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Directly open attachments from Outlook 2003

Posted on 2004-09-19
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I would like to directly open attachements from Outlook 2003 instead of having to save them to disk first. I have done the moderatelly well know "Level 1 remove" registry edit to allow the files to be received, but some (not all) of my users have to save it to disk first. Some of my users can double click the attachment and the file opens right up (like it did in Outlook 98 and earlier). What is needed for the users to directly open the files. Any ideas?
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Question by:tomwilliford
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 12095381
Is there a version difference between users who cannot open attachments directly and users who can ?

Have all employed Level 1 remove registry tweak correctly ?

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/esecup.htm

check this too : http://www.winxpcentral.com/troubleshooting/reclaim-attachments.php
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by:tomwilliford
ID: 12095400
There is no difference in the users as far as permissions go. All users are admins on their boxes.

I'm certain the level 1 remove tweak was applied correctly, even went as far as to compare the registry keys of a "working" computer v/s a "non-working" computer to make sure they are identical.

I can save any file I receive via email, but can't even directly open word or excel docuements :(

All clients use Win2K and Outlook 2003, Office 97 for the rest of the apps.

Here is a copy of my level1remove.reg file that I merge in to handle the extensions

***************************

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security]
"Level1Remove"=".mdb;.pdf;.doc;.xls;.ppt;.txt;.jpg;.gif;.bmp;.vsd;.mpp;.dwf;.zip;.url;.lnk;.exe;.vbs;.asp;.bat;.jsp"

***************************
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 12095437
tomwilliford,

So which users have issues opening word and excel. Outlook 2003 or other versions..
Does all the users got all the latest security updates for their office versions

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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12095451
No one uses Office 2003, only Outlook 2003. My company is about 20 years behind the times :)

Everyone in question here uses Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint 97, Outlook 2003, Windows 2000.  A few of the users also have Access 97.

All users have Office 97 SP1 and SP2, which is everything released according to MS website.

I can't find a pattern as to which users can open and can't open. I know that the older images (I use ghost for deployment) seem to be able to open them directly.

I suspect it's part of my process when installing, or perhaps order of installation, but that's just a guess and I haven't been able to confirm/dispel any of that.
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sunray_2003 earned 500 total points
ID: 12095456
tomwilliford,

Ahh. Here is a thought.
I am not sure if you have outlook 2003 whether those registry tweaks will be applicable for any version below that or in other words you can check this

If there is some user who has outlook 2003 and Word 97 , see if the user can open the documents fine.
If there is some user who has outlook 2003 and Word 2003, check if that registry tweak would help.
If all users have outlook 2003 and Word 97 , then you may want to upgrade to word 2003 and see if that makes any difference.

Also can you check some of the tools given here
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/esecup/getexe.htm
and see if that would help
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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12095480
I'd love to upgrade everyone to Word 03, but corporate mandates that everyone stay with the same version until we can all upgrade (Pretty big company, tens of thousands of computers worldwide, easily)... So Office 97 is what we are stuck with...

My confusion is this:

User A:
Office 97, Outlook 2003
User A can open attachements directly

User B:
Office 97, Outlook 2003
User B can NOT open attachements directly, must "Save to disk..."

The only notable difference in User A and User B is the Ghost image used is entirely different, but built with the same apps (I do a from-scratch rebuild every so often). I'll try to get some real data about some of this and post it.

Thanks for the help so far Sunray!
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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12095489
As another comment, this is from Slipstick's site.

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/esecup/blockzips.htm

************
Level1Remove -- slow down access to the zip by forcing users to save them to the hard drive before opening them.  
************

I don't want to slow down access, I want a big ole' gaping security hole so that my users can just open the attached files without saving. I tried making a level0remove and level2remove key (just to check as a guess), but that didn't work :(
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 12095503
tomwilliford,
>  I want a big ole' gaping security hole so that my users can just open
> the attached files without saving.

I donot think it would be a good idea of wanting to open attachments directly compromising the security  hole.
I would think any expert here would agree with me.

Is saving to disk and opening a real issue for you ?
Saving to disk and opening without having to worry about security problem is a better way to work
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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12095521
It's a user training issue. Imagine the support call about "I can't open my blah blah blah, it says it has a virus" multiplied by 1000 times. Our users don't read what's on the screen, they see "virus" and know that something is different and then it's "HELP! My Outlook says I have a virus!". That's what's driving this. I wouldn't want to open up .vbs files or .zip's, but if I could open Word, Excel, Powerpoint, text, Visio, and Project files I'd be happy.
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 12100680
Can you follow this one more time to see if this atleast would help

Cannot open attachments in Microsoft Outlook
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=829982
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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12135498
Did that again, it's the same thing I've been doing. It's not that they can't get the attachements, they are *forced* to save to disk, even for "safe" attachments.

I'm really starting to think it's an Outlook 2003 <> Office 97 compatibility issue. The images that do work were upgraded from Outlook 98 > 2003...
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Author Comment

by:tomwilliford
ID: 12281039
Sunray_2003,

I used "Attachment Options" (http://www.slovaktech.com/attachmentoptions.htm) to set the files I wanted to open, then exported the key in question. Sooo, the points are yours.  My final keys look something like this.. It has an extra value that I had seen nothing about... "RemoveWarningFileTypes"


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security]
"Level"=dword:00000003
"UseCRLChasing"=dword:00000001
"Level1Remove"="ade;adp;app;bas;bat... etc"
"RemoveWarningFileTypes"="mdb;pdf;doc;xls;ppt;txt... etc"
"AddWarningFileTypes"="qqq"

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by:Justin Durrant
ID: 12303265
Tom,

Did you ever figure out an issue to this?

justin@durrantfamily.com

I tried the keys above, but nothing has worked.
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Expert Comment

by:tmostowy
ID: 12959148
After trying all the above steps, I found that my Agnitum Personal Firewall was renaming the Word and Excel and other attachments.  

What got me was that files were getting renamed as filename.xxx.safe.  I went down a rabbit hole looking for the solution in Outlook and the level1 level2 hacks.  So, check your personal firewalls and possibly your virus scanning software if you are truly stumped.

Stowy
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by:Justin Durrant
ID: 12962405
Interesting.. well luckily the registry edits did end up working for me afterall.
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