Outlook Hanging if user has archive file (.pst) on network drive

Posted on 2011-10-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a user who was experiencing freeze-ups and hangs in Outlook 2010. The system is running Win 7, Office (Outlook) 2010, against Exchange on a Win 2003 Server. Periodically, Outlook would hang with no error message. Forcing Outlook to quit (using the task manager) would work except then the system would not complete the logoff process (the system would never complete "logging off" and shutting down) and next time Outlook was started, the Outlook startup would never complete (it would hang at the splash screen).

The only way we could get Outlook to start functioning again was to go back to the install process and do a Repair.

After much trial and error, we decided to turn off the Archive capability for that specific user. (To do this, right click on Archive in the left bar and choose  "close archive".) This stopped the hanging.

Turns out that Microsoft recommends that an Outlook Archive NOT be located on a network drive. OK, I can accept that (although this makes it difficult to back up archived data) but we have a good number of users who have this configuration and are not having problems. (See this article for more information --

With a disabled Archive file, things have been running fine for 48 hours. Next step will be to add a local archive and then figure out how to get it to a place where our nightly backups will back up the file.
Question by:Blackhawk_Church
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Having PSTs on network drive tends to corrupt the PST files. Even though Microsoft recommends local drive for PST files, we use network share for backup purposes and we occasionally get this issue.
    Did you try using scanPST?
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    What is th esize of the archive file in question? It may be this user has a particularly large pst fiel, hence th ereason it is crahsing.
    PST's are definitely not supported on the network and i have seen many cases of outlook locking up due to pst files on the network. If the pst is large this can also happen when stored locally.

    Archiving of email agianst th esevrer is the best way, although depends on budget if you can purchase a 3rd party applicaiton or device to do your archiving, therefore removing the reliance on unreliable and insecure PST files.
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    PST files on network. Dont do it.
    If you have to, move it to the local computer.

    There are lots of rants on this, but here's one from MS performance team.

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