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Outlook Express - BODY section is grayed out, can't type email

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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have a friend who's not computer savvy and is having trouble with her AOL email account. So I told her to ditch AOL, and I set up a POP email account for her though my hosted server and wanted to set her up with outlook express. I ran through the whole setup on my own PC (dry run), and it took about 5 minutes and everything worked perfectly.

So I went over to her house, expecting a 5 minute setup, no problems. But after I had configured OE with account, servers, etc., I went to send a test email...but the BODY section of the email window was completely grayed out and I couldn't type anything. I tried rebooting, etc, but it was all the same. I could enter the email recipients and subject, but could not type the body of the email.

I found a microsoft KB article (can't locate it now) that explained this symptom and how to resolve it, but the procedure was complicated and messy, and it didn't seem to do me any good anyway. I was thinking there MUST be an easier way to resolve this.

Her OS is Windows XP. May be SP2, but I don't remember.

Looking for a simple and solid way to resolve this problem. And if it really is too messy to solve short of reinstalling windows, then I'd like to know of a GOOD FREE email client. I checked out Eudora, but it looks like you have to pay for it now, and I didn't want to make her pay for something on top of me trying unsuccessfully for 2 hours to get email working.

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Top Expert 2008
Greetings, SweatCoder !

Create a new Outlook Express identity and then create the account.


Best wishes!

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You're saying that doing this actually solves my specific problem?
Top Expert 2008

SweatCoder, you probably have a corrupt identity.  Instead of troubleshooting every single setting, you want a simple and solid solution.
Top Expert 2008

SweatCoder, any update?


war1, my friend's entire OS is problematic right now, so I haven't been able to try your solution. I'll try it when I can.
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