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Outlook Attachment Freeze

Posted on 2004-08-17
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Ok so I've had this problem a few times on different computers on my network. So far the only way I've been able to fix the problem is to reformat. Which is too time consuming at this point. and not an effective method

When someone downloads a large attachment (1.5MB or more) with Microsoft Outlook 2000, it completely slows down their computer and outlook takes up 99% of the Processor.

Originally I thought this could be attributed to Anti-Virus But I have completely removed anti-virus software from the computer and it still does it, so scratch that Idea. I've tried uninstalling Office 2000 and reinstalling, no good. I've updated to the latest security releases and Service packs, no change. I've even upgraded the computer to Office 2003, not slick enough. Profiles wasn’t the answer either I tried recreating the problem on my profile, same issue.

The only thing I haven’t tried is completely removing office by manually deleting files and then reinstalling, but there's no tool for Windows XP to do this. Manually finding and deleting all those files and registry keys is almost as bad as reformatting.

So if someone could please help me that would be great!

This is Office 2000 on a Windows XP Computer With all Critical updates in a Windows 2003 Server domain. The Outlook settings are Internet only and connecting to the server Via POP and SMTP.

Thanks
Nic


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Question by:NicCOConnor
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11825840
Manually removing office isn't too bad.  If you want to try it, here's my instructions for doing it:

You can completely remove and reinstall Office by following the directions below:

NOTE:  Be sure to backup your .pst file(s) before the uninstall.

OL2000: (IMO) How to Back Up, Restore, or Move Outlook Data
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;196492

OL2000: (CW) How to Back Up, Restore, or Move Outlook Data
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;195719

Download the office removal utility (ork.exe) from the following url:  

http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2003/tools/BoxA13.htm

install the utility and then run the removal wizard to remove all of office.  

This utility is very thorough and will remove all of the mapi components and others that don't get removed just by a normal uninstall.

You'd want to rename the following directories after running the office removal utility:

c:\program files\common files\system\mapi    (to something like "oldmapi")
c:\program files\microsoft office    (to something like "oldmsoffice")


Then export and delete the following registry keys:

Note: the following registry keys are for Win9x platform.  The keys for NT/2000/XP
are listed seperately below.

For Win9x:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Schedule+
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Schedule+
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Components
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Features\904.
..
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Patches
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\Products\904.
..

reinstall Office

For Win NT/2000/XP:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Components
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Features\904...
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Products\904...
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Patches
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Schedule+
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Components
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Features\904...
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Patches
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\904...
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Schedule+

reboot the machine

then reinstall Office

Now, for the most part, most things should still be intact after doing this.  You're Outlook Profile should even still be intact.  Things like views and custom settings will be reverted back to defaults.

If you want to kill the Outlook Profile also during this process, export and delete this key with the other registry keys:

For Windows 9x, the profiles are saved in the registry under the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS MESSAGING SUBSYSTEM\PROFILES
For Windows NT/2K/XP, the profiles are saved in the registry under the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT \CURRENTVERSION\WINDOWS MESSAGING SUBSYSTEM\PROFILES
This will delete all profile settings in Outlook.

This is about as extreme as you can get as far as Office is concerned.

Hope this helps!

Mark
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11825901
A couple of questions.  Do these people have any problems downloading things outside of Outlook?  If you were to go to the internet and download a 1.5+Mb file, does this cause problems?

Outlook is known to gobble resources when it is experiencing any kind of connectivity issues.  Even though you said you removed the Antivirus software, you and I both know that this does not mean it is completely gone.  I would strongly be looking in this direction still.  Check with your AV vendor about getting some manual removal instructions.  Most of them now-a-days have utilities that will cleanup the remnant pieces.

Is this a consistent behaviour in these machines?  For instance, every 1.5+Mb attachment causes this issue?

Thanks.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:NicCOConnor
ID: 11825959
ok this deffinetnly could be an AV issue still but some computers experience it and other don't like mine for instance runs like a dream. and AV is pretty much non-negotiable I have to have it installed. I would think a reinstall would replace any files that could have been corrupt with the AV

The behaviour is consistent with large attachments. pretty much anything over 1.5 will cause this issue. but like I said not on every computer.

Nic
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Author Comment

by:NicCOConnor
ID: 11825965
As far as downloading any file. I don't have problems downloading larger files through internet explorer or anything like that.

Nic
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11826046
So you don't have any troubles on the affected machines with downloading files through IE.  Just making sure I have that correct.

