Microsoft Office Outlook - Outlook is trying to retrieve data from the Microsoft Exchange Server

drunkennoodle used Ask the Experts™
Office 2007 sp2 , Exchange 2003 sp2, Windows XP sp3 environment.

Every now and then while a user is in Outlook they will get a pop message in the system tray that states:
Microsoft Office Outlook
Outlook is trying to retrieve data from the Microsoft Exchange Server

The message lasts for about 30 seconds and goes away.  For those 30 seconds, the user is unable to do anything in Outlook.

This happens to multiple users at various times during the day.  Today it happened about 3 times.

What is the fix to resolve this issue?

Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Check the disk queue length on the exchange server, your drives may be holding up the access.

Check how large the folders are for these users.  I'm not sure about Outlook 2007, but Outlook 2003 would run slowly after hitting about 4000 emails in the folder you're accessing because of the time it would take to enumerate them all.

Basically it's a resource issue of one type or another.  It could be disk access (my first guess).  Is the Exchange database on the same PHYSICAL drives as the log files?  E.G., if you have three drives in a RAID5 and the OS partition, the database partition, and the log files are all on that RAID, then they're all on the same physical drives.  Every time the database is being written to, log files are being written to, as well.  Best practice is to have OS, DB, and Logs all on their own separate physical drives, so maybe two mirrors and a RAID three for the OS, Logs, and DB respectively.

Check memory and CPU on the Exchange server, and also look for network bottlenecks.
often also happens if you have quite a few messages with large attachments - eg people sending funning videos around.
still essentially the same causes as noted by zelron - performance/capacity.
depending on what your option are hardware wise to improve performance - you can often buy yourself some time doing a defrag on the server as the exchange db file can get fragmented easily.


The OS is on its own physical drive.  The DB and logs are on the same drives but not on the OS drive.


Thanks for your help.  I believe it is an I/O issue but don't know what is causing it.

I will try an Exchange defrag some time in the future.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial