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Cannot connect to user mailbox in SBS 2003 through Outlook 2003

I have a user whose Outlook account for some reason will no longer connect to the Exchange 2003 server.  I'm not sure what has happened or how, but I receive an error that says "Unable to open your default email folders.  The information store could not be opened."  

The user is running Outlook 2003 and connected to Exchange 2003 (SBS 2003) and is running in "Cached Mode"

I have run the scanpst.exe on the .ost file and allowed the scan to create a backup of the original file and then allowed it to clean/repair any inconsistancies or problems found - problems were fixed successfully.

I have run a detect and repiar on Outlook successfully.

I have attempted to create a new Outlook Profile to connect to but continue to receive the same errors.  

I have started Outlook in "Safe" mode as well, but with no better luck.  

I have renamed the .ost file and the C:\Docs and Settings\Username\Local Settings\App data\MS\Outlook file in hopes that upon restarting Outlook, this directory would be recreated.  It was, but still no success.

I finally removed the Outlook profile and recreated it and reconfigured the email account to be associated with the Outlook account but continue to receive the same error.

I can however connect to the user's mailboc through OWA on the server to successfully check/send/receive email.  

What's interesting too is that I can choose to start Outlook as a different user and connect successfully to this user's mailbox.  (Such as Logging into "User A" domain account, starting Outlook as "User B" and configuring to connect to "User A's" mailbox - this works!)

I can also log into the machine as "User B", and configure Outlook to access "User A's" mailbox successfully!  However, if I attempt to run Outlook as "User A" and connect to the troublesome mailbox, I receive the same error "Unable to open your default email folders.  The information store could not be opened."  

 I can connect to this user's mailbox using any account other than his...  weird.  

Any ideas or pointers?  I'm at a loss and don't know what to do.

Thanks...
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chrisdodds
Asked:
chrisdodds
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chrisdoddsAuthor Commented:
Also, whenever I login and remove all instances of Outlook Profile information, and the C:\Docs and Settings\Username\Local Settings\App data\MS\Outlook directory to reconfigure the Outlook settings, I can put in the Exchange Server name and username and it will successfully resolve but as soon as I click on the "Finish" button, I also receive "An unexpected error occurred".  
This happens regardless of whether or not the settings are configured in "Cached" mode or not.
There are no errors being recorded in my Events Log either...  
I'm dyin' over here!
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
It sounds to me as though his Exchange mailbox has gotten corrupted.  I would assume that other users should NOT have access to this mailbox, but I guess that's up to you and the user.  Anyway, what I would recommend is:
1.  Export the mailbox contents to a .PST if necessary - it sounds as though you already have the mailbox contents backed up, but you might want to make another one just to be sure if there's a lot of content in there that he/she needs.
2.  Delete and purge the user's Exchange mailbox.  Make sure the Cleanup Agent has run and the mailbox is purged and no longer exists at all.
3.  Re-enable the user's mailbox so that a completely new, clean mailbox is created.
4.  Import the old contents into the new mailbox.
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chrisdoddsAuthor Commented:
Hmmmmmmmm.....
Absolutely bizarre...
If I copy the actual Outlook.exe executable file to the desktop and run it, Outlook connects to the user mailbox just like it should and everything works correctly.  I cannot create a shortcut to the desktop to make this work, only a copy of the original Outlook.exe executable file.  Can anybody explain that?  I can only believe that something in the user's domain profile on the local machine has become corrupt.  I am not onsite and have been working remotely all affternoon to try and resolve this issue so I cannot login to another workstation until after hours to test this theory.  I will login to another workstation later tonight as this user and see if I can connect to the mailbox.  Then I will at least know if it is limited to this PC only...
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
It sounds plausible, except for the fact that the Outlook.exe file is not in the user's profile.  There are a couple of Office dll's in the Application data folder of the user's profile, though, that can cause some really weird things to happen if they get corrupted. If you try it on another workstation and it works fine, then I would recommend an uninstall/reinstall of Outlook on the user's workstation, along with completely deleting any and all Outlook profiles and creating a new one.  
Another possibility could be some kind of malware or virus on the user's workstation that is causing this bizarre behavior.
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aletjollyCommented:
On that affected machine try creating a new Windows profile for the affected user.
Then create a new Outlook profile and check.

As per previous notes, I do sense the Windows profile which may have gone corrupt
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chrisdoddsAuthor Commented:
Yes, I was able to log into another user's PC and connect successfully through Outlook to Exchange mailbox...
I was also able to rename the user's directory under Docs and Settings on the local (affected) PC and recreate the profile directories and then configure Outlook successfully to conect to the user's mailbox store in Exchange.  It definitely has something to do with user profile corruption of some sort on the local PC.  
Once I could successfully use Outlook to open the mail store, I logged in as a different user and copied the contents from the corrupt profile directory into the new profile directory for the affected user.  Upon logging back in as that user an opening Outlook, I received the same error.  There is obviously something wrong with the files in that user's directory under Docs and Settings.  I will recreate the local Windows profile and move only those files and settings that are essential (Favorites, Desktop icons, etc.) so that I can re-establish communication with Exchange through this user's Outlook.  
Geesh... what a weird problem...
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chrisdoddsAuthor Commented:
okay.
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
I would advise when you recreate the new profile that you move only the very essential files, as you mentioned, like documents and favorites.  I'd even be very careful about that.  My guess is that there is some sort of trojan/spyware/malware that is running from his profile folder and that is what is causing the problem.
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chrisdoddsAuthor Commented:
Although I'm not so arrogant as to say there's not some funky malware running on the machine, I'm more inclined to believe the user has modified/removed something from within the profile to have caused this.  There is no other indication that there is anything wrong with the Windows image on this PC and under a new Windows profile, the Outlook connects fine.  Under the current profile I can connect if I run as a different user.  Under the current profile I can connect by moving and executing the program .exe file from the desktop.  It's definitely something contained within the directories of the profile because I can duplicate the error by moving the entire contents of the old profile to the new.  By putting the contents of the new profile back into place, Outlook can then connect again to Exchange.  The PC's on this network are all protected by Trend Micro Small Business Security and this is (to the best of my research and knowledge) an isolated incident.  I'll keep my eyes peeled though...
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
Sure, I understand your point, and you could be absolutely correct.  I always like to err on the side of being too cautious, though, just in case. Even the best security protection applications can be gotten around by a clever programmer convincing a user who doesn't know how to protect his/her system from intrusions to click OK on some prompt that pops up while they're on the Internet.  I've seen this happen hundreds of times over the years. I believe that keeping a copy of Spybot, HiJack This and/or Adaware around and taking the time to run them on a system that's acting odd is a good precaution, even if it doesn't always find anything.
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