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Wierd issue with missing "FROM" field in Outlook.

Posted on 2016-11-09
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Last Modified: 2016-11-17
I administer a site with around 50 users. The majority use one of three 2008R2 terminal servers. Office 2010 is in use, with Outlook 2010. Mail is hosted in the cloud, via Office365.

Recently, several users have reported the same issue. Under the "From" column in Outlook the  display name is displayed as expected. If a user forwards an email, or attempts to reply,  it is blank. So far 4 users have reported the same issue. It is intermittent, and only affects some emails. Once an email does this however, successive attempts to reply do not seem to help.  

I tried creating a new profile and downloading one user's entire mailbox, that did NOT solve the issue. In one case, I added a mailbox to my own Outlook profile (on a PC), it seems fine. For one user, the problem vanished when I set their reply signature; unsure if that was related. It is the same problem affecting multiple users, however there seems to be little pattern to it. It only began happening a couple of days ago.

I plan to reboot the three TS boxes and the DC/File server in around 4 hours. If that does nothing I have no idea what to try next.

Anyone else seen this?
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Question by:Mal Osborne
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7 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Brian B
ID: 41882704
When you reply to a message, the FROM field is usually hidden unless you have it turned on.

Do any of these users have the ability to send as someone besides themselves?

Second, is the FROM field blank? IF you try to send without filling in the field does it work?
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 41883097
That is not the problem I am seeing, I have been using Exchange and Outlook for years, I know how to made the from field show on new emails.

1. When a message if replied to. the email address should be populated in the TO: field of the newly created message; it is not. The field is blank.

2. When a message is forwarded, the FROM field is as shown below:

Capture.JPG
This is problematic for users who receive emails from outside of the organisation, need to reply, and don't know the sender's email address. It  is possible to read through the header and determine the senders address, however this is not really a practical solution for non IT people.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 41885728
UPDATE:

1. Rebooted the three terminal servers and DC, made no change.
2. Two laptop users have reported the same issue, running Outlook 2010 and 200 7 locally. (yeah I know 2007 is unsupported)
3. The problem seems to have vanished recently, still waiting to hear about more instances.
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

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Brian B earned 1500 total points
ID: 41886374
I understand now, when a user replies to a message, the "TO" line is not populated?

Just to confirm, you said creating a new profile did not fix the problem. That seems to have been the solution every other time I have seen this happen. To help get you a quick solution, I have added some more topics and flagged the question to bring it to the attention of more Experts.

Meanwhile, one basic troubleshooting method is to try running Outlook in safe mode (Start, Run, "outlook /safe").
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 41887151
Yeah, recreating a new profile and sucking down the users email did not seem to help.

I had 6 out of 50 users report this in two consecutive days. 2/6 were laptop users. the rest Terminal server.  1/6 was running Outlook 2007, the others Outlook 2010. 2 opened one mailbox in common. 5/6 were in the head office, the other one was on a separate connection, in a remote office.  In most cases I saw it happen, or screenshots were submitted.

Really nothing much in common, apart from using the same domain on Office 365.  I suspect other users did not report this, 6 out of 50 pretty much at once is not a coincidence.

Seems to have stopped now, as mysteriously as it started. Will monitor for a few days and see what happens.
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LVL 19

Author Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 41891015
OK, been a few days now. I am convinced that this was a real problem, and that it has gone. Is bugging me as to how the hell this particular fault could have occurred, every explanation seems to defy any sort of rational logic.

Think I might put it down to some form of witchcraft. Might sacrifice a goat next time.
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LVL 19

Author Closing Comment

by:Mal Osborne
ID: 41891018
Given some points for relevant suggestions
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