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Outlook randomly says This item cannot be displayed in the Reading Pane. Open the item to read its contents.

Posted on 2007-11-20
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Last Modified: 2015-05-01
I have been banging my head on the desk for about a week with this, searching every database I can find without solution.

About 6 months ago (give or take) we started receiving this error "This item cannot be displayed in the Reading Pane. Open the item to read its contents.", and it only happens sometimes, no specific message, and "sometimes" if you double click on the message, it will open, or it will say "Can't open item. Operation failed.".

Details on setup:
Windows 2003 Server (SP2), Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 (SP2), clients using Outlook 2003 and one using 2007. Error occurs across all clients (haven't tested OWA much, but haven't seen it on OWA yet, doesn't mean its not happening, just means it hasn't happened to me yet).

So far, I've tried running ISINTEG -s (server) -fix -test alltests on both mailbox db and public folder db, also ran ESEUTIL /G (pub and mailbox db's). I've actually done this twice with no good result. I've tried MANY different machines, including our terminal server, I've tried creating new outlook profiles, different windows profiles, all on different machines, even latest version of Outlook 2007 and they all eventually produce the error. I've changed the mailbox settings to download all messages, not just some, no effect.

I have also changed the diagnostic logging in Exchange and the only thing I see that looks like it could be causing the problem is:

Type: Warning
Source: MSExchangeIS
Category: General
Error: Unexpected error 0x8004010f occurred in "EcVirusScanOneMessage".

I have researched this and the most I can find is people saying to run ESEUTIL and ISINTEG, which I've already done twice and it hasn't fixed it. This could be completely unrelated from my main problem, but if I can fix that, it gets rid of one possible problem.

Any help would be very much apperciated. As I said, this error doesn't happen on any specific type of message or any persons specific mailbox, its pretty much across the server and one second you click a message and it might open, the next, you get the error and sometimes it only happens for a second, others it might not let you open any messages, or some but not others. It's been very strange and hard to trace.

Thanks for reading this long description. I've done a lot of work on this so far and I'd hate to waste someones time by not including what I've already done.
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Question by:excaliburservices
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15 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:debuggerau
ID: 20325533
looks like you are contending with your virus protection, try disabling the email scanning and try just real time scan instead if it is offered.
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Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20325576
We are using Trend Micro ScanMail 6. I disabled scanning on the mail stores temporarily and the virus scan error disappeared, however, the Outlook error (the main problem) with the preview pane and can't open message still happened, so it looks like they are unrelated.

I'll look into different options for the ScanMail (if anyone has any solutions I would be happy to hear them), however, since this the virus scan error doesn't seem to affect the Outlook error, I can relax on that :) Thanks debuggerau.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:debuggerau
ID: 20332368
hi excaliburservices,

Do they also run local virus protection like officescan or something? this would still be my prime candidate...
Also, does the email store you are having troubles with the reading plain come from a server or is it a pst?
Are you running IE7 on the outlook PCs or check out if the messages are displaying HTML content?

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Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20335141
They have Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate running as well as Trend Micro. Supposedly Trend Micro is supposed to scan the messages and the Symtantec is only scanning the system its self. We tried disabling all of the anti-virus all together, the message went away, but the problem still exists.

All clients connect to the Exchange Server without cached mode (mainly due to the terminal server not allowing cached mode). We tried setting it back to using cached mode and still get the reading pane error (in short, no PST).

I believe all of the computers in equestion are running IE7. As for messages displaying HTML content, some are, some aren't, it doesn't seem to descriminate on any specific type of message. We've had it happen on messages that are plain text (or at least look to be plain text, I'll double check the message shortly that was just text to make sure it has no HTML at all)
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:debuggerau
ID: 20336427
Couldn't be backups could it?
What are you running for backup and are their any errors when backing up mailboxes in your logs?
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Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20337343
We do run Backup Exec, but I don't think the error happens during that time. There are some warning, I'll try to paste them in here in the morning. Usually it's just an Access Denied or a file doesn't exist (which happens because a file was backed up in the full backup then deleted and the incremental is still trying to back it up).

The warnings though, they range from a few different things. Like I said, I'll get them in the morning, but I believe the problem is happening even when the backup isn't running.
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

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debuggerau earned 500 total points
ID: 20347328
by all means check the logs, if its not a software based fault, how is the network running? Have you checked the network for outages...
repetitive pings are quite rudimentary but can show minor outages in the hub and may help (ping host -t), also resource issues on your exchange server should be checked, run perfmon to baseline the server and see if there are excessive CPU usage, disk interupts and VM page swapping for starters...
Anything in the event logs of the server or workstation when this happens?
0
 

Expert Comment

by:gkearnsx
ID: 20584259
We had the same problem just today.  A server reboot solved the problem.  My primary suspect is now Backup Exec 10d.  I had manually run a system state backup just prior to the issue surfacing.  Our Exchange 2003 server (SBS) has been having general performance issues for months which had been requiring almost daily reboots. I had disabled the scheduled nightly backups of that server a couple of weeks ago as I looked for a different backup solution and the server has been running great. I had not made the connection between the two until just now.  The system state back up had already completed successfully and everything looked fine on the server when the issue started this morning.    
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Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20584359
qkearnsx:

I'll give that a try next week and we'll see if that resolves my issue. Right now we are replacing Exchange with another mail server solution (runs on Linux). We've been moving everything to linux for a while now and all of the new linux servers have more than tripple the uptime than the Windows machines, as well as many other added benefits.

We still have another two to three weeks left on Exchange though until our new replacement server is ready for production use so that will give me plenty of time to test this backup issue.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20584390
debuggerau:

Sorry I didn't respond earlier, holidays and everything. I've checked network connections, no problems at all, I disable the anti-virus software among other things and the issue still remains. I am going to try disabling the backups probably next week and see how it runs for a couple of days.

Thanks for your help.
0
 

Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 20993415
Well, an update. Tried disabling Backup Exec and still had the reading pain (yep, I meant to spell it that way) errors.

It's become so bad that you can't even read your e-mail without getting the reading pane problem 6-10 times per message.
0
 

Author Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 22303852
Ok, this actually got resolved. It turned out to be connections on some computers. We have a 1gbps network and some of the workstations were running at 100mbps (and complaining of negotiation issues at 1gbps in the event log). Turns out it was bad wiring on the end of some the connectors (which had been done years ago). Everything used to run fine on the 100mbps switches but they just started having those issues after everything was upgraded to 1gbps.

The actual issue was the pins on the cat5 cable into the rj45 plug were in the wrong order, so it apparently never had issues on the 100mbps but on 1gbps caused all sorts of issues, like network communications slower than they were on 100mbps, and outlook dropping connection, etc.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:excaliburservices
ID: 31410293
Wiring issue on almost all workstations resolved the issue (go figure).
0
 

Expert Comment

by:dthomas13
ID: 35894177
I had this similar issue, and I resolved it by disabling Symantec Exchange Security.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Cypriana
ID: 40754426
This is happening to me on the same computer more often when I use Outlook 2010 than when I removed Outlook 2010 and installed Outlook 2007. So, to my opinion this is related to version of Outlook and not to RJ45 or other.
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