Ok, a good troubleshooting step would be to try and eliminate some 3rd party programs from running in the background for testing.  If you go to Start, Run, and type:

msconfig           then hit ok (or enter)

This will bring you into the System Configuration Utility.  Hopefully you're familiar with this utility, but if not, that's ok.  Basically, our goal is to be running in windows using as few services and processes as possible.

In msconfig, go to the Startup tab and uncheck everything.  There shouldn't really be anything here that's running that is a necessity.  Then, click on the Services tab.  At the bottom of this window, you'll see a checkbox that says "Hide all Microsoft Services".  Go ahead and check that.  Now you'll see that the middle section has reduced it's number of items it had listed considerably.  Uncheck what is left in this window.  Click Apply, Close, and Restart, when prompted to restart.

Once you've rebooted, it will come up with a window that says that you've used the system configuration utility.... blah blah.  Uncheck the little checkbox that says to launch that window at startup and the system configuration utility at startup.  Then close that window.

Go into outlook and have someone send you a large attachment.  See if the problem occurs.  If it does occur, then you're probably looking at something more file or network related.  If it does not occur, try some more tests to be sure.  If it still doesn't occur, now you have to go back into msconfig and start rechecking things a little at a time, rebooting each time you add something new back in, until you've narrowed it down to what program/service is causing the issue.

Hope this helps.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:NicCOConnor
ID: 11831362
Mark,
Alright well I tried everything here, Completly removing office, reinstalling as per your instructions, And I tried the MS Config, same result when I booted back up....any other Ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11832126
Nic,

First, I would go ahead and contact the Antivirus vendor and try to get some manual uninstall instructions.

Then, if that doesn't help, here are a few things I would try:

1.  Make sure the internet connection firewall built into windows xp is not turned on.  This is something you have to turn off for each network/internet connection you have.  So, you can do this by right clicking on My Network Places, click properties.  Then right click each connectoid and click properties.  Go to the advanced tab, and uncheck the box pertaining to the firewall (I can't remember exactly what it says, but it's something like "Protect my computer....").

Remember to test the issue after doing each one of these steps, don't do them all at once, then test or you might not know which one caused the problem.

2.  Update your Network Card drivers.  If that doesn't help, I'd uninstall the network card drivers and then reinstall the new drivers.  I've seen several similar issues where updating the driver doesn't work, but uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers works.

3.  Try a different Network Card altogether.

4.  Reinstall the Windows Xp Network Stack.  To do that, follow the instructions from this article:

How to reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;299357

Another thing, can you verify if the machines experiencing the problem are all using the same kind of network card?  I'm wondering if the machines not experiencing the problem are using a different kind of network card than the machines that are experiencing the problem.

Hope this helps.

Mark
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Author Comment

by:NicCOConnor
ID: 11835428
Mark,
Wow this is really getting fustrating. Ok so I did all that you said and still no go....Uninstalled Anti-Virus Manually, took about an hour but it all got out.

I updated the Network Card Drivers, that didn't seem to work.

I tried another network card, no go....However the network card was the same type, 3com Etherlink XL 10/100 PCI unfortunetly, I don't have another one that I can try.

The 2 computers that have been experienceing this problem, and now a 3rd...All have this same network card. My computer however which runs perfectly Has an intel Pro 10/100

Ok but heres the weird thing, on a clean install of Windows XP with Office 2000 and Norton Anti-Virus Corporate Edition 9.1 with the 3com Etherlink card....no problems at all.

Whats going on!!! I've never seen anything like this before.

Nic
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Author Comment

by:NicCOConnor
ID: 11836274
Mark,
Ok well PROBLEM SOLVED, so here's the skinny.
I have a peice of Spyware installed on my network to track what everyone does. it's Called Spector CNE and normally hides in the Explorer.exe process. well since this software tracks all e-mails and Attachments it was causing problems. I've had problems with Spector before but that was when the Explorer.exe Process was chewing memory. I didn't think it was the case since the Outlook Process was taking up all the Processor, and theoretically Spector is only suppose to run in the explorer process. but eaither way a simple uninstall and reinstall fixed the problem.

Thank you so much for all your help, I would like to award the points to you since you've been such a big help, so if you'll just post this solution I'll be more than happy to accept your answer.

Nic
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Accepted Solution

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mark-wa earned 500 total points
ID: 11836401
Reinstall Spector CNE
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Expert Comment

by:mark-wa
ID: 11836404
Thank you Nic, I really appreciate it!  I use Spector also and have had problems with it.  It's a great program, but there's always a chance of conflict when you have a program that is that invasive on a system.  Great job and thanks again.  Take care.

Mark
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