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"Can't open this item. Unknown Error." when opening Contact in Outlook 2k or XP

Posted on 2004-08-16
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
After synching outlook contacts via Motorola Mobile Phone tools, approximately 1/4 of the 194 contacts stored get this error when trying to open them from within Outlook.

"Can't open this item. Unknown Error."

The PC was running Outlook 2000 SR-1 which I upgraded to Office XP and am still getting the same error.  I have searched the M$ knowledge base and could find nothing that pertained to this.

I have attempted to copy all contacts to a personal folder then erase the existing contacts and recopy them into the contacts and the problem contacts still do not open while in the message store, but they do open while in the personal folder file.
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Question by:RussoMA
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11812750
Can you see if those contacts which donot open were created in the PDA or in the outlook ?

Generally there are issues opening contacts if they are done using different forms.

SR
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Author Comment

by:RussoMA
ID: 11814532
It is possible that they were created in the PDA, a Palm that also uses the contacts in addition to the Motorola Cell Phone.  

I had guessed it had to do with the forms, all I want to know is how it is resolved, not what is causing it.
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by:mark-wa
ID: 11815961
When you say "the message store", is this an exchange message store or is this just the default Personal Folders?

Try exporting the contacts from the .pst file in which they work, then importing them into the "message store" using the import and export wizard, rather than copying/moving.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:RussoMA
ID: 11820498
exchange message store.  I attempted to export and import the contacts, still the same problem.  What I decided to do was send this on to our exchange admin to hopefully fix on the server end, since i have ruled out workstation problems.  Unless anyone else has a suggestion?  
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mark-wa earned 1500 total points
ID: 11820899
Well, if some contacts work fine and some don't, then the problem is not with Exchange, it's with the contacts themselves.  I would get them in a .pst file and verify they work, then export them as a .csv using the import/export wizard.  Once they are in the .csv format, re-import them into the exchange mailbox.  That's about as good as your going to get without either rebuilding them manually or manually going through the .csv file to make sure everything looks right.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:RussoMA
ID: 11823874
Using the CSV file after installing the outlook translators enabled me to reimport the data from the comma separated values.  that way they were all created using the same version of the form.  Thanks Mark

-Ed
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 11823884
Wonderful Mark..

SR
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11823993
Thanks RussoMA and SR.  Glad that worked for you RussoMA.  Take care.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:RussoMA
ID: 11824036
Too bad that M$ doesnt have any other information on the true underlying problem.  It was a great workaround that you provided me.  Hopefully this helps others find the answer they are looking for so they dont have to fool around with it for days like I did.  :)

-Ed

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Expert Comment

by:mkjhn
ID: 13656305
I had the same issue and the solution worked fine for fixing the contacts but I cannot delete the "broken" contacts.  How were you able to delete the contacts that would not open?
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Author Comment

by:RussoMA
ID: 13661286
you probably could just edit the csv file in excel and take out the entries that are corrupt?
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