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The out of office assistant could not be displayed. A required action was

Posted on 2004-10-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-09-09
Please help!  We are using Outlook XP and get this error message when trying
to use the Out of Office Assistant:

The out of office assistant could not be displayed. A required action was
not successful due to an unspecified error.

after clicking on ok, another message displays:

System resources are critically low.  Close some windows.

The error is not workstation related, it also happens on his laptop.

I tried MS KB 248709 and no luck, please help!
Question by:Jesse003
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 12439142
Apart from out of office , does the exchange server work fine ?

Are you able to receive and send emails fine in outlook ?

Have you tried to disable the "out of office assistant" and then enable it to check how it goes

Is Outlook fully updated ?


Author Comment

ID: 12439275
The Exchange Server seems to be working fine and Outlook is working normally.

The error occurs when the user tries to access the Out of Office Assistant from the Tools menu in Outlook 2002.  If he uses Outlook Web Access, he's able to use the Out of Office Assitant.   Outlook also has all the current updates.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 12440300
I suspect there could be something wrong in the mailbox rules.. Check for the rules in outlook going to rules wizard
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Author Comment

ID: 12440914
There are no entries in the mailbox rules...
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 12440947
Can you create a new outlook profile going to control panel > mail > show profiles and login to that profile and see what happens

Expert Comment

ID: 12444632
I'm watching this answer pretty closely too, although I have no answers.  I mentioned to Jesse earlier that we have one user who has this problem... it start occurring after we yanked Hotbar from his computer.  However, we were able to setup his user profile on another machine and he could enable it from there.  Since they got the same error setting the user up on a laptop, perhaps this is an entirely different problem.  Go sunray!

Expert Comment

ID: 12465303
I wonder if this is a malware issue. May want to run adaware or some other form of apy removal software.

Author Comment

ID: 12471816
I haven't had a chance to try out any of the posted suggestions, but the user recently told me that he created an out of office message in outlook web access and if he's sent a message the sender will receive two out of office messages.  One email with the current out of office message that he created in outlook web access and another older out of office message...

Author Comment

ID: 12493817
I used the Microsoft MDBVU32.EXE utility and removed all the inbox rules that began with "RuleOrganizer".  The user must of had currupted rules and this fixed the problem.  Thanks for all your comments! :)

Accepted Solution

modulo earned 0 total points
ID: 12938635
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Community Support Moderator

Expert Comment

ID: 14078946
Here are the complete steps on how to do this in case someone needs them:

1. Export out all rules through the Rules Wizard.
2. Using mdbvu32.exe, delete any additional "hidden" rules, one-by-one, until the Out-Of-Office Assistant launches ok. (see instructions below)
3. Import the rules back into the user's mailbox through the Rules Wizard.

Instructions on using mdbvu32.exe
This describes how to use the Mdbvu32 utility to remove Inbox rules that that you may not be able to remove by other means, including the CleanSweep utility.

NOTE: The Mdbvu32 utility is located on the Microsoft Exchange Server CD. You run the Mdbvu32 utility on the computer that is running Microsoft Outlook.

1.      Start the Mdbvu32.exe utility on the client computer. This utility is located on your Exchange Server CD in the CD-ROM_Drive\Server\Support\Utils\I386 folder.
2.      Click OK, select your profile in the Choose Profile dialog box, and then click OK.      
3.      In the MDB Viewer Test Application dialog box, click OpenMessageStore on the MDB menu.      
4.      Make sure that your mailbox is selected, and then click Open.
5.      Click Open Root Folder on the MDB menu.
6.      In the MAPI_Folder-Root dialog box, double-click Top of Information Store in the Child Folders list.      
7.      In the MAPI_Folder-Top of Information Store dialog box, double-click Inbox in the Child Folders list.      
8.      Examine the contents of the Associated Messages in Fld list where all your rules are listed. Click the rule that you want to delete (to examine rule's properties, double-click it).      
9.      In the Operations available (Select operation, then push Call Function button) text box, click the down arrow to open the list of available functions.      
10.      Click lpFld ->DeleteMessages() (ON SELECTED MSGS), and then click Call Function.      
11.      In the MAPI_FOLDER - Inbox ->DeleteMessages() dialog box, click OK to delete the rule that you selected.      
12.      Click Close three times.      
13.      In the MDB Viewer Test Application dialog box, click Store Logoff on the MDB menu, and then click OK twice.      
14.      In the MDB Viewer Test Application dialog box, click Exit on the Session menu.      


Expert Comment

ID: 23237433
I had exactly this issue and an "Outlook /cleanrules" resolved this issue right away.

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