Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Archive for March, 2011

The Case of the Email Reply & Forward Hangs

Posted by William Diaz on March 16, 2011

This is another example of where you can use Process Explorer for application hang analysis. In the case here, when replying to a specific email or forwarding it, Outlook 2003 would become unresponsive. To get an idea of what was happening we ran Process Explorer on the user’s workstation and opened the Outlook.exe process properties. From here, we went to the Threads tab, selected the main OUTLOOK .EXE thread and then took a look at the stack: Read the rest of this entry »


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Outlook OST Size vs. Exchange Mailbox Size

Posted by William Diaz on March 14, 2011

You may (or may not) have noticed that the local cached mailbox for Outlook, also known as the OST file, is larger than the Exchange mailbox size. There is no shortage of misinformation about this topic, some of it incorrectly attributing this to corruption1. For example, the mailbox seen here in Exchange is only 132 MBs:
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Outlook Crashes & Outllib.dll

Posted by William Diaz on March 2, 2011

I have seen many an Outlook crash in the desktop support role. Often times, if you go into the Windows Event Viewer and look in the Application logs you will see a corresponding error for Microsoft Office. If you look at the details, you might see that it will point to outllib.dll as the faulting module:
Often times, this error is being caused by outcmd.dat