's problems could be indigenous to that particular person, it is also a proven fact that sometimes the correct answer is actually NO, or it just cannot be done.

Please ask the question yourself as modulo suggests, as ever changing technologies and new experts every day, someone may have what you are looking for.

Thank you,

Wes Lennon
Director of Community Services
Experts Exchange

Hi Wes,

I understand that not all questions have been answered. However, when I come across my exact issue on your site, and your site tells me to "subscribe to Premium Services to view this solution" and "You need to subscribe to view this solution" that clearly represents that *there is a solution* to this problem. Baiting me into giving you my credit card to find out that there is no solution posted is clearly unacceptable.

You are correct that I am now entitled to ask the question myself, and as a matter of fact I have. I asked in the Exchange Server forum, which I believe to be where the issue lies (as confirmed by the questioner's comment above) and you can find that question at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Email_Groupware/Exchange_Server/Q_21126378.html . I will let that question sit over the weekend and see if I get an answer, although I really need the problem fixed before then. But I could have asked that question any number of places, and I may or may not have chosen to join EE to ask it here. I didn't part with my credit card for the opportunity to wait on someone who may or may not answer my question; I paid for the expediency of getting my hands on the answer *immediately* to fix the problem at hand. $10 is not a great sum of money, but it is the principle of the matter. Representing that there was an answer that I could get if only I joined while in fact no such answer existed is at best an unfortunate mistake, and at worst downright shady.

I am reasonably sure that this discussion topic is probably not the place to discuss my particular situation (unless someone can answer this question) so I will be happy to discuss further with you via email at the address listed in my profile, or on one of your support forums (CS Support? I wasn't sure) if that is the correct place to do so.


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