Error performing advanced Outlook searches -Outlook cannot perform your search

Posted on 2009-05-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a user who recently has issues with Advanced Searches within outlook 2003.  Everytime he tries to perform an advanced search on his inbox he gets the following:
"Outlook cannot perform your search.  Outlook cannot display this view."

I have done the following:

1.  outlook /cleanfinders
2.  outlook /freebusy
3.  outlook /cleanprofile
4.  outlook /cleanviews
5.  scanost.exe

The user has informed me that he has already performed a repair when reinstalling outlook 2003.  I did not witness this myself.

Any help would be most appreciative.
Question by:hgarciatx
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Author Comment

ID: 24331169
Also I thought maybe that the user had an older version of Windows Desktop search that might be affecting his searches within outlook.  He is using Windows Search 4.0.  Supposedly the issue started before he installed Windows Search 4.0.

Any help would be most appreciative.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24334506
Is Outlook 2003 on SP3?
Have you tried creating a new Outlook profile for this user and then checking if Advanced Find works or not?
Does this user use a pst? What if we donot use a pst ?....
Run outlook /resetfolders and check what happens

Author Comment

ID: 24335737

He is using an OST file since we keep a cache copy on his workstation..

I have no problem creating a new Outlook profile but as a last resort because of all his custom views.

If there is no other solution then it will have to be done.

Yes, I did try outlook /resetfolders.
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

apache09 earned 500 total points
ID: 24351514
You will need to rebuild the Index

Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel>
Indexing Options>Advanced

Make sure Outlook is open and all additional folders are opened during the re-index

Expert Comment

ID: 24648081
I had the same problem on a client machine, tried repair, lots of different flags for starting outlook, ran a tool to clear out finders.  In the end running microsoft updates, installed office compatibility pack, .net 3 and I think something else.  Anyway, once the updates ran did a reboot and it worked fine.  
  I think we broke it originally by pushing to much data across outlook into exchange.  We had a 3rd party app (Time matters, lexis nexus) that needed to sync it's contacts with outlook in order to put them in exchange in order to allow the client access to them on his cell phone.  

Author Comment

ID: 24815956
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 24820340
If Giving a "B" grade please provide explanation?

Expert Comment

ID: 24822746
Follow up, that machine I was referring to earlier, that was repaired by running all the repair/update functions, broke again.  This time outlook was running really slow and again would not search.  On a hunch I ran spinrite to check the drive for errors.  It found plenty, ran all weekend.   So we ghosted the drive to a new machine.( by ghost I mean clonezilla ) uninstall/reinstall office and everything ran 100% better.  Moral of the story: when the basic repair steps fail, check the drive for screwing up data.

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