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Outlook 98 takes 5 minutes to open

I recently needed to reinstall Win98 SE.

Since doing this my system is a lot slower, but by far the worst situation is that Outlook 98 takes at least 5 minutes to open.

The hard drive light remains on this entire 5 minutes, and other software is, understandably, also very slow during this time.

Once open, it is also slow to carry out other actions, such a finding the e-mail address if I just put a nickname in the To: field when sending a new e-mail.

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Nils88
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Nils88
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1 Solution
 
meintsiCommented:
Delete teh hidden file:  outcmd.dat
When you restart Outlook, it will create a new one.
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wobbledCommented:
Do you have large mail archives (.pst files)  if this is the case it could be your anti-virus software checking these when the open.  There should be an option on your AV to turn this off to test if this is the case
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travalCommented:
open outlook by clicking START->RUN->"outlook.exe /safe" and see if it still opens slowly.
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Nils88Author Commented:
First question to wobbled: I CAN select any files I want my AV to exclude.  But won't that be risky?
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travalCommented:
The contents of your PST file were most likely scanned when they came in thru email.  Additionally opening the PST file itself won't be dangerous, whereas opening a message and then running an attachment from that email would be dangerous with the AV disabled.  So you can temporarily disable the scan in case that is occuring.  However, the /safe switch often does the same thing and might be easier.

Once Outlook is opened, if you right click on OUTLOOK TODAY - PERSONAL FOLDER in the FOLDER LIST and choose PROPERTIES and then FOLDER SIZE, what is the total size of the PST file reported as, too?
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Nils88Author Commented:
My problem has now mutated!

I did a disk Defrag and this seems to have eliminated Outlook 98 taking 5 minutes to open.

But now it is taking a long time (at least 2 - 3 minutes) to carry out certain actions.  In particular, starting an email.  But also clearing a reminder, reply to an email received, sometimes even just moving an item from one folder to another.  

Following the advice regarding the original problem, I tried running Outlook 98 with my AV set to exclude my PST file.  It did not seem to make any difference.

My PST file shows 319,449KB in Windows Explorer, 280873K when looking from inside Outlook.

But it was this size before reinstalling Win98, the action that seems to have started all these problems.

Thanks!
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meintsiCommented:
Find the outcmd.dat file and rename it to *****.old and restart.
Tryit.  You have nothing to lose.
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wobbledCommented:
Your .pst file is still very large.  Try creating an archive .pst folder move a lot of old emails (1 year plus) into that.  see if this speeds up your account.  Otherwise when it is taking a long to time to move/open an email etc, run taskmanger (type taskmgr into the run command line - start run)  see if it is outlook that is taking most of the processor power or is there another service running that is causing this.
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travalCommented:
Just to verify as well, the slow performance is limited to Outlook as far as you are aware, correct?  Other applications are not working slower than before?
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Nils88Author Commented:
I did rename outcmd.dat.  It did not make any discernable difference.

taskmgr does not exist on my PC, nor on my Win98 install disk.

(Archive will need some planning, so not done yet.)

Other software may be a bit slower since that reinstall of Win98, but nothing compared to the Outlook 98 seizures.

Thanks!
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travalCommented:
Do you have Outlook in the Internet Mail Only or Corporate/Workgroup mode?  (it will say under help->about if you are not sure)

Also, can you temporarily disable your anti-virus software completely and then open Outlook, and click on the new mail button to see if it still takes the long time?  In either case you can turn AV back on once the experiment is done.
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Nils88Author Commented:
I have Outlook 98 in the Internet Mail Only mode.

I disabled my AV completely, then opened Outlook.  From the moment I clicked on New Mail, it took 20 seconds to the point where I could type a character.

And if I clicked Reply on an existing message, it took more than 180 seconds before giving me a flashing cursor.  Outlook 98 was completely locked up in the intervening time, although I could use other software.

Interestingly, if I clicked Reply on another message, it only took 8 seconds to give me a flashing cursor.  

Thanks!
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travalCommented:
OK, look under TOOLS->OPTIONS->MAIL FORMAT and uncheck the option to use Word as the email editor if it is checked, then check new messages to see if they open quicker.

If it's not checked, or it is still slow after unchecking, then I think this might be PST file related as wobbled mentioned.  First look in the FOLDER LIST to see how many PST files are open (don't see FOLDER LIST?  click VIEW->FOLDER LIST).  You will see one top level folder called "Outlook Today - Personal Folders", click the "minus sign" to the left of it to collapse it's subfolders.  Is it the only folder you see now in the FOLDER LIST?  If not, when reinstalling it's possible Outlook found a lot of PST files and just grabbed them all into the profile, which could explain why the problem only happened after the reinstall.  You can right click on any other PST files (say just "Personal Folders" and not "Outlook Today") and choose CLOSE.  Repeat until only the "Outlook Today - Personal Folders" is open.  Close and restart Outlook and see if the speed is improved upon opening emails.

If not, right click on the "Outlook Today - Personal Folders" and choose PROPERTIES.  Click ADVANCED and not the path and file name to your PST file.  Close Outlook and then click START->RUN and type in "outlook.exe /cleanpst" and click OK.  This should cause Outlook to start with a new PST file, but all of your other settings the same.  Try opening a new email and see if it is faster.

Assuming it is, we can then begin moving data you need into the new PST file.  If it is not we can switch the PST file back to the original one.  You would open the old file, then set it as the default delivery point using step 2 in this article:
OL98: (IMO) Creating a New Personal Folder for an IMO Account (179743)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;179743
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