We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Outlook 2003 crashes

LarryLester asked
Outlook 2003, running over Vista, crashes on activation. The same user on a second computer (Outlook 2003 running over Windows 7) works fine. I ran Office repair and it did not resolve the issue. Is Outlook corrupted or is there a problem with the PST file? If I remove and reinstall Office will I lose the all of the messages presently stored in the PST? There is some very old stuff which is not on the second computer.
Thanks for your help.
Watch Question

Steve AgnewSr. Systems Engineer

the pst isn't going to be deleted, but you will have to reconfigure it if they use both a mailbox and then a pst for archiving.. you probably have a corrupt profile it happens a lot with outlook.

close outlook, go into control panel icon or classic view and find MAIL
click show profiles, remove their profile (this removes all the settings but none of the files, but it is a good idea to know where any pst files are so you can add them back)
click add or new and create a new one, the name of it doesn't matter
reconfigure access to their email accounts, and then open outlook if it's exchange it's going to just download the email again and you are done.

If it's pop3 or something else you'll need to re-setup the account to the same pst file, and set the delievery location to that.


Sorry for a dumb question, but how do I locate the pst file?
Steve AgnewSr. Systems Engineer

You have to be able to , depending on your version you should have a DATA FILES button in the Mail option from Control panel


I have created a new Mail account which works just fine. I renamed the new PST file to a junk name and the old one to the name of the new one so it will come up in the new configuration. It crashes Outlook again as the PST file is still corrupt. I am back to square 1! Do you know how to repair a PST file?
Steve AgnewSr. Systems Engineer

Use scanpst.exe

1.On the Start menu, click Run in Windows xp, otherwise type in the Start Menu
2.In the Open box, type
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\LocaleID\scanpst.exe

where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for your installation of Microsoft Office. For example, the LCID for English (United States) is 1033. For a list of LCIDs, see Microsoft Office Help.

3.Click OK.
4.In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, type the path and file name given in the error message above.
 Note   You may not be able to use the Browse button to locate this file because it is located in a hidden folder.

5.To change the options for logging errors during the scan, click Options. If you choose Replace log or Append to log, the log file is saved to the same directory as the .pst file.
6.Click Start.
7.When the file scan is completed, select the Make a backup of scanned file before repairing check box.
8.Click Repair.
If the file is successfully repaired, you will see a Repair complete message. If the Inbox Repair Tool was unable to repair the file, you will need to use a backup of your file.
Sr. Systems Engineer
If the pst is corrupted and that can fix it their are some pay tools on the internet that may or may not work.. if you have backups that is the best cheapest way, if not you can do a google search on corrupt pst to find pay software that may fix it.. or bite the bullet and say data is lost.. people never want to hear about backing up, until they need one  :(
Magnus BIT-support

Do you get any error messages when it crashes? If you do, can you post it here please?


Unfortunately you are absolutely correct. There is only one way to repair a damaged PST -- with one of the commercial tools. The all do the same thing with the same degree of success, and the are all rip offs --  so I took the cheapest one.
Thanks for you advice and patience.