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Microsoft Outlook 2003: Operation Failed

toyboy61 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am having a weird situation with Microsoft Outlook 2003 that I have not found a resolution for. This user is using a pop3 mailbox with PST files.

When I try open Outlook I receive an "Operation Failed" error message and Outlook does not open. Then, if I open Outlook a second time, the client opens normally.

This happens EVERY second time I open Outlook. Outlook is working normally otherwise.

If I open Outlook immediately after receiving the error, the program opens successfully. I am able to compose e-mail, send/receive, check contacts, access calendar, etc.

I have installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) on a Corsair SSD-disk and then installed MS Office 2003 Suite (32-bit). Office SP3 has also been installed. When the error showed up the first time I uninstalled the whole Office Suite and reinstalled it again. The error disappeared for a while, but now it is back again. Running Microsoft Security Essentials as antivirus tool.

There is no Exchange Server involved so the http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820111 does not apply at all. Running "Outlook.exe /resetnavpane" did not help either.

Anyone ?
Watch Question

Will it run ok the first time it opens Outlook in Safe Mode: outlook.exe /safe
If so, then you may have a bad Add-in; in which case, disable the Add-In in Question.

Good Luck!

try running detect and repair

How to install or repair and reinstall Office 2003 programs and features


saastech: Tried starting in safe mode. The first time it went ok, but the second time the same error message pops up again. And this seems to be the rule: First time OK, second time error message, then OK, then error message and so on.. Since this is a "fresh" install (directly from the CD/DVD) there are no extra Add-Ins as far as I know.

ActiveDirectoryman: I have tried to run detect and repair earlier with no luck.

If I uninstall the Office Suite, runs CCleaner to rinse the registry, installs the Office Suite again then it seems to work (for a while). Then the error message pops up again. I have not run any updates or other events to trigger this error situation as far as I can see.

The event logs does not give me any clue, either.
Top Expert 2013

toyboy61--Perhaps of help


jcimarron: Read my first posting. "
There is no Exchange Server involved so the http://support.microsoft.com/kb/820111 does not apply at all. "

try running outlook under a different user account, preferably an administrator account.  I want to see if this happens to any user and rule out a possible profile problem.  let me know. thanks.  right click the outlook icon not the shorcut and try to run it as a different user.


ActiveDirectoryman: I created a new user with administrative rights and defined two POP3-accounts in Outlook 2003 with this user. When I tried to start Outlook several times I got no errors at all... (?!??!!?).
But when I logged in as the "old" user the same error situations happens once again.....

I've noticed that the "old" user had a problem with the address book-files, and I have deleted all of them.
There are also three mail handling rules which leads to folders which does not exist. Maybe that's the problem ?  I tried to delete them, but they pops up again as soon as I restart Outlook.

Now the error message shows up two or three times before I succeed in entering the program...

Any other suggestions ??


I tried to run ProcessMonitor and caught the two situations (with and without "Operations failed") in two separate logfiles. But when I ran diff on these two logfiles I didn't spot any other differences than the processnumber.. (??!). So I have no clue about the cause of this error situation. Anyone ?
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ActiveDirectoryman: I'll look at this as soon as our National (national day) 17th of May is over.. :-)
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