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Cannot start Microsoft office outlook.  Unable to open the outlook window.

Posted on 2007-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
I have a reoccurring Outlook problem with a user that I would like to permanently resolve.  Every so often she cannot open Outlook and gets the following popup message:  "Cannot start Microsoft office outlook.  Unable to open the outlook window.  The set of folders could not be opened.  The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists."  Three months ago I upgraded her workstation and the problem had not occurred again until today.  So there seems to be a network component to this problem.

My solution has been to copy the existing PST, rename it and then make it the default data file.  Outlook then opens.  I had unsuccessfully tried repairing and reinstalling office.  The files are accessible over the network and all permissions are correct, the user owns the files.

Some network back ground.

Workstation:
XP Pro SP2 current patches
Office 2003 Small business current service packs and patches.
PST's live on shared drive on server.

Server:
Windows 2000 SP 4 Current patches

Any ideas what is causing this to reoccur?
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Question by:rhase
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:psv1973
ID: 18848941
Could it be that there is an outlook instance still running when starting outlook. I've seen these type of things happen when applications that use part of outlook (as part of a system integration) don't clear things up properly and therefore outlooks stays alive, and you can not start a new outlook instance.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18849093
Why are you using pst's when there is a SBS server with exchange? On exchange you don't need pst's, specially not on the server. You should just have an exchange account and connect directly to that within outlook. If you enable cached mode, then a local ost file will be created that allows the user to work within Outlook even if the server isn't available.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18851365
I can't find any other application accesing the PST, which is on the server.   I don't find any clues in the logs of the workstation or server.  BTW,  The workstation is a new Dell box.  My explaination looked like a reinstall.

The server is 2k standad.  Not SBS.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18851408
OH, one more thing.  Rebooting the server does NOT resolve the issue.  One would think rebooting the server and workstation should break all connnections and close all files.  But in this case it does not resolve the problem.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18851432
And one other thing.  Exchange is not installed.  They are using POP3/SMTP to access an ISP hosted mail server.  That is why they are using PST's.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18852124
Sorry, I misread "Office 2003 Small Business" to be "Server 2003 Small Business".

I wouldn't put pst files on the server, except the archives. PST's on the server slows the network down, and as Outlook alone isn't multiuser capable you don't have many advantages from that. Maybe you should use a script when the PC shuts down to copy it's local pst to to the server so it can be backed up.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kadadi_v earned 250 total points
ID: 18860753
search the scanpst.exe on your system and then scan your pst file ,if found the errors then repair that errors by clcik on repair button ...and also cehck any netowrk you have that pc is connected to the msexchange server.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/156304



Regards,

V.K.
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Assisted Solution

by:kadadi_v
kadadi_v earned 250 total points
ID: 18860759
and also check thsi :- http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822503



Regards,

V.K.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18861369
KB822503 is close, except that office was not a custom install and the .PST location was configured by specifing the .pst file by using the Mail icon in Control Panel, and the file is located on the server.

KB156304 is not relevant as stated before, there is no exchange server involved.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18861407
This is a small 2 user office.  The impact of the .pst files being located on the server is negligible.  Having them there, and using roaming profiles keeps everything simple and safe.
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Author Comment

by:rhase
ID: 18892760
I've awarded kadadi_v the points split between his two answers.  Scanpst.exe found errors in the PST, and the KB822503 is so close to the problem.  I changed the mapping because there was a share inside a share which could also cause problems.  The fix seems to be holding, but I'll see.  It pops up ever so often and I can't get it to repeat.  Thanks.
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