Outlook 2010 won't load

Hello,

What would cause MS Outlook 2010 application to be unable to load?

Everything else in my system seems to be functioning normally. This includes the other Office applications installed on my computer. However, whenever I attempt to launch Outlook, it brings up the following image but then doesn't progress any further:

Fig.The problem started just yesterday but I cannot identify anything else that occurred then (ie new software installation, etc.) I tried restarting my system but that did not resolve the issue.

I would appreciate any thoughts as to what might be causing the problem and even more importantly, suggestions for fixing it.

Thanks
Steve_BradyAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Steve,
Since it seems to be hanging during the "Loading Profile" phase, my first guess is that it's a corrupt profile, which happens surprisingly often. I have Outlook 2007 and 2013, but I skipped 2010, so I can't help you with my own screenshots. But here's an article that shows how to delete the old profile and create a new one:
http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/newprofile.htm

It could also be some other issue, such as a PST problem, and here's another article from the same site that discusses more (although my money is on the profile being the culprit):
http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/outlookdoesntstart.htm

Regards, Joe
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jcimarronCommented:
Steve_Brady --
Try a System Restore to a day before the problem started.
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Joe RudSystems AdministratorCommented:
Any chance you have a ShoreTel phone system (more to the point, the desktop software installed)?

I can't remember the process name offhand (client-something maybe?).  But that's when I've seen this.  There was a problem with the Outlook integration with software.


Try starting outlook in safemode, to see if one of the add-ons is causing the problem.  Run outlook.exe /safe
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
Funny how you say shoretel because I had that issue to and I cannot remember the process but it had to be run in xp mode etc.

As recommended by Geisrud I would check the add-ons.  Also this has been an issue in the past with the send-to-bluetooth option in office

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2803733
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses.

Unfortunately, the problem persists. The chronology of steps is shown below.

FYI, Outlook (and Visio) are the only Office 2010 apps I'm running. All other apps (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.) are Office 2013. The reason for continuing to use Outlook 2010 is another story but the important point is that this configuration of Office apps has been working great for several months.

Chronology
Before seeing any EE responses, I was able to reach a knowledgeable friend who suggested and walked me through the following:
01) make sure any external drives with active PST files are connected_RESULT >> OK
02) try starting Outlook in safe mode: Run outlook.exe /safe_RESULT >> same problem
03) profile probably corrupt, walked me through creating a new one
04) tick "Prompt for a profile to be used"
New profilea05) click "Cancel" when asked for account/password, etc.
06) click "Create new profile without any email accounts"
07) tried launching Outlook again_RESULT >> no change & was not prompted for a profile
08) Is Drive C overfilled?_ANSWER >> Interestingly I noticed it was red earlier this morning but emptying the trash fixed that and gave me 19+ GB free.
09) uninstalled Office 2010
10) rebooted
11) reinstalled Office 2010 using custom install and configuring as shown here:
Install configuration12) launched Outlook_RESULT >> this time I got the prompt to select a profile
13) selected Default profile_RESULT >> took me to my normal inbox & folder tree
14) celebrated and sent thankyou-text to friend saying:  "It was like reconnecting with a lost relative with whom I have a very strong love/hate relationship. :)"
15) clicked to Contacts screen, entered a name in the search bar & pressed Enter_RESULT >> Outlook froze, ie "Not Responding"
16) forced closure by clicking, "Close Program"
17) tried starting Outlook_RESULT >> same as original problem
18) felt anguish
19) texted friend again to ask if he could think of any other solutions_HIS REPLY >> "not off the top of my head, I have never heard of such a thing"
20) anguish increased
21) uninstalled Office 2010
22) rebooted
23) reinstalled Office 2010 using custom install and same configuration as shown above
24) installation now complete but fearful of relaunching Outlook until advised further by my good (and brilliant) friends at EE

Thanks again

PS I will reply to other posts shortly.
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
>>Try a System Restore to a day before the problem started.

That sounds like a great idea but first, a confession:

    • I've never done a system restore due to:
            1) fear of losing data, and
            2) not knowing how.

and a couple of questions:

    • Is #1 a concern? Is there a possibility that data could be altered or lost?
    • Re #2, can you explain how to do it or point me somewhere that will?

For your information, I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate and I first noticed the problem yesterday, September 16th.

Thanks
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Joe,

Regarding your first link, I believe everything it describes has been done.

And your second link (http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/outlookdoesntstart.htm) includes the section I've included below. I responded (in bold) to some items but could you comment regarding which other items, based on the above chronology, may still apply or not apply?

------------------------------------------------------------
We’ll start off this guide with 3 easy questions. Depending on the answers, you could possibly skip large portions of this guide or even directly get a solution to your startup issue.

Is Outlook up-to-date? >> Yes
Did Outlook ever work? >> Yes
Does Outlook still work for other users on the computer?  >> I'm the only user.

Safe Mode  Done
Reset dat-files
Cannot open the Outlook window
Disable add-ins
Use scanpst.exe to fix Outlook Data File errors
Recreate your mail profile
Run a Repair, Office Diagnostics or reinstall Office/Outlook
Check the Event Viewer and post in the Outlook forum for further help
------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
Thinking out loud...since it failed in Safe mode, it's not an Add-in problem...since it loaded the new profile but then froze when accessing Contacts, maybe there's a problem in the PST file. First, copy the PST to a safe location, so it's easy to restore in case the repair operation goes awry. Then look at the "Use scanpst.exe to fix Outlook Data File errors" section in the article I mentioned before:
http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/outlookdoesntstart.htm

Re your questions:

#1: No, not a concern. System restore will not cause loss of data files.

#2: Here's a link to the MS site that discusses how to restore in W7:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/system-restore

Googling "system restore windows 7" will turn up several other links with tutorials.

