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Win98SE & Office 2000 Outlook not getting along at all.

Hi. I have a client with a Windows 98SE installation & Office 2000. She said she tried to open a PDF attachment file, and suddenly the Outlook froze up. Now, when clicking on the Outlook icon from anywhere, the splash screen for Outlook pops up, and stays there stuck & never goes away complete with the charming twirling hourglass. All other Office applications are fine (Excel, Word... etc.)

I have tried the following:

Full anti-virus scans(AVG & TrendMicro online), & spyware scans (AdAware & Spybot)
Scandisc & Defrag
Repair/Reinstall Office on top
Uninstalling Acrobat
Uninstall using Microsoft's Office 2k removal tool & reinstalling.
Reinstalling Windows 98SE on top ( not a clean install )
Reinstalling the Microsoft MDAC thing  (2.5)   Microsoft says to do this.

I get the same frozen splash screen when starting up Outlook no matter what..

I am fortunate that I keep weekly backups for all clients, and I did manage to get Outlook Express going for her and importing everything was no problem so it's not a complete disaster.. however this problem has really been gnawing at me for the past 3 days and I was wondering if anyone has any good ideas about what caused this and/or how to fix it without a complete reformat and re-installation.

Thank you for your time.

 
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WeaselsRippedMyFlesh
Asked:
WeaselsRippedMyFlesh
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7 Solutions
 
blue_zeeCommented:
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_Commented:
Does she have the full Adobe, or just the Reader?
Did you try removing/reinstalling Adobe (Reader)?
Does Outlook work without Adobe there?
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
She has just the reader
Yes I tried removing & reinstalling the Reader
Outlook did the same thing with or without it.
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_Commented:
>> Uninstalling Acrobat <<  Sorry. Missed that the first read through.   : /

Don't know if they will help, but some more reading to look at:

http://www.outlook-tips.net/archives/2004/20040719.htm

http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/ol2000.htm

http://www.24hoursupport.com/index.php?page=out2000problems.html  <this one says something about exchange profile being corrupt?>
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davidis99Commented:
Have you applied the available service packs for Office 2000?  (SP1A followed by SP3 followed by additional hotfixes?)

You can get them online (directly to the PC) by using IE to go to:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx
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BillDLCommented:
Sounds to me like it COULD BE some type of "Browser Helper Object" issue.  Adobe Acrobat Reader sets itself up as a BHO so that .pdf files can be viewed within the IE Browser window rather than prompting to download the file.

An Outlook email is, after all, generally a web page (assuming it is set to allow emails to show as html).  Now, I don't have Outlook installed, but use Outlook Express.  If I opt to open an attachment from the attachments field of OE, after the usual security prompt it open in Acrobat Reader rather than in Outlook Express.  My theory here is based on the possibility that the installed version of Acrobat Reader may have installed a plugin for Outlook to allow itself to be viewed in an Outlook window.

I use version 5.05 because I have seen a few problems with more recent versions insisting on wanting to always look for updates, etc.  Depending on the version installed, it may have additional options along the lines of my hypothesis above, and checking the "Edit > Preferences" menu might reveal some settings that could be affecting Outlook.

Download, unzip, and run BHO Demon version 1 from its own folder.  This is the older standalone version rather than the one that needs to be installed.

It will find BHO's and allow you to enable or disable them.  This will create a file "BHODEMON.INI" in the same folder as the .exe was run from, and this is the backup file through which disabled items may easily be restored.  It will look something like this:

[BHOs]
{06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3}=0100000002
{BDF3E430-B101-42AD-A544-FADC6B084872}=0100000001

where the "Class Identifiers" (CLSID's) in this example relate to Adobe Acrobat Reader and Norton AntiVirus respectively.  A "1" = "enabled" and a "2" = "disabled" in the .ini file.

The CLSID values that BHO Demon accesses are, eg for Adobe Acrobat Reader:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3}

and a disabled item will have the following text tacked onto the end of the "InprocServer32" [Default] StringValue (again relating to the example of Acrobat Reader):

Normal enabled:
C:\PROGRAM FILES\ADOBE\ACROBAT 5.0\READER\ACTIVEX\ACROIEHELPER.OCX

BHO Demon Disabled:
C:\PROGRAM FILES\ADOBE\ACROBAT 5.0\READER\ACTIVEX\ACROIEHELPER.OCX__BHODemonDisabled

The reason I mention this is that you should be sure to re-enable any BHO's disabled with BHO Demon BEFORE deleting its program folder and therefore its .ini file.

