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Outlook 2007, Vista SP2, New essentially unused Outlook: The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.  Outlook must be online or conencted to complete this action."

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Gentlemen,

A customer computer with Office 2007 installed is having what is apparently an initialization problem with Outlook.

When Outlook is launched, the basic Outlook is displayed, a "Configuring Outlook" box is displayed with "Configuring Outlook Accounts" highlighted and "Creating Welcome Message" in normal font, then an error message is displayed:

Microsoft Office Outlook
! The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.  
  Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.
[OK]

After [OK] is clicked upon, a "Microsoft Exchange Server" dialog box is displayed with 2 fields:
Microsoft Exchange server: ...
Mailbox: ...


Clicking on Cancel causes Outlook to display:
! Unable to open your default e-mail folders.  The file ...\outlook.ost is not an offline folder file.  
[OK]

Btw: the length of this file is 0 bytes, as reported by the Windows Explorer.


Note that Outlook contains no interesting customer data at this time.  It's still all new and blank.  The customer has apparently tried to begin configuring Outlook, but Outlook is now stuck in an unconfigurable loop.

My question: How to allow Outlook to start in a way so that it can be configured, because the customer only wants a programmatic POP3 client access to send and receive email via AOL.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Question by:ChrisEddy
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Expert Comment

by:needleboy
ID: 35210311
Open Mail icon in control panel to configure mail accounts without starting Microsoft Outlook.
You can remove Microsoft Exchange account and configure any POP3 account.
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Author Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 35210328
Already tried that.  There is no Mail icon in the control panel.

Also: This is Office 2003, /not/ Office 2007.  (my bad!!!  Tried to re-edit but /you/ were just too quick.)  
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Accepted Solution

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ChrisEddy earned 0 total points
ID: 35210476

Found it!


In:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033

Launch MLCFG32.CPL
See "mail configuration" dialog box.

Also had to create a new IMAP email account, set this account to be the default (was Microsoft Exchange), manually create a new PST type data file for this new account, then could delete the Exchange account.  

Outlook now comes up OK, and can now display email from AOL.

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Author Closing Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 37615786
This worked.
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