Microsoft Outlook XP won't open; error requires Outlook Express 4.01 or greater

Posted on 2009-02-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi Experts!

I have a machine that is giving an error message each time the user tries to open Microsoft Outlook XP.  The error that comes up states:

"Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Outlook requires Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01 or greater. You can install Outlook Express by running IE5Setup.exe from the IE5 folder located on your CD or through Windows Update website."

Here's a list of the things I've tried:
   1.   Removing and reinstalling the Outlook Express components
         from the "Add/Remove Windows Components"
   2.   Reinstalling Office XP Professional
   3.   Imported the registry key from this article:  ;en-us;320863
         I did not do the custom install with transforms, because I don't know anything about that.

The machine is running Windows XP Professional, SP2, with Internet Explorer 7.  The strange thing is that Outlook Express opens and works fine....we need Outlook though.  I cannot think of anything that would have changed the system except for some malware removal a few months ago.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you.
Question by:jtgerdes
    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution


    Author Comment

    I do not believe I have installed Office XP SP3.  Let me try that...I'll post back with the result later.


    Accepted Solution

    Installing Office XP SP3 did not help.  I ended up solving the issue by copying working Outlook Express registry keys from a working machine over to the machine with the issue.

    Expert Comment

    I took out a trial subscription as I have been unable to open Outlook for several weeks. As I use Firefox and Thunderbird it was only for archived files that I needed Outlook, but now I don't have Thunderbird either!
    I have checked the internet for solutions and hoped that yours would add to the options, but no.
    I did have IE7, but uninstalled it and IE6. I then re-installed IE6 and both IE6 and OE6 are working.
    I have uninstalled and re-installed Outlook 2002 several times. I have run sfc twice and run the repair option from the Windows XP Pro CD.  I am running with SP3 on a Pentium 4 2.8 CPU with 2Gb RAM and there is about 30% free space on the HD. I use KIS anti-virus.
    I then tried restoring to an earlier time, initially November but then back to September. Nothing helped Outlook. I then undid the Restore and restored to yesterday. Now, all my restore points have disappeared and as well as Outlook not opening, Thunderbird opens with a blank page. There is a folder pane with no folders and I cannot create a new folder. Address book and account settings are fine. I removed Thunderbird and installed version 3.
    For the Outlook issue, is it worth trying the solution posted by jtgerdes? If so what registry keys from Outlook Express should I copy?
    I have checked the Thunderbird help forum and tried their suggestions, but everything depends on being able to work on a folder within Thunderbird. I have none visible.
    Can you help?

    Expert Comment

    The Thunderbird problem is caused by a conflict between Version 3 and the Kaspersky Antispam plugin.
    You can either go back to V2 or delete tthe whole Thunderbird folder after uninstalling V3. Then when you reinstall, the conflicting files should not be present.
    I still have the Outlook issue (and the loss of Restore points)

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