Regards, Joe
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
Our posts just crossed...after hitting Submit on my last one, I saw yours. Will take a look at it now. Cheers, Joe
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
>>Any chance you have a ShoreTel phone system (more to the point, the desktop software installed)?

I use a Vonage Companion soft phone but I don't know if that is similar to what you described.
Vonage CompanionTry starting outlook in safemode, to see if one of the add-ons is causing the problem.  Run outlook.exe /safe

Done (see chronology above)

Thanks
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
>>Also this has been an issue in the past with the send-to-bluetooth option in office.

No Bluetooth.

Thanks
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Here's my opinion on the items you didn't bold:

Reset dat-files: Skip this – it's not relevant for Outlook 2010 (or 2013).

Cannot open the Outlook window: Skip this – you're not getting that error.

Disable add-ins: Skip this – running Outlook in Safe mode, which you already did, disables add-ins.

Use scanpst.exe to fix Outlook Data File errors: Try this, as I suggested in my previous post. But first make a copy of the PST!

Recreate your mail profile: You already did this – right? This was actually my #1 idea, but I thought you said you did this.

Run a Repair, Office Diagnostics or reinstall Office/Outlook: You already did a reinstall.

Check the Event Viewer and post in the Outlook forum for further help: Couldn't hurt to look at Event Viewer. Here's a link to the MS site that discusses how to open the Event Viewer in W7:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/open-event-viewer

Regards, Joe
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
>>Joe: First, copy the PST to a safe location…

Copying underway.

This is interesting—at least to me:  I commonly use the search utility, "Everything", to quickly locate files when I don't recall their precise location or even to save navigating time. In doing so this evening (in order to make copies), I used the search criteria:

    .pst !zip !tmp !lnk

(! = "not") and then sorted by Date Modified to see the most recent files.

When the results appeared, there were five files with Date Modified = today (9/17). Three where the files I expected but the other two are backup files which were dragged into obscure folders over a month ago.

Is that strange?

Thanks
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Yes, strange...I don't understand how files stored in a folder a month ago could have today as  the Modified Date...unless, of course, they were modified today...but how could that be?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
It's getting into the wee hours in my neck of the woods and I'm going to pack it in for the night. I'll check back into this thread first thing in the morning. Regards, Joe
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
I began to post some questions here about doing a System Restore. However, recognizing that to be a completely different topic, I opted to start a new or additional thread which is located here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28243228.html

My Outlook app is still down however so I will continue dialogue on that topic in this thread.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Does alert (#2) indicate that something's wrong or does it always come up this way when doing a system restore?

It doesn't mean there is something wrong, but it does mean that you have no restore points. If you did, you would see something like this:
Restore pointAnd when you check the [Show more restore points] box, you'll see earlier restore points, like this:
More Restore points> protection for Drive C to be "Off". Does that mean that no restore points have been saved?

Yes.

> What settings should be applied in box #6?

Check the [Restore system settings and previous versions of files] radio button. Re the Disk Space Usage setting, here's Microsoft's statement:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/how-much-disk-space-does-system-restore-require

They're saying 3-5% of the disk's capacity.

> Any other comments at this point?

Well, there's no way to go back to a restore point, since you don't have any, so I think trying to repair the PST is the next step that hasn't been tried yet. Regards, Joe
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
Our messages just crossed. I had your previous post with the System Restore questions open in a browser tab and I replied to them, and then I saw your updated post. Anyway, I'll also head on over to your new question. Regards, Joe
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
SOLVED!

Well, I think the issue is finally resolved; and although the solution came through a serendipitous discovery, I am certainly not to proud to accept it—especially after this much time. The problem was caused, I believe, by another program which was tying up the PST files in a way that prevented Outlook from accessing them.

In my never-ending quest to find a search utility which quickly and reliably searches by file content, I had sometime earlier downloaded/installed an application called Copernic Desktop Search. I had configured it to launch at start up and because it uses some type of indexing process, it apparently latched on to the PST files in some way that made them inaccessible to their mother application.

After everything else I tried had failed, it occurred to me that since I have three active PST files, perhaps I could narrow down the possibilities (if there was indeed a file problem) to a single file. Therefore, I opened the folder with the intent to serially change two of the three filenames so that only one would be recognized by Outlook at a time.

I never found out if that strategy would have given me the information I wanted because when I attempted the first renaming, an alert popped up saying the filename could not be changed because the file was being used by another application. Thus, since I had obviously closed Outlook before attempting to change filenames, I realized it had to be something else. Nothing else was open on my taskbar but a quick visit to the notification tray revealed the culprit.

This issue has used up a bunch of my time (and more importantly, yours) the past few days, but I have learned two valuable lessons:

1) although ruling out conflicts with other applications is already high on the list when a problem arises, it needs to be done in a more complete way, and

2) always make sure Drive C Protection is On so that restore points will be available if needed. (That brings another question to mind which I will ask in a new thread.)

Therefore, I am very grateful for the assistance.

Thanks
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
Great detective work! Very glad you got it sorted. Regards, Joe
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jcimarronCommented:
Steve_Brady--
When did you install Copernic Desktop Search?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Steve,
Very nice of you to award points for our efforts – not everyone does that and it is much appreciated! Even more important than the points are your "hearty thanks" and calling us "my friends". This is what the EE community is all about and it means a great deal to hear such gratitude. Regards, Joe
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jcimarronCommented:
Steve_Brady--Glad to have helped.
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Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the great responses. This was a frustrating situation and although I was the one who ended up determining the actual problem, it could have been any one of us. Furthermore, I doubt that I would have thought of that solution without first going through the various steps and suggestions posted in the thread. Thus, I once again give credit—along with another hearty thanks—to my friends at EE!  :)
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