Temporarily disabling the Adobe Acrobat BHO MAY demonstrate if my hypothesis has any bearing on this issue.  Worth a try, even if it is a long shot in the dark :-)

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BillDLCommented:
Whoops, forgot the url to BHO Demon Version 1:

http://www.definitivesolutions.com/files/bhodmon1.zip

NOTE:  DO NOT run this program if there is already a utility in place to enable or disable BHO's.  If you disable a BHO in version 1 of BHO Demon, you will NOT be able to later re-enable it with version 2 (the installer type) of BHO Demon, and would have to do so manually with Regedit by removing the "__BHODemonDisabled" suffix added to the respective values.

Version 2 here if you prefer the installer type program, but don't mix and match the 2 versions.
http://www.definitivesolutions.com/bhodemon.htm
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gecko_au2003Commented:
What about using mozilla thunderbird :

http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/

Then instead of trying to get the mail client ie outlook or thunderbird to automatically open it with adobe acrobat, can you right click and go save target as or something to that extent so basically you save it to the hard drive then open adobe acrobat reader or what ever it is you have installed to view pdf files, then from there open the pdf file :)

Here is something you may find of use :

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/MS_Office/Outlook/Q_20886730.html
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
I would unload thru the control panel the programs in question. I would then load each program and try it for functionality until a program that is loaded causes problems.

This is what I do with my PC when I have problems. I disconect physically each piece of hardware and reinstall one by one. It is a stratedgy that helps through a process of elimination in finding the offending program or piece of hardware.

gonzal13(joe)
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A.V.Lead EngineerCommented:
I would delete and re-add the Outlook profile using the Mail shortcut in the Control Panel.  What kind of accounts do you access through this Outlook? Pop, Exchange, etc?
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
HI Nytekgirl,   the account accessed is POP 3 only.
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A.V.Lead EngineerCommented:
So the emails are being delivered into a personal folder.  When you delete the profile and re-add set the emails to deliver to a new pst not the existing one so you will be able to tell if the personal folder is what is causing the issue. Doing so will not remove it from yor hard drive.  If the pst is the cause of the problem you can always import the items into the new pst.  

Or remove office ( I know you already have) but also clean it from the registry then reinstall.  Please note***making registry changes is risky business.  Always back it up first and if you are a novice or not familiar with the registry then do not attempt this**
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
Nytegirl:  I have tried doing the removal of Office using the Microsoft remove office 2k utility. It says it removes all traces including registry keys. No good.

I will try several of the above proposed solutions tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who offered some help. I'll let ya know.


:)
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LaQCommented:
How much memory do you have on this computer?
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
LaQ:  512 MB
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BillDLCommented:
The first release of SP3 for Office 2000 had an issue where, when Outlook was opened, it immediately consumed 100% CPU usage and froze systems.  The page discussing this is no longer where it was at http://woodyswatch.com/office/index.asp.

Apparently the issue was fixed by a subsequent revision of SP3.

http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v8-n07
(Look for chapter 4. UPDATING OFFICE 2000 on that page)

http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v7-n53
(Look for chapter 2. TOP TIPS: INSTALLING OFFICE 2000 SERVICE PACK 3)

If you are installing an archived copy of Office 2000 SP3 that pre-dates about mid 2002, then I suggest that you download the most recent version or use automatic updates.
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
Thanks Bill for that but it doesn't really help this problem I've been having cuz I can't access Outlook to upgrade it.  

I have tried several of the above proposed solutions that seemed to make the most sense, but to no avail.

Now the client wants her machine formatted with a Windows 2000 professional OS & Outlook reinstalled.


Sheesh.
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BillDLCommented:
Personally, that's the choice I would make also.  If win2k is available, then it would afford much better security as long as all the Win2k updates are applied.

Extra Time = Extra Money ;-)
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WeaselsRippedMyFleshAuthor Commented:
Okay now she is insisting on the Windows 2k Professional upgrade  lol !      


I honestly don't who to award points to since nothing here really fixed the actual problem, so I will try and be diplomatic and split the points between everyone who tried !  I hope this is okay.


Thanks once again everyone for your time & advice !   You all are the best !


 :)
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blue_zeeCommented:

Thank you!

Zee
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
Thanks for the points. More important, I would open another question and provide the details where you are now. Getting a solution is more important than the points. Even open the question with 20 points. We are here to help. It gives us great satisfaction in resolving the issues.

Joe
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you, WeaselsRippedMyFlesh.  By the way, that's a killer name.  I hope the wounds heal :-)
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )
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