Outlook 2003 Crashing with MSHTML.DLL error

Hello all,
I hope I didn't miss the question/solution I was looking for.  I found one very similar; however, it was closed by the moderator and the solution was awarded by default to the only respondent.

We just deployed 21 new machines (XP SP3, IE8, [Exchange Server Enterprise 2003 SP2], Outlook 2003 Professional).  I used Acronis Home and Sysprep to image almost all of them, and they have been error-ridden since deployment.
The error that is causing me the most grief is Outlook 2003 crashing with an automatic restart.  It's a pretty standard error:

Title: Microsoft Office Outlook
Microsoft Office Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost.
Restart Microsoft Office Outlook (with checkbox)
Please tell Microsoft about this problem.
We have created an error report that you can send to help us improve Microsoft Office Outlook. We will treat this report as confidential and anonymous.

I've had a few of the users expand the error report, and they seem to be the same (screenshot attached).  The problem module is mshtml.dll every time.

I've tried repairing, and removing and reinstalling Outlook, creating a new profile, uninstalling IE8 and reinstalling, disabling McAfee and Fax Server Extension add-ins, starting Outlook with /cleanprofile, /cleanreminders, /cleanfreebusy, /cleanviews...

I'm just about out of ideas, and the error persists on several computers... what's really driving me crazy is that some of them were fixed by the first /cleanprofile... and some, I've tried all of the above (and probably more), but they're still having problems.

Anyone have any other suggestions for me to try?

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Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
Did you try re-registering the mshtml.dll file?

From this link:

mshtml.dll is a self-registering file.

You should get this message after the regsvr32 mshtml.dll command...
DllRegisterServer in mshtml.dll succeeded.

Try unregistering it first.

Paste the following line into Start | Run and click OK...

regsvr32 /u mshtml.dll

You may get this message, click OK on it...
DllUnregisterServer in mshtml.dll failed.
Return code was: 0x8000ffff

Then try registering it again.

Start | Run | Type: regsvr32 mshtml.dll | Click OK

This is the message you get if the file is not in the system32 folder...
LoadLibrary("Name of.dll") failed - The specified module could not be found.

The file mshtml.dll may be messed up. Run the System File Checker.

System File Checker (sfc.exe) replaces screwed up system files.

Load your XP CD in your CD drive.

Start | Run | Type or paste: sfc /scannow | Click OK

sfc /scannow scans all protected system files immediately and replaces
incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

System File Checker takes a while to run.

If you have XP Home and it asks for your XP Pro CD, see this KB article...

You may be prompted to insert a Windows XP Professional CD when you run the
System File Checker tool in Windows XP Home Edition

If SFC.EXE did anything it will be listed in the Event Viewer.

Open the Event Viewer...
Start | Run | Type: eventvwr | Click OK | Click System |

Windows File Protection will be listed under the Source column. Look at any
Windows File Protection entries.

Explains a whole bunch about sfc.exe.
scannow sfc (sfc.exe)

Description of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 System File Checker

Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
edit above post: try this first:
Run > regsvr32 mshtml.dll
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epitecAuthor Commented:
WiReDNeT, I have tried re-registering many of the DLLs (of course I didn't document which ones, and I'm not sure where I got the list, but I believe it may have been something similar to the one they were going from in that first link you posted), and mshtml.dll produced the same error as he described:

"mshtml.dll was loaded, but the DllRegisterServer entry point was not
found. This file cannot be registered."

In researching that issue, I found some information saying that mshtml cannot be registered with Regsvr32.  I did try it multiple times, and unregistering first, but it never did work.

