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Outlook slow with Exchange

Sheldon Livingston
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I have a user using Outlook 2003 with Exchange 2003.

He connects via a VPN when using is laptop.

His mailbox is 16GB

Outlook, one day, started working very slow.  Did the 16GB mailbox all of a sudden cause an issue?  He used to have a 20GB box.

He's in cached mode.  Am I missing a setting that should be used when not in the office connected via the network?
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Commented:
Does Outlook run faster when it is disconnected from Exchange (in Offline mode)?

Are there any telltales on what might be running hard on the machine, such as network I/O, disk activity, fullness of disk, RAM levels on the machine, etc.?
If in cached mode - then only changes to the mailbox should sync.
Look for any desktop search engine trying to index the mailbox, that can kick in at any time and will scan the entire mailbox and content. (best to have desktop search engines NOT search oultook).

Check any AV software is not running (causing slowness) against the local OST file.
Sheldon LivingstonConsultant

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Commented:
16GB inbox shouldn't be an issue?
Commented:
16GB is very large.  

You could be hitting the limits, depending on your configuration (in size and number of folders): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830336

Outlook 2010 increased the limits: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982577

Have you tried renaming the OST and letting Outlook rebuild it?
Sheldon LivingstonConsultant

Author

Commented:
Cannot put Outlook in offline mode... clicking it does nothing.

The issue is that it cannot send or receive unless in the office on the wireless network (yes it is on the Internet).
Sheldon LivingstonConsultant

Author

Commented:
I closed Outlook, renamed the OST, opened Outlook and received an error message stating that Outlook couldn't open because the server couldn't be found.  I re-renamed the OST and it opened again... still not syncing correctly.
Sheldon LivingstonConsultant

Author

Commented:
Retract that... OST was renamed and now Outlook is opening... taking a while.

Commented:
So it sounds like you have another issue - connectivity with your Exchange Server.  This is being done all via the VPN connection?  Can you ping the Exchange Server by its FQDN?

Commented:
It will take a long time for the OST to be built - it is 16GB in size.  It will depend on your connectivity.  It is ideal to have the OST first built on a high speed network connection with the Exchange server, if that is possible.
Sheldon LivingstonConsultant

Author

Commented:
The error message did come back...  Outlook cannot open Unable to open window.  The set of folders could not be opened.

It is in cached mode...
If the OST file is damaged then you can re-create it (just OK that message that tells you the OST cannot be found).
This should be done only while on a good network link when the user will keep the device available to the network for several hours.

Commented:
It sounds like you have intermittent connectivity issues between the client machine (and Outlook) and the Exchange server.  This may likely be contributing to your speed problem as well.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Unicode Outlook OST and PST limits are 20GB
As you are at 16GB one would expect to see some preformacne issues as the user is reaching the Maximum Size

This can also be furthur complicated should the user has PSTs or personal folders open/connected that are also reaching maximum size: Non Unicode = 2GB Unicode 20GB

Best way to resolve this will not be to recreate an OST, but for the user to clear their mailbox and reduce its size
this includes everything in Inbox, Outbox, Deleted Items, Sent Items ect ect

Send items can be deleted if not needed, deleted items should be cleared

Inbox items, if they are important need to be in a PST, / Personal folder not the inbox

By doing this the user can greatly reduce the size of inbox and performance issues

If user has any pre-existing personal folders reaching maximum size they need to be broken down into smaller ones

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