Outlook fax attachments show ghost faxes when viewed

Posted on 2011-10-31
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a domain environment with SBS 2003 using Exchange, latest service packs.  Fax services on SBS server.  Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2010.  NOD32 everywhere, Exchange Module also.

Problem:  Users are experiencing "ghost" images of previous faxes.  And nO, it has nothing to with this being posted on Halloween!  

Basically one person (let's call her Jill) receives all faxes via email with attached fax in .tif format.  She then forwards them to appropriate recipient (also on domain).  Recipient then views fax in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.  When viewing attachment the original is there, but sometimes there is also a fax that had been received previously.  Oddly enough, over the course of multiple new fax attachments, it often seems to pull the same ghost pages.  When comparing recipients view with view of same email by Jill (see above), Jill sees no ghosts.  This does not happen to all users.

If immediately upon viewing the attachment, user goes to print, it prints just the original fax.  If ghost pages are scrolled and viewed, will also print the ghost fax pages.  If attachment is saved, it will include ghost.

We tried IrfanView with limited success.  At first it seemed to work but users report still have issue.  We tried clearing the Outlook tempfiles with script that launches upon user login, but more limited success.  Making matters worse, this client must adhere to HIPAA.standards so it would be bad if one of these ghosts got forwarded to the wrong client.

Question by:computerwrangler

    Author Comment

    Just looked at the customary assigning of points.  Mea Culpa.  500 it is!
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Check that both office suites have the latest SPs installed

    Office 2003 SP3

    Office 2010 SP1

    Now having said that.

    Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer, especially in Office 2003, has a history of keeping or caching viewed files.
    SO one might open an image to view, close and open a new image to view, only to see the previous one there.
    You actually have to then arrow left or right to get to the new one.

    For this reason, we do not use MS Picture and Fax viewer for tif files

    We simply install WInFax MiniView on the client PCs and set it for the defautl viewer for .tif images


    Author Comment


    Thanks for the response.  We actually moved from 2003 to 2010 but are seeing same problem with 2010.  Yes, latest SPs, forgot to mention that.

    Have to agree using something besides MSP&FV, that's why we tried IrfanView and it helped but still page counts were off.  Wouldn't display images, but kind of unnerving that it thinks other pages are there.

    Maybe a piece of the question is can we definitively assume this not related to Exchange ?
    LVL 47

    Accepted Solution

    Deffinatley not related to exchange but the viewing application.

    Test it.

    Send an email to one of the "Affected" Pcs from a POP Email account w/ PDF
    and vice versa

    Or even from POP to POP

    Use Office Picture and Fax Viewer to open the images

    Think you will find it still happens

    This is why we went with MiniView

    Author Closing Comment


    I was hoping for a different silver bullet to solve this mess but going around it as you suggest appears to be the most viable solution.

    We'll be providing users with a short batch file they can run to clear the Outlook temp cache.  And we'll be using a viewer other than P&FV, probably IrfanView or another, but I can't see putting anything Symantec on this network.  Been tripped up by them too many times.

    Thanks for confirmation re: local or Exchange.  Points are yours.

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