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Outlook 2003 sending fails on messages with empty "From" field in Sent Items folder

TorontoJon
TorontoJon asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Several of our users have reported a problem where certain emails are not being sent properly.

The messages appear in the Sent Items folder, but the "From" field is blank.  Message tracking on the server indicates that the messages are not going out.  The problem is intermittent;  sometimes a message to a recipient will fail just a few minutes after another message from the same user to the same recipient has succeeded.

I wonder whether this may have something to do with the way email addresses are saved for the contact?  We can sometimes force the message by typing the actual email address (rather than the Outlook "Display As") in the "To" box, or by deleting the email address from the contact, saving the contact & then adding the email address back.

This is very frustrating as we now have to check our Sent Items folders regularly.
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Are your clients up-to-date with Service Packs and patches?  Check http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
Is your server up-to-date with patches and Service Packs including Exchange 2003 SP2?

Author

Commented:
Yes - clients are up to date and I believe the server is too.   Server is running Version 6.5 Build 7638.2 Service Pack 2.

Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Does this affect all users or just a few?
If just a few - is there anything common between the affected users?
If all, how many users are we talking about?
Hae you tried running Outlook Detect & Repair?  (Help, Detect & Repair).

Author

Commented:
This affects 4 of our 30 users.  Nothing common among just these 4 that we can identify.

I've not tried Detect & Repair, but will do so now.  I have tried to create new profiles for the affected users but the problem continued in the new profile.

Author

Commented:
No luck with Detect & Repair.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
What Service Pack is Outlook 2003 currently on?

Author

Commented:
SP3.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Thanks - Do the From fields appear in Outlook Web Access?

Author

Commented:
Good question.  No, the From fields data does not appear in OWA.  I've attached an image of how they appear in my Sent Items folder, which shows three attempts without a "From".  Before the fourth attempt I deleted the email address from the contact, saved & then added the email address back.  Only the fourth message appears in Exchange Message tracking center
Screen-shot.doc
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Thanks for that.
So if you type the email address in - it appears, but if you select an existing contact, the from field is blank?  Is this correct?
If so, it sounds like your contacts are messed up.

Author

Commented:
Yes - the problem does seem to recur with certain contacts.  But to clarify re the screenshot, in all four attempts I typed the name of the contact in the To box & let Outlook return the email address.  In between the first attempt & the second I tried the detect & repair.  In between the second attempt & the third I cleared the  email address from my local Outlook drop-down list.  After the third attempt I opened the contact, deleted the email address from the email address field (which blanks the display as field) and saved the contact.  Then re-opened the contact, pasted the email address back in & re-saved it.  Then typed in the contact name in the 4th email & it worked.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Is this problem repeatable for other contacts in your contacts folder that you are having problems with?
Where did the problem contacts come from?  Were they imported ever, or were they manually created, or do you not have the faintest idea (which is quite understandable)?

Author

Commented:
Another good question!  In May of this year a Blackberry synch problem put many duplicates in the public folder so we restored the contacts in the folder from a backup.  The first appearance of this problem was the very next day.

Is there a way to check contacts for corruption?

Co-Owner
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Top Expert 2011
Commented:
This one is on us!
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