Outlook 2003: Unable to save free/busy information

wjb313 used Ask the Experts™
Setup: Outlook 2003 on Win XP Pro SP3, configured for POP3 access (no Exchange server), not in a shared calendar environment

This user receives the error "Unable to save free/busy information. Unable to open the free/busy information." whenever an appointment is saved in the calendar. It seems the appointments are saved when this user is the creator, but user is unable to accept invitations from others while this problem persists. This started 2 days ago, no new software had been installed or updates applied just before it started happening.

I have done all of the following:

- Tried the /cleanfreebusy switch, only to receive the error "Unable to clean free/busy on the server."
- Changed the Free/Busy options to publish 0 months. Changed the interval for publishing, even tried specifying a server then clearing that information in an attempt to "reset" it to nothing.
- Used the MAPI editor to remove the PR_FREEBUSY_ENTRYIDS values, followed by opening Outlook with the /cleanfreebusy switch again.
- Recreated the mail profile.

The problem remains.

Any suggestions or ideas?

Many thanks in advance.

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Is this on multiple machines for the user? (Would want to test with new appointments).

If its does not happen on another machine, try deleting the .ost file ad letting it rebuild.


It's not on Exchange -- configured for POP3 access only and we use local PSTs. Can configure the POP3 email account on any other machine with no problem, though I have not tried loading this user's PST file on other machines... as I understand it free/busy info is not stored in the PST, or am I incorrect in that thought?
zeshanazizSystem Administrator

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That doesn't help much. First of all, the link given in that thread is dead.  Second, the answer given is just a "make this error appear less often" fix which does not at all solve my problem.

Appreciate you taking the time to post a response, but I searched pretty far and wide before asking the question.
Try renaming the OST and then open outlook

the OST should be here: C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook


Again, this is NOT being used with an Exchange server, there is no OST.

OK, I'd say next piece is to import the PST to another machine. It sounds like either a profile, machine or PST issue at this point.


Led me to the right path to solve the problem. Running scanpst.exe on the primary PST made it possible to save Free/Busy data again.

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