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Unstable Outlook

Posted on 2010-11-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi,

We are having some serious issues with Outlook. At least a dozen times this week I have been kicked out of outlook after typing messages. It crashes and does not save messages either. It takes forever to load and then crashes. It is doing this for other people as well. One more person is having same issue. One user, has had problems sending and it froze and would not do anything so she has to shut down and open it again. Our Outlook has become very unstable and time consuming.Can someone suggest what can be done so its more stable for us, a set of steps we can take to figure out why this is happening and what can be done to fix it.

Thank you!
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Question by:m2chaudh
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12 Comments
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
Vanguard_LH earned 1336 total points
ID: 34207205
Load Outlook in its safe mode ("outlook.exe /safe").  This does NOT load any add-ons that you installed and are enabled.  When Outlook loads, it also loads all the installed and enabled add-ons.  If an add-on hangs or crashes, it takes Outlook with it.  When Outlook exits, it first has to unload all the loaded add-ons.  If an add-on hangs or crashes on unload, it also hangs or crashes Outlook.  So a bad add-on can cause lots of problems when loading, using, or unloading Outlook.  Start by eliminating add-ons as the possible problem source by not loading them when you load Outlook.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:det0n8r
ID: 34207207
Have you tried starting Outlook in safe mode (outlook /safe)? Are you using any add-ins that might be causing problems?
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:bobohost
ID: 34207223
Are you seeing any good information in the event logs for each system?  How do the clients connect?  Exchange or POP servers?  Which version of Outlook?

Well I would first try to work on the client and run a Office repair. Also I would check for any Office Updates and make sure you have the latest updates and service packs installed.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
ID: 34207654
Try outlook /noextensions

Do you have google desktop search enabled by any chance?
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Author Comment

by:m2chaudh
ID: 34208089
If it was due to add-ons why would it be happening to multiple users, and for some users no issues at all?
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Author Comment

by:m2chaudh
ID: 34208107
Keeping Ctrl pressed and then double clicking outlook shortcut will also start it in safe-mode right?

Btw this is intermittent issue, it doesnt come back with an error, just closes Outlook in middle of something. For Outlook logs, I would be checking Local computers logs, eh? Would this appear in Application logs?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:bobohost
ID: 34208300
For the event logs yes you would want to go to Application Logs and see if you see anything there around the time Outlook crashes on you.
0
 

Author Comment

by:m2chaudh
ID: 34208728
Also, in reply to your previous questions bobohost.

Yes, its an exchange account. Most of them vary in version of outlook, it ranges from 2003-2007. I havent run Outlook/office repair yet, but I plan to do it, if nothing else works.

Meganuk3, I'll check what add-ins are there, and that google specific login also, if its installed, I will post back.

As the issue is occuring with multiple users, and there is no fixed action or cause to indicate why this is happening, I can't pre-emptively start wasting time with multiple users. In fact, I expect them to inform me as soon as it happens, I'll post when I get more information on any of this. For all I know, users could be pressing Alt+F4..

Thank you.
0
 

Author Comment

by:m2chaudh
ID: 34209221
Below is the email reply from a user who has been having this problem, questions are posed by me and answers after the question mark are by the user.

I wanted to know the following:

1)      Outlook crashing in middle of something, is this intermittent or happening constantly ?  happens mostly after typing long email replies. usually happens a few times per week.
2)      Does Outlook or Windows come back with any error when it crashes?  error msg is that microsoft outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close
3)      Would you happen to know what version of Outlook everyone having issues are running(2003,2007, 2010 etc)?  2003
4)      Since when did you start having this problem, recently (like week or 2) or for a long time? So I can check back and see if any automated office update messed up outlook settings in past or a windows update.  it has been happening on and off for a couple of months for me. can't say about everyone else. more recently it has become frequently.
Next time this happens with anyone, can they give me a quick call at least the same day, so I can check there Application logs.

Thanks!
0
 
LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:Vanguard_LH
Vanguard_LH earned 1336 total points
ID: 34213353
That it is happening to many users could mean many users have installed the same add-on.  After all, in a work environment, the company often pushes out or includes in their sysprep image an anti-virus client.  So all the company's employees are running with an AV add-on in Outlook and why all the employees or a large sample of them run into the same problem.

The example you provided said the user claimed the crash happened most frequently when sending large e-mails.  Well, an AV add-on would end up interrogating the content of the e-mail before allowing it to send (either directly to the mail server and checking the content on-the-fly or by sending the content to a bogus mail server, their own transparent service, that checks the content before sending it on to the real mail server).  

Since the AV add-on is common to all or most of the company's employees and since it can interfere with the operation of the e-mail client, start looking there.  Or start asking users to go look at the list of add-ons in Outlook and start compiling a list to see what happens to be a common add-on amongst the users with the crashing problem.
0
 
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:MegaNuk3
MegaNuk3 earned 664 total points
ID: 34213752
Yes, CTRL+outlook = safe mode
The title of the outlook should change to say "(safe)" at the end of it if you have opened outlook in safe mode.

Just change a few of the users who complain the most to run "outlook /noextensions" and if outlook behaves itself for a day/week then start turning off the add-INS one by one till outlook stabilises, then you have found the problem add in
0
 

Author Comment

by:m2chaudh
ID: 34321404
I t was PDFmaker plugin that was crashing Outlook, whenever a big file was imported. Thanks for all your help.
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