I haven't tried SFC yet.  That's next on my list.
epitecAuthor Commented:
mohanarangam, that does not seem to be the same issue.  The Outlook Today screen doesn't cause trouble.  I have not tried switching the users to RTF, because I was hoping I could find a fix rather than just a workaround.
epitecAuthor Commented:
I ran the system file checker on the primary troublemaker (machine).  No error so far, but sometimes it takes a couple days, and with the holiday weekend, it wasn't experiencing normal use. :)

I'll keep you posted.  Thanks for suggestions!
epitecAuthor Commented:
Ok, so I have reports of it happening multiple times this morning. :(  Guess SFC did not work.
epitecAuthor Commented:
New twist... for one user, it seems to be either a particular item or a particular folder that causes the crash (the two crashes so far today were accessing the same item in the same folder.

The other user has not noticed a pattern other than the reading pane turning off after the crash.  Sometimes it crashes right away when he tries to turn it on again... for what it's worth (I figure that's more an effect than a cause, like almost Safe Mode, or something, although it does not restart in Safe Mode).
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
"for one user, it seems to be either a particular item or a particular folder that causes the crash (the two crashes so far today were accessing the same item in the same folder."

Is this a Window's folder, or an Outlook folder? Is this folder in a pst file?

Can you export this folder as a pst file, then re-import it into another Outlook folder assuming that we're talking about Outlook folders not window's folders.
epitecAuthor Commented:
It's an outlook folder... and it's in an OST file (just below his inbox, not in archive folders).

What would be the purpose of exporting and reimporting?  Do you mean to another user's Outlook to test the folder for errors, or just exporting and importing to the same Outlook as another folder?
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
No, another user's folder to see if the problem was with the contents of the folder, or Outlook running on that computer.

Basically, you have narrowed it down to a crash when you access that particular folder so why not move it to another location to see if the same thing happens. In addition to this, while you have it removed( exported) why not re-import part of this at a time to find out what part is causing the crash...then maybe remove just this folder and recreate a new folder moving the contents from the old to the new.

epitecAuthor Commented:
The user I've been focusing on (with the specific folder) reported today that the four crashes he had this morning were when opening messages from a specific sender.  The sender is in our office, and he is the other main person with this residual error; unfortunately, we have found no rhyme or reason to his.

I read some other posts that mentioned this (the problem user sending caused the crash on recipients' machines), so it makes me wonder if the sender is the only one with a real problem.  That opens it up to a much more vague problem again, though... grr!
epitecAuthor Commented:
New Outlook profile, new Windows profile (implemented to fix another error, but still), SFC, scanost and scanpst (of the OST) have had no effect on the sender's computer. :(

Any other ideas?
I would try uninstalling Internet Explorer 7 & 8 and running Windows Update to patch IE6 and then use this patch: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816506

Once this has been done, reinstall whatever version of IE you are using.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Hmm... interesting.  I tried uninstalling and reinstalling IE8 (which I think I mentioned), and since these are new computers, they were upgraded directlyl from IE6 to IE8.

I would have thought the issue would be fixed by upgrading, but even so (to try your suggestion), I don't see the patch for SP2 (or SP3)... how would I obtain that?
Once you are on to IE6, run Windows update and install Q813489.exe (MS03-015) update, and then the patch from the link from KB816506 (http://microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=878C5CD5-0A58-40E8-A963-7496C71D1F40&displaylang=en )

Best of Luck!
epitecAuthor Commented:
I finally got a chance to try the above on the (apparently) originating computer (the sender's computer, who seemed to be causing the error on at least one of the other computers).  This is one of our older models (by about two years), so it has IE7 then IE8 (rather than the direct IE6 -> IE8 upgrade I mentioned earlier), but when I uninstalled IE8, there was no option to uninstall IE7 (it was in the add/remove list, but no modification button), so I couldn't get to IE6 and install the patch.

Try this to uninstall IE7



epitecAuthor Commented:
Ok, it seemed to uninstall with that... but when I tried to install the updates for IE6, it said it detected a newer version of IE.  The shortcut on the Start menu shows like the IE7/8 icon, also...

