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Outlook 2007 instant search crashing user's mailbox

Posted on 2009-07-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a user that has 3 fairly large mailboxes attached to her mailbox. Other people also have these same mailboxes attached to their mailboxes and not having same issue. Recently this user is having issue swith her Outlook crashing when using the instant search on any of the attached mailboxes though there as been no crash when using it on her mailbox. I have ran a scanpst since she also has one of those attached to her mailbox, ran the MS diagnostics, did a repair on Office 2007, and had her log into another machine. None of my efforts resolved the issue. When Outlook crashes she basically has to reboot her PC. I have seen a number of issues using the instant search with Outlook 2007. Any workarounds or fixes for this issue. Two of the 3 mailboxes attached have over 14000 emails in their inboxes and her mailbox has over 6000 items. We are running Exchange 2003
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Question by:AE2
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by:hmare
ID: 24762898
I would set up auto archive, and turn instant search off.
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by:AE2
ID: 24762911
I don't understand. Why would you use auto archive instead of instant search? Would it help if I downloaded Microsoft Desktop search?
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by:hmare
ID: 24763029
My experience is that when a mailbox gets as big as these, instant search causes all sorts of problems. Without instant search, you can still use the outlook find feature, it just won't move as fast (I know it seems counter productive, but with instant search off the overall performance improves, though search is slower)
I suggest archiving because the slower search moves faster through archived folders than non archived, though it does make local backups much more important as the server no longer holds tha archived messages.
If you are not comfortable with that (having all messages on the server has some advantages) you can completely uninstall and reinstall outlook (and any other Office apps). This will revert outlook back to its original state, in case it is an MS update causing the problem. (assuming it is an office update, and not a Windows update.)
You can also start rolling back Windows and office updates to see if one of them is causing the issue.
I suspect it is the size of the mailboxes that is causing this problem, but I could easily be wrong, and another common problem in Outlook is updates, both office and Windows.
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by:John
ID: 24763163
I have read that Windows Search needs to be installed and running in order for the Outlook 2007 fast search to work because the two things are integrated. I have Outlook 2007 installed on a Vista machine that has Windows Search built into the OS. It all works. I have about 2Gb of mail in main and two more archives. One archive alone is about 1Gb (and it is the largest). But I have no problem searching.

I have Windows Search V4 installed as an add-on to my Windows XP machine and it works well. But this machine stilll has Outlook 2003 and I don't recall that it has fast search.

Shorter answer: Try installing Microsoft Desktop Search to see if it helps.
... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:AE2
ID: 24763218
Archiving the mailboxes is not an option. I just checked with the user and her problems have been happening for quite a while only the frequency has picked up in the last 1.5-2 weeks. I pushed patches last week, midweek and 2 months ago. I found the "search folders" option and though it would be a good replacement, it doesn't allow you to search folders in any of the other attached mailboxes. The most viable next step would be to uninstall Outlook and reinstall. I agree that it is probably the size of the mailboxes but others have bigger personal mailboxes with these same mailboxes install. Yes, I know that doesn't mean much. The instant search does work though it crashing the first time she uses it on any given day is what is becoming more frequent.
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by:John
ID: 24763314
Another thing to look at is the Personal Folders folder-type (Properties of the Personal Folder -> Advanced). If the type is Personal Folders (97-2002) it is good for 2Gb. If the type is just Personal Folders, then it can be much larger. This may have a bearing. ... Thinkpads_User
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AE2 earned 0 total points
ID: 24784627
I uninstalled Office 2007 and reinstalled after a system reboot. This fixed the user's issue with searches locking up her PC. It may take a minute for the search to find what is being looked for in the attached mailbox or any of the mailboxes, but the file is found and returned to the search window.
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