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Outlook hanging on to normal.dot

Posted on 2004-10-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Seems like since I downloaded SP2 or one of the patches since MS Outlook started hanging on to my Normal.dot file a little more.  Here is what I have found so far:

1 - When I open Outlook, winword.exe shows up in task manager.
2 - When I close Outlook winword.exe is still in my task manager.
3 - I can use word just fine and seem to have no problems while I am in it.
4 - I have a 3rd party program that uses word to mail/merge forms and It has stopped working because it says Normal.dot is in use by another process.
5 - If I kill the winword.exe process in my task manager my 3rd party program works just fine.

I realize that if I go to my Outlook settings and uncheck "use word as your default email editor" everything will work fine.  However, I would be interested in seeing if there is a way to fix this problem as opposed to bypassing it.

Thanks in Advance, E

P.S. - This could also have been caused by the recent installation of ACT 7.0.
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Question by:EWilson12
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Accepted Solution

by:
Christopher McKay earned 1500 total points
ID: 12321917
Why not choose a different template for your email?

You should be able to specify which template is opened when you launch word as email editor.

Hope this helps!

:o)

Bartender_1
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12321948
using Outlook 2003 and I do not see an option to specify a template, I just have 2 check boxes for using word.
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12321969
I also checked the email setting in Word options but found nothing for an alternate default email template.
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Assisted Solution

by:Christopher McKay
Christopher McKay earned 1500 total points
ID: 12321975
If you use the stationary picker to specify a different stationary, does it still use the normal.dot template?

:o)

Bartender_1
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 12322230
Try these

search for the file "normal.dot" , rename it to normat_old.dot and then delete "normal.dot".Now open word to see if it would be fine also open outlook and see if it would be fine aswell.. since word is put as default email editor , you would be seeing winword.exe in the task manager

also go to the help menu of Word and Outlook seperately and do "detect and repair". Check if that would help

Make sure to update Word and outlook with all the latest updates and service packs if not done

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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12322382
Kind of funny when I choose another stationary it sort of reverses the problem.  I can run my 3rd party program just fine but when I run outlook I get errors normal.dot errors when forwarding or replying to emails.  Also, I already tried renaming Normal.dot and am having this same problem on multiple machines.
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 12322473
Have you tried sunray_2003's recommendation of checking for all available updates?

You can do this here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdate/default.aspx

:o)

Bartender_1
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12322869
I just did the update (only needed the new junkmail filter) and deleted normal.dot again and had some interesting results.

Started Outlook and set word to be my default editor.
Closed outlook and reopened it.
Started my 3rd party App and did a merge form and it worked fine.
Started ACT 7 and wrote a letter (uses Word as it's editor)
Went back to my 3rd party App and did a merge form and it worked fine.
Closed ACT and my 3rd party App.
Closed Outlook and I recieved the following error message (which I remember seeing last week):

The file Normal.dot already exists.  Do you want to replace the existing file?

Last week I hit Cancel this week I hit Replace, either way I now have a ~normal.dot file again that looks like it's an orphan and my problem starts again.

Thanks, E
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12322897
hmmm tried deleting normal.dot again replicated the above and left ACT out of the picture, same problem happens.  Everything is fine until I exit outlook once at which point it creates a new normal.dot, from that point on I have problems.
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12323755
I also get this error if I have a word doc open at the same time as I am printing my form in the 3rd party App.
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 12323889
I'm running out of possibilities.

I'll keep searching online for options, and I'm trying to duplicate the difficulty with the software in my office, but I can't seem to get the same results as you.

If I come across any more info, I'll post it.

:o)

Bartender_1
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12323914
Thanks, asking my 3rd party App vendor for help atm.  So far I have tested the following machine set ups:

Win XP SP2/Office 2000/ACT version 6.0 has no problems.
Win XP SP2/Office 2002/ACT version 7.0 has problems
Win XP SP2/Office 2003/ACT version 7.0 has problems

Downloading SP2 on a machine with Office 2003 and ACT 6.0 now to see if it will have problems.
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12324017
hmmm, ok looks like ACT 7.0 is involved here are some new tests:

Win XP SP2/Office 2003/ACT 6.0 No problems.
Win XP Not updated to SP2 /Office 2000/Act 7.0 Has the same problem.
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 12324026
definitely looks like it's an Act 7.0 problem then. What do they say about this?
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12324136
Also I opened the normal.dot file in notepad and found out that ACT 7.0 has modified it:

u r i : / / a c t / m e n u / e m a i l d o c u m e n t ! < A C T 7 . O f f i c e A d d I n > 
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12324148
on hold with them right now, ever since 7.0 was released it seems the average hold times jumped to over an hour.
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12324172
I can already predict the outcome, Best software makers of ACT will say that it is obviously the 3rd party App vendors problem since this is the only program effected and my 3rd part software Vendor will tell me that it is ACT's problem for modifying the Normal.dot template in an unconventional way.
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12383620
As predicted neither software vendor is going to provide any assistance for this problem at this time, Anyone know how to set word 2003 to default to another template besides normal.dot I am hoping my 3rd party app will still use normal.dot and word will use something else and avoid this conflict.

Thanks, E
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Author Comment

by:EWilson12
ID: 12738977
still no resolution, closing out the question.

P.S. - ACT blows!
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