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Outlook giving "The Operation Failed" when opening certain attachments a 2nd time consistantly

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Ok, here's a stumper.

Running Outlook 2003 on a Lenovo Thinkpad T60 running XP.  User receives an email with an attachment of a .eml file (another email).  The first time you open it, it works fine.  When you go back the second time to open the attachment (even without closing the original email), you get an error that says "The operation failed".  The exact same email does not have the issue on any other computer.  We have tried creating new Outlook profiles, running in Outlook /safe mode, patched the computer, patched office, uninstalled and reinstalled office.  Nothing seems to bring this issue under control.  I even went as far as logging in under a completely different user account on the computer and creating a profile to the mailbox to have it fail on me in the same fashion.  Also, the problem occurs when opening this same sort of attachment in a totally different mailbox on a both the same server and a  totally unrelated exchange server (different email domain).

Short of completely rebuilding the computer (which is what I am seriously thinking about doing), is there any chance this issue can get fixed?

-Rick
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Question by:FAA_Support
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Expert Comment

by:firstmarkcu
ID: 20443274
Does the user have Adobe Acrobat 8 installed?  If so, go to Add/Remove Programs and modify the installation.  Once there, REMOVE the PDF Maker addon for Outlook.
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Author Comment

by:FAA_Support
ID: 20443372
We took a different tact.  We rolled them to an entirely new laptop.  So far, so good.  They were having other less critical issues with the laptop than this and we figured this would be the easiest way to kill both birds with 1 stone.

Yes, they did have Acrobat installed but I am not sure it was version 8 or not.

What does acrobat have to do with opening .eml file attachments more than twice?  Have you seen this issue before?

-Rick
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Expert Comment

by:firstmarkcu
ID: 20443457
Yes.  This was happening to a user and I remember finding a known issue reading in the adobe forums.  As soon as I removed the PDF Maker for Outlook, all was well.
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Accepted Solution

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firstmarkcu earned 250 total points
ID: 20443481
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Author Comment

by:FAA_Support
ID: 20443539
Wow!  I think that was it.  How annoying.  Many thanks.  I only wish I could still test it but that certainly looks like the issue.

For  those too lazy to click the link, here's the info from the link.

Q: I have five users with Acrobat 8 who are receiving an "operation failed" error in Outlook. This occurs only when they receive an Email with an email inside of it. They can open the attached email once. But if they open it a second time, they receive the operation failed error from Outlook. I believe this is caused by the PDFMaker Mail option. Uninstalling Acrobat 8 eliminates the error. Looking for a better solution. Thank you.

A:This is a known bug.

Instead of removing the entire Acrobat program, you also just remove the Outlook PDFmaker if it's not being used.

You can do this by going add/remove programs and select Acrobat and choose to Modify the installation. In the wizard select to remove Outlook PDFMaker.

Or when re-installing Acrobat, choose to do a custom install and do not install the Outlook PDFMaker.
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Author Closing Comment

by:FAA_Support
ID: 31411832
Only request would have been to include the link in the original response.  That would have been helpful.
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Expert Comment

by:cns-help
ID: 22944550
Tested and worked fine
Need to remove the Outlook feature in Acrobat 8 from add/remove
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Expert Comment

by:mdubay
ID: 23653442
This is an Adobe Acrobat issue that can actually be fixed by enabling cached exchange mode, its worked for me so far.

http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb404334

From the Adobe website:

"Outlook 2003 Error message "Operation Failed" reopening attached Messages (Acrobat 8)

Issue
When you open an e-mail message with an embedded message (.msg file) and then opens an attached PDF, then close and try to reopen the PDF, Outlook 2003 generates the error message, "Operation Failed".      

Reason

Acrobat is adding the PDFMaker to the current email window in the non-cached Exchange mode.  

Solution

Enable Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook 2003.  Open Microsoft Outlook.
Select Tools > Email Accounts.
Select "View or change existing email account".
Click Next and select Email Account.
Click Change.
Select ?Use cached exchange mode?.
Click Next and then click Finish."
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Expert Comment

by:sstretchh
ID: 25480166
This will fix it

Solution: Close outlook and delete the OST file.  open registry and do the following:


GO TO HKEY_LOCAL _MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\MICROSOFT\\OFFICE\\OUTLOOK\\ADDINS\\PDFMOUTLOOK.PDFMOUTLOOK

CHANGE THE LOADBEHAVIOR VALUE FROM 3 TO 2. RESTART OUTLOOK.
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