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Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Set of folders cannot be opened.

Posted on 2008-06-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
We are SBS2003 w/ Exchange03 environment. I have a user that receives the error "cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Set of folders cannot be opened." when trying to open Outlook. Worked fine yesterday; problem started this morning. Can't run scanost.exe; receive this error: "cannot open your mailbox. the file c:/temp/outlook.ost cannot be accessed. you must connect to the microsoft exchange at least once before you can use your offline folder file."

Also tried solution in this EE post: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_22836865.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+access+cannot+folder+microsoft+offic+open+outlook+outlook.ost+set+start. I made the changes on the exchange server but it didn't seem to work. does the user have to log off and on again?
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Question by:ipsbend
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762329
Try cleaning the user's profile. Run the Outlook .EXE file with the /cleanprofile fix, so outlook.exe /cleanprofile from within the Office12 directory in Program Files, Microsoft Office.

You'll then have to reset the user's profile, but it should fix any issues with the OST which might be present.

Sometimes a restart of the PC wouldn't go amiss, either.

-tigermatt
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21762336
Also want to add that I can't open outlook but i can view the account & details by right-clicking outlook in start menu and selecting "properties". once there, i can check profiles, etc., and can see the user's folder is located in c:\temp\outlook.ost. not sure if this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:polazarus
ID: 21762368
You could try to create an OST from another computer and place it on the users computer.  Try to trick it so that you could at least connect to the exchange server and create another OST.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762377
Resetting the profile would probably be a nicer way of doing it, and less complicated, but hey!
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Expert Comment

by:polazarus
ID: 21762385
Sounds like someone cleaned thier TEMP folder without knowing what the ost file was.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762419
Ah yes, it's in the C:\TEMP folder. It should NOT be located there. I suggest that after you get it back up and running you move this OST to the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. That is where the OST should be stored.

-tigermatt
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Expert Comment

by:polazarus
ID: 21762466
"you have 1.3 gb of space located in your temp folder..."  Click here to recover the space.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762479
Sorry, can you explain how that is actually related to the question and problem we are currently dealing with?
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Expert Comment

by:polazarus
ID: 21762496
Tigermatt is right.  Best way is to delete the account and re-add it to outlook.  The user may have just lost a whole bunch of archive mail but at least they will be able to connect back to exchange.
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21762499
hi everyone.
tigermatt: i tried to run the outlook.exe /cleanprofile tool and am asked for credentials. I don't know the password so I can't try to log in but this isn't normal, correct. also, i just noticed he is unable to log into his "my documents". is a corrupt profile causing this? please remind me on how to reset the profile?

polazarus: did you mean just have the user log on to a different desktop?
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21762523
tigermatt: i looked for the outlook.ost and it is also under C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook so it's in both places.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762566
If you've got other problems then it's probably a user profile issue. The procedure for resetting user profile is to delete it from the roaming profile share on the server (if you use Roaming Profiles that is) and delete the entire profile from C:\Documents and Settings\username. (Including the folder).

Be sure to backup important information out of the profile before you reset it. Before you can delete the user's profile from the machine you must restart it and not delete it whilst logged in as the user. To delete the roaming profile you must have the user logged off first.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21762574
I'd try a delete of the profile still and see if that is a fix. Make sure you delete from both server and workstation though, then ensure you log back in to the workstation you delete the profile from to ensure it is correctly recreated.
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21762696
i'm thinking it is a profile issue. you're talking about the users' shared folder, right? can i just rename it and have the user log on again? also, when he tried to connect to his folder directly on the server (using \\servername\sharename\" he got this error: "multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user, using more than one user name, are not allowed." or something similar.
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Accepted Solution

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tigermatt earned 500 total points
ID: 21762887
No, it's the user profile I'm talking about where their profile data is stored. It will have files inside including NTUSER.DAT and various other system files. You'll find it in C:\Documents and Settings\username - after removing any information from the profile - i.e. backup the My Documents if it's in there - delete the entire profile. Delete it from the roaming profile share on the server too if roaming profiles are enabled. Then log back in and get a new profile created. (That will give a brand-new Outlook configuration too).
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21763133
OK, got it. I'll let you know what happens.
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21878146
Tigermatt: I was not able to try your suggestions as the user resolved his issue by himself. Unfortunately, because it was a couple of weeks ago I don't remember exactly what he did, just something about "rebuilding his Outlook".
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Expert Comment

by:polazarus
ID: 21899731
Since Tigermatt spoke about rebuilding the profile I would request giving Tigermatt the points.
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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21902694
Thanks to modus_operandi and polazarus for recommending this :-)
See you in 4 days
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Author Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 21918023
Modus_Operandi: Thank you and I completely agree.

TigerMatt: Thank you for your help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:ipsbend
ID: 31466253
Thanks again!
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