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Outlook 2003 will not open address book

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am working on with 5 workstations all running windows xp pro sp3 and 1 server running sbs 2003, one workstation is suddenly unable to open the address book in office 2003. When opening a new message window everything looks fine, clicking on the TO: button or the address book button will cause the "unable to complete operation. A fatal error has occured in outlook" message to show up. Outllook will generally remain running and useable but will sometimes just hang. I have already re-installed office, for another issue, excel was not opening but rather trying to install when launched, but thats already taken care of. I have also attempted using the detec and repair option and it trys to install office, anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?
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Question by:Commlink_Technician
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Expert Comment

by:Chris James
ID: 22660226
Are they using PST files for contacts, messages, etc?
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war1 earned 125 total points
ID: 22660269
Hello Commlink_Technician,

Creating a new profile should fix the problem for you, but try these other troubleshooting steps also
1. Reset the Outlook toolbar template. With Outlook close, do a search for and rename outcmd.dat file. Do the same for frmcache.dat and outlprnt files. Restart Outlook.

Outcmd.dat is located in C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. It is a hidden file, so you have to unhide hidden files. Go to any folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

2. If no joy, register two important Outlook files. Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 OLE32.DLL
Do the same for INETCOMM.DLL

3. If no joy, an addin could be interfering. Disable Outlook Addins.  Go to Tools > Options > Other > Advanced Options > Addin Manager or COMM/Addins and disable the addins.

If you cannot open Outlook, do a search for and rename extend.dat file.

4. Check if an external program running in the background is interfering with Outlook. Check Firewall, antivirus and other security programs, Yahoo and Google toolbars, and desktop search programs. Disable these programs one at a time.

5. If no joy, repair Outlook with this free utility -  OLfix
http://www.olfolders.de/Lang/English/OLfix/index.htm

6. If no joy, create a new Outlook profile.
http://www.outlook-tips.net/howto/profile.htm


Hope this helps!
war1
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Author Comment

by:Commlink_Technician
ID: 22681842
I have tried a few things myself and am now able to open the normal outlook addressbook, however it has become appearant that ACT!2009 is part of the problem, I removed the act addressbook and the outlook address book, added them back and now the outlook addressbook works, however the act one had around 40000 contact and the number may be causing the problem, I'm not entirely sure but I imagine there is a limit on how many entries are in an outlook address book. Anyway it appears that removing and readding the address book fixes the crash with one, but not the other. I'll give a few of these suggestions a try still, office is acting very strange on this system. ....And I do belive they are using .pst files, the install is completly default from an office 2003 professional disk.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 22682164
Ok, after you tried the sugestions, let us know how they work.
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Author Comment

by:Commlink_Technician
ID: 22781121
It seems that our application ACT! is causing the problem, I've been a bit busy and havent had a chance to post on here until now, but after removing the ACT! address book from outlook, outlook works, I also had to remove the standard outlook address book and re create it but everything seems to be working now, thanks for the suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 22781280
Technician, glad you found the external program causing the problem.  It could be an ACT addon in Outlook or ACT needs an update.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Commlink_Technician
ID: 31503873
Thank you this resolved the issue. repair utility...
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