I'm trying to reinstall IE7 and uninstall it to see if that grabs the last few remnants, but I don't know that it will.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Now I feel silly... the problem was apparently not that they did not uninstall, it was that IE6 SP2 was installed (it looked like from the Help > About screen).

When I uninstalled 7 and 8 and tried to install that update for 6, it said it required IE6 SP1... when I tried to install SP1, I got the 'newer version installed' error.  It didn't occur to me that the initial error could be because a later SP was installed. :P
Did you install IE 8 back? Does it resolve the issue in any way?
I have exactly the same problem as yours, outlook kept crashing and the module shown is mshtml, too.

once IE6 was patched as per the above post, I reinstalled up to IE8 including all service packs and it fixed the issue. On a couple of the systems I had this issue with I did also have to run a repair on Outlook.
epitecAuthor Commented:
misteel, I did instal IE8 back, but so far it has not resolved the issue (although I could not apply the patch, as I said, because when I uninstalled down to IE6, it was already SP2, and the patch was for below SP2).

I also tried exporting the items from the folder (from the one user who had narrowed it down to one folder), deleted that folder and reimported.  That did nothing, etiher.
hey epitec, please try this hotfix and see if it helps. Apparently it works for me.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks - I've tried it on the two main problem computers... now we wait (probably not for too long, if it doesn't work :P)
I have no issue on desktop users, only those using notebooks.
My notebook users are on RPC over HTTP connection to our exchange, and this issue only happens to some of my notebook users.

You can view this article,  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969356 . Seems like it's only for mobile users. If your problem arises from desktop, this probably not your solution, but no harm trying :P

Hope your problem is solved with this hotfix!
epitecAuthor Commented:

Didn't work - I got an e-mail today saying one of the users just had the error occur (same folder as he seems to notice usually).  My step before the hotfix was (finally) to try exporting the contents of that folder, deleting and recreating it.  I imported the contents, and it made no difference (also, the user said that if it's a question of a corrupted item, it should be archived by now - he archives older than two weeks and sometimes even up to a more recent date).
I have about 5 users having problems like this.. 4 users still having same issue :(
Have you checked Event Viewer? It seems that problem arises from browser, in this case most of my users are using IE8. I haven't got the chance to downgrade IE7 and see if it helps. Maybe you might want to give it a try. Just a thought.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Here is what shows up in Event Viewer.  I have downgraded one user to IE7 to see if it will help, and I'll keep you posted.

