Outlook XP Mailbox connection problems

Posted on 2005-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi Experts

This is the setup

Mail Server running Windows 2000 Server and Exchange 2000. Everyone's mailbox is on the server and Ofiice XP (Outlook XP) is loaded and configured on clients machines to access there SMTP mailboxes'. Mail delivery  occurs to there specific mailbox and we do setup and encourage people to copy important emails over to PST file (we setup the PST a file for the users on there PC) so that the size of users mailboxes on the server can be as little as possible and therefore free up resources.

This is the problem we are running into now. A top level management user (recieves a lot of mail daily) is having a problem opening Outlook (Office XP). When outlook is opened it seems to hang and a pop up box stating 'Outlook cannot connect to mailserver' appears with the options 'Retry' 'Abort' and 'Cancel'. Upon hitting the 'Retry' button it goes ahead, connects to the mailserver, opens outlook and the user can view there mailbox. This user has a very large PST file configured on there PC (it is so large becuase the user moves all important emails and documents and saves them onto PST file format therefore making the size of his mailbox on the server rather small).

Can any experts suggest a solution or an answer as to why this problem with Outlook not connecting to the mail server and only connecting after selecting 'retry' is occuring. I have loaded Win XP SP2 and configured the firewall setting to 'Off' as I have found in the past that this slows up Outlook. I have also thought about installing Office XP service packs but would rather not do so because in the past we have had the case that the service pack picks up when another program is trying to access the users address book and a very irritating pop up box appears stating 'Allow access for 10min, 5 min, 1 min' appears. Users get very fustrated which leads to them taking there fustration out on the IT department because there system is not running as smoothly as they would like.

Any suggestions on how to fix this mail server connection problem will be much appreciated.
Thanks in advanced
Question by:mustekkzn
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Author Comment

ID: 13695379
just an update;

the exact pop up box that appears states the following when outlook apparently cannot connect to the mail server.

'Connecting to Microsoft Exchange Server' <-- Pop up box title
'Your Microsoft Server in Unavaiable' <-- Body of message in pop up box
'Retry' 'Work Offline' 'Cancel' <-- Pop up box options

At this stage selecting 'Retry' then connects Outlook to the mail server and the user can view their mailbox no problem.


Expert Comment

ID: 13696543
is there any com-add on component added to the outlook?
How to check this
Advanced Options
COM Add Ins

chekc if there is a dll or ocx control registered, which may read the incoming mail to do some manipulations
Try to remove that


Author Comment

ID: 13696612
Hi usankar

Nothing appears under the Com Add Ins.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 13714050
mustek if no one else has this problem then it is the large size pst file...delete his pst file
from his outlook  profile(ofcource copy it to another location)and open his outlook without pst file...and access exchange mailbox and see if he still has the problem..

Author Comment

ID: 13725025
Sorry for the late response, I have been out of the office for the last few days.
Your suggestion is exactly what we tried before even posting this question and when the mailbox is loaded up without his PST File and all seems. But thats not the solution unfortunetly. The fix is to still have the PST file attached as well as his mailbox and not have this connection problem.

LVL 12

Accepted Solution

alandc earned 2000 total points
ID: 13755881
Did I understand you correctly that the problem goes away when the "large size pst file" is not connected/in use?

I would suggest dividing the PST file into managable portions.  I like to divide mine by year 2001.pst, 2002.pst, etc.  I use archiving to make the division so all the mail items stay in the same folders just located into different PST files by age.  PST files are not efficient storage databases and really get slow when the data gets over about 200Mb.  On older versions of Outlook it would crash causing data loss at sizes exceeding 2Gb.  That is supposed to be fixed now but I haven't seem much improvement in speed of large PST files.


Author Comment

ID: 13779410

I will be awarding you the points because your suggestions is to post partical and will be most suited in this case.

thanks for your help experts

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