Outlook 2003 delay issues and Win XP shutdown issues

I am experiencing the following symptoms in Outlook, some of which seem to affect Word and other programs:
1.  Very long delay between a mouse click or a key stroke and the desired action.  Thus,  typing and opening or deleting e-mail is excruciatingly slow.
2.  On restart or shut down the computer hangs at the last window indicating that it is shutting down network connections.  This happens when
3.  Because of (2) I have to do a hard manual shutdown.  Following that, when I launch Outlook, it says it must go into safe mode and check for problems because Outlook was not shut down properly.  This occurs even though I had "properly" shut down Outlook manually before trying to restart the computer.  doe this symptom suggest a relationship between Outlook.exe and the failure to shut down the network connections?

I have defragged repeatedly with three different utilities.  I have "optimized" the computer and "cleaned" the registry with various programs.  I have scanned for malware with Webroot Spy Sweeper, SypBot and Adaware 2007.  I have scanned for viruses with Symantic AntiVirus.  I have removed all programs that I rarely use and several gigs of old files.  None of these measures improved this situation.

What to do?
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A few things....

1) Are you using "Word" as your email editor?  (Open Outlook > Tools > Mail Format > Word as Email Editor).  I've personally experienced a lot of adverse behavior with Word as the email editor.  If being used, try turning it off and re-test.

2) Do you have other "add-ins" being used in Outlook?  (Open Outlook > Tools > Options)  Some add-in programs may cause Outlook to hang on exit (even if it appears to be closed).

3) Is Outlook *really* closed when you exit it?  Close it, wait for 10 seconds, open the Task Manager and look for Outlook.exe to be running or not.  If it's there, do you also see the MAPISP.exe task?  If so, try ending that task and see if Outlook.exe follows.

4) Could your anti-virus software be causing the issue?  Try closing that out and see if Outlook behaves properly.

Please get back to us!

skipacuffAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the prompt response.  Here are my replies to your questions:

1) Yes, I use Word as my Outlook editor, but I have already tried switching it off.  That did not speed anything up, unfortunately, so I turned it back on.
2) The following add-ins are in the Add-In Manager window, all check marked except where indicated:
    Google Desktop Search Outlook Add-In
    Symantic AntiVirus 10.1
    Delegate Access
    Deleted Item Recovery
    Redemption Helper Outlook Extension
    Exchange Extensions commands [NOT checked]
    Exchange Extensions property pages
    Server Scripting [NOT checked]

3) I will try that, but that seems unrelated to the lagging keys and mouse clicks
4) I have done that, without improvement.

I look forward to further suggestions.  Thanks!
If you simply boot your computer, don't open Outlook, and then shutdown (or restart), does it behave normally?  If so, I would still suspect that Outlook isn't truly closed after you've exited.  If it's not, then the OS will be waiting for that network connection to cease before closing.  If it doesn't cease on its own, then the OS will "kill" the task which will result in a "the program did not close properly" type message.  This appears to be inline with what you're experiencing, no?

If the Outlook.exe process is not ending after you've closed Outlook (again.. give it about 5 or 10 seconds), then I would first suspect some of the add-ins.  A good test would be to *actually* use Safe Mode for Outlook...


...and then see if Outlook.exe closes properly when you exit Outlook.  If it does, then begin looking at those add-ins.  We've personally had some bad experiences with the Google Desktop Search product, but your mileage may vary.  I would try disabling that and see what comes of it.  It that doesn't do it, I would look to the anti-virus product.  I'm not a fan of Symantec stuff as it doesn't always "play well with others".... :)

So...check those things out and let us know!

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skipacuffAuthor Commented:
I have tried the suggested diagnostics.  I am happy to say that XP closes now, but I continue to have severe lag time and improper shut down issues in Outlook..  It can take as much as 10 seconds (counting thousand one, thousand two, etc.) for a reply or forward e-mail window to open.  Also, the Outlook wheel-spinning appears to spill over into Word and seems related to new tabs opening in IE7 and in Firefox.

I have watched these events in Process Explorer.  The biggest byte hogs are Firefox, svchost.exe, and outlook.exe with peak private bytes at 144K, 126K, and 69K.  I have attached a snapshot of the Process Explorer log displayed right now.

I also tried switching off Firefox and running only IE7, but that did not improve the lag time issue.  I tried switching Word off as my e-mail editor, and that did nothing.

Please advise.
Does Outlook behave normally if/when using the Outlook "Safe Mode"?
skipacuffAuthor Commented:
I just now closed Outlook using the exit tab in the drop down menu.  I waited a few seconds and checked Process Explorer, could not find Outlook.exe.  I then used outlook /safe to launch the program from the run box.  Immediately pops up the dreaded Outlook was not closed properly message, and it begins the painfully slow process of checking for damages.  

The safety check has completed and Outlook is up in safe mode, but I have not done anything within Outlet yet.  I have exited from Google Desktop, too.

Now, as I type this message in this box in the Firefox browser, I am experiencing intermittent, annoyingly long lag times between strokes.  This is very frustrating :-(
Lagging between strokes like that sounds like one of your processes is using an exorbinant amount of CPU time.  You mentioned earlier that Firefox, Outlook and SVChost were using a lot of "bytes", but that's only RAM.  Can you keep the task manager running while you're experiencing the heavy lag and see what process is using a lot of CPU cycles?  Use the "CPU" column and look for higher numbers...

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skipacuffAuthor Commented:
Follow up point:

I just realized that I did not mention the following:  I am on a LAN in a law firm with about 40 computers hooked into a Microsoft Outlook 2003 server.  The server is less than a year old and has lots of excess e-mail storage capacity (our previous Outlook server had reached its limit for storage of e-mail).

We use an Astaro spam firewall and Symantec Antivirus.

Please let me know if you need more system info.  At this second, I am not experiencing any lags as I type.   This really beats me :-(
skipacuffAuthor Commented:
Regarding CPU time displayed in Process Explorer while experiencing heavy lag:

It also took a long time to switch from Outlook to the Process Explorer, so I am not sure if the attached files will give an accrurate snapshot of what is transpired.

The largest number is system idle.
The next is explorer.exe

Attached are printouts of the two ProcExp windows up.

Please let me know what else I can send you.
Are you by chance using a Dell pc?
skipacuffAuthor Commented:
Yes, it's a Dell XPS P4 3.2GHz 1GB 120GB DVD+RW/+R 19" LCD Windows® XP Pro
Option 1: I experienced a similar problem last year and Dell & Microsoft were unable to help me. Through a process of elimination, I was able to figure out that there was a problem with Outlook when the Dell Media Direct software is installed on the system. Once I un-installed and rebooted, my Outlook problems went away. I let Dell know so they should have a tech support note on it (however by now they might have a patch). If you use Media Direct (and want to use it), you should be able to run C:\Program Files\Dell\MediaDirect\OLAddin\OLAddin.msi and Remove the Outlook Addin, (that sometimes gets rid of the problem without totally uninstalling Media Direct). If you do not have Media Direct, try looking at other Dell Produced programs.

Option 2: As talked about above Google Desktop Add-In for Outlook is known to hang Outlook as well as your anti-virus program. If you haven't already, you might try disabling all add-ins, rebooting PC, launch Outlook, see how it works, exit Outlook, wait 30 seconds, and launch it again. If it is good when you first go into it but not after exiting and going back on, you may have another process hanging that Outlook talks to.
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