Event Type:       Error
Event Source:    Microsoft Office 11
Event Category: None
Event ID:           1000
Date:                2/3/2010
Time:                7:10:32 AM
User:                N/A
Computer:        <computer name>
The description for Event ID ( 1000 ) in Source ( Microsoft Office 11 ) cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display messages from a remote computer. You may be able to use the /AUXSOURCE= flag to retrieve this description; see Help and Support for details. The following information is part of the event: outlook.exe, 11.0.8312.0, 4a403990, mshtml.dll, 8.0.6001.18876, 4b2fc8fc, 0, 000031d5.
0000: 41 00 70 00 70 00 6c 00   A.p.p.l.
0008: 69 00 63 00 61 00 74 00   i.c.a.t.
0010: 69 00 6f 00 6e 00 20 00   i.o.n. .
0018: 46 00 61 00 69 00 6c 00   F.a.i.l.
0020: 75 00 72 00 65 00 20 00   u.r.e. .
0028: 20 00 6f 00 75 00 74 00    .o.u.t.
0030: 6c 00 6f 00 6f 00 6b 00   l.o.o.k.
0038: 2e 00 65 00 78 00 65 00   ..e.x.e.
0040: 20 00 31 00 31 00 2e 00    .1.1...
0048: 30 00 2e 00 38 00 33 00   0...8.3.
0050: 31 00 32 00 2e 00 30 00   1.2...0.
0058: 20 00 34 00 61 00 34 00    .4.a.4.
0060: 30 00 33 00 39 00 39 00
0068: 30 00 20 00 69 00 6e 00   0. .i.n.
0070: 20 00 6d 00 73 00 68 00    .m.s.h.
0078: 74 00 6d 00 6c 00 2e 00   t.m.l...
0080: 64 00 6c 00 6c 00 20 00   d.l.l. .
0088: 38 00 2e 00 30 00 2e 00   8...0...
0090: 36 00 30 00 30 00 31 00
0098: 2e 00 31 00 38 00 38 00   ..1.8.8.
00a0: 37 00 36 00 20 00 34 00   7.6. .4.
00a8: 62 00 32 00 66 00 63 00   b.2.f.c.
00b0: 38 00 66 00 63 00 20 00   8.f.c. .
00b8: 66 00 44 00 65 00 62 00   f.D.e.b.
00c0: 75 00 67 00 20 00 30 00   u.g. .0.
00c8: 20 00 61 00 74 00 20 00    .a.t. .
00d0: 6f 00 66 00 66 00 73 00   o.f.f.s.
00d8: 65 00 74 00 20 00 30 00   e.t. .0.
00e0: 30 00 30 00 30 00 33 00
00e8: 31 00 64 00 35 00 0d 00   1.d.5...
00f0: 0a 00                     ..      
epitecAuthor Commented:
The one user I downgraded didn't wait for it to recur.  He upgraded himself again, because he said he'd rather suffer the Outlook crashes than work in IE7... maybe I'll see if I can get the other user down to IE7.
One thing to check (i have a couple users with this recurring) - turn off the reading pane - does it still occur?
epitecAuthor Commented:
I will see if any of the users are willing to work with such a great handicap ;)... I do know that the reading pane is always turned off when it automatically restarts.
Shreedhar EtteTechnical ManagerCommented:

Does these systems have Google Desktop installed. If yes,  then disable the Web History check box in Google Desktop indexing options.

It should fix the issue.

I hope this helps,

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epitecAuthor Commented:
Yes, they both do, and I've suspected that Google Desktop had something to do with this issue, but the users don't want to live without it, and I wasn't sure what part of it would be causing this.  I will give that a try.  Thanks!
Shreedhar EtteTechnical ManagerCommented:
You could try this also:

Select 'tools' menu. In IE browser.

Select 'Delete browsing history'.

Select 'Delete all'.

Select check box 'also delete files and settings stored by add-ons'.

Select 'yes'.

And close.

epitecAuthor Commented:
I have disabled Web history in the Google Desktop search and am now just waiting to see the results.  I haven't had any reports so far (although one user, I found out after telling them what I had tried, has stopped using Google Desktop, anyway).  I will keep this open another week or so, and then award points (hopefully... if everything goes smoothly).
Hi Epitec, I found out something. This problem arises from emails from a particular person. I have users feedback to me that when they open email from that person, it would randomly cause their outlook to hang and give the MSHTML error. I don't know if that applies to you, but I suppose I have narrowed down to him, probably from his internet explorer, outlook version, OS etc. I honestly have no idea.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Hi misteel,
Thanks for the update.  We had noticed that, also, but it turned out not to be consistent (seemed to be at first, but then some of the messages from that sender were okay - is it consistent for you, or is it only certain messages, but all from that sender?).  I am going to follow up with my users after that Google desktop/Web history fix - I think it may have done the trick.  I will post the results and award points accordingly, if the response is positive.  Sorry for dragging this out.
Nah, don't worry about the issue of dragging or whatsoever. We learn from each other :)
Well, it's quite random emails from that person, so you can't put it as all emails or particular emails. But one thing I'm sure is that they are facing problem from that person's email, lol. One of the user who always faces this problem doesn't have Google desktop installed, though. It's difficult to find the root of the cause, somehow.
epitecAuthor Commented:
Both solutions seemed to provide a resolution; however, the Google desktop Web indexing is the solution we ended up with.  Thanks so much for all of the help!
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