Outlook 2007 Blocked Attachments in Archive PST

Posted on 2010-11-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi all,

I have one user that is having a problem with some of her attachments being blocked by Outlook 2007 in her archive PST.

I am aware that Outlook will block executable attachments but the issue her is that the attachments are normal documents such as .doc, .pdf and .xls. I have only seen it in the PST and not the OST and even then, only on some emails in her PST. In other emails, a .doc won't be blocked.

Things i have tried:

 - Editing the Registry to add those extensions to the Level1Remove key. That doesn't unblock the attachment in the PST. Only makes you save files that weren't already blocked with that extension to disk before opening. More on that here
 - Editing the Group Policy to allow those extensions and change Outlooks security mode. Unsuccessful and i have reverted those changes. More on that here

 - For isolation - Attaching an entire email as a .msg to an email and sending it to another machine and seeing if they could open it. No. The attachments either remain blocked, Come through as empty .txt files or not at all depending on the version of Outlook

 - For isolation - Moving the affected email/s to the OST but remained blocked

 - Running ScanPST.exe over the archive as i thought it may be corrupt but made no difference

Things i haven't tried:

 - Opening the Archive on another computer. I can't do this until Monday when the user gets back from an overseas trip but that should at least tell me whether it is a problem with the archive or with the machine/outlook profile
 - Recreating the users Outlook profile / computer profile. With limited access to the users machine at the moment, this may have to wait until Monday

What i can't do:

 - The parent company does not use Exchange Journaling for some stupid reason so putting all her historic mail back into her mail store and just letting her download it all again to her OST is not an option. And they only just implemented an online backup solution for the laptops so any backup they have of the PST may have the same issue (if it is a pst issue)

So i want to know if anyone has seen this kind of behaviour and what your thoughts are on it and what i should do and test for. I can resolve it once the machine is back in my possession on Monday but this user is VIP so if there is anything i can do before that remotely then that would be good

I would also like to avoid doing major sugery remotely over a Telstra wireless dongle in case something goes wrong and makes things worse but if you're sure it will fix it then sweet

Question by:mrwolf
  • 4

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Some things I would try:
1) Check to make sure the .pst file has not exceeded the 2GB limit
2) temporarily disable the Anti-Virus software, and test, in case this is causting the "block"
3) There may be some filter software that is on the server that could be blocking certian attachments.

Author Comment

Comment Utility

Thanks for your reponse

1. The PST is not over 2 GB. It is around 1.3 GB
2. This may be possible. But the error does say that "Outlook blocked the following...". I will check this today though when i speak with her
3. There is filtering on the Exchange but it is only for the default executable attachments like .exe, .bat etc etc I did test sending through attachments with various extensions and Exchange only filtered the executable files as expected. I also could not find any examples of the same thing happening in the OST, only in the PST so i don't think it is Exchange causing it



Accepted Solution

mrwolf earned 0 total points
Comment Utility

After opening the archive on another machine running XP instead of Windows 7, i found that the message that "Outlook has blocked the attachment ....." no longer appeared but instead of having the attachment show up in the email, it just displays an icon of the associated application. For example, for a PDF document it shows a Adobe PDF icon. If i right-click and save the icon to the local machine, it tries to save with the file extension of .LNK. It is a shortcut. I look at the properties of it to see where it is pointing and it is pointing to C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\My Email Attachments.

I check that file path and that directory doesn't exist. She then remembers that they once used a program called 'Attachment Sniffer' which removed the attachments from emails and stored them locally in order to reduce the size of the OST. Her machine was recently upgraded and this file path was not transferred over or she removed it, either way we have a backup of it so it doesn't matter.

So Windows 7 was actually blocking the .LNK extension but displaying that it was blocking .doc, .pdf etc etc which was quite misleading

The solution is of course to create the correct file path in Windows 7, recover the missing directory from backup and unblock the .LNK extension using one of the methods already mentioned



Author Comment

Comment Utility
Note: After recovering the attachments and placing them back into the correct folder location and doing the Level1Remove trick, it still didn't allow the viewing of the attachments directly from the PST.

I had to add a different registry key to get it working flawlessly. Details in this MS KB >

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
The error information from Win 7 was misleading but cause found through fault isolation

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