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Outlook Attachment Preview Slow After Server Shutdown

Posted on 2011-10-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Recently we have moved all shares from an old file server to a new one. The shares on the old server were then disconnected, and everything seemed to be working fine using only the new server. Once we shut the old server down, Outlook started to take an unreasonable amount of time to open attachments by double clicking them in the email. Saving the attachment first and opening from the local computer works at normal speed. Turning the old server back on seems to fix this, but we are looking to retire that machine.
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Question by:ewit
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 37040825
You MAY have shares connecting drive mapping to the old server still.

If you do a NET USE in a command prompt what does it show?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37040835
Hi, ewit.

Is Outlook running in cached mode?
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Author Comment

by:ewit
ID: 37056398
Net use doesn't show any connections to the old server. BlueDevilFan, we are running Outlook in cached mode. I have deleted users' content.outlook files in their Temporary Internet Files, but that didn't seem to help.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37056514
If Outlook is running in cached mode, then opening/previewing/saving attachments should all take place locally.  It shouldn't matter whether the old server is available or not.  What happens if you set Outlook to work offline and open one of these same attachments?
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Author Comment

by:ewit
ID: 37057116
It looks to be taking the same amount of time to open attachments when in offline mode. I tried opening before and after turning off Cached mode. I know these problems don't appear related to a server being turned off, but this all started happening at that point on 30+ machines.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37061748
I understand.  I don't think the server is the issue though.  Since it takes just as long to open the attachments when working offline, and that eliminates the server entirely, it seems like the problem is local.  Have you tried deleting Outlook's cache file (i.e. Outlook.ost) and letting it create a new one?  If you're nervous about deleting the cache file, then you can move it to another location and move it back later on.
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Author Comment

by:ewit
ID: 37063055
BlueDevilFan - Deleted their .ost and reopened Outlook and let it rebuild their local inbox. Still the same results with opening the attachments.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37063579
Then I'm stumped.  I've not seen this behavior before.
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Author Comment

by:ewit
ID: 37065659
I think I might have a lead...Add-Ins. There is a PDFMOutlook Add who's load behavior states: "Not loaded. A runtime error occured during the loading of the COM Add-in." Figuring it needed updating, I started and canceled the update. The error that popped up said "Error 1606. Could not access network location \\OLDSERVER\Users\USERNAME\.". When this add on was removed and re-added, everything worked fine once (both adobe and office files) before going back to being slow. Pretty sure I found our problem.
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37068704
Good deal!  Glad you have a fix and thanks for sharing it.
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Accepted Solution

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ewit earned 0 total points
ID: 37078399
There's underlying culprit is a registry subkey. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/886549 has a fix for it. Also, creating a new local user profile on the machine seems to help. I just renamed their old profile so when they logged in again it would build them a new one. Problem solved in every case of the issue we have. Thanks for your help, BlueDevilFan!
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Author Closing Comment

by:ewit
ID: 37098927
This particular method worked in our cases, because the microsoft program installer was looking for the user's home directory on the network. While the registry key solution worked in some cases, rebuilding the profile worked in all, so there was some local piece of data that was never located causing the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 37078681
You're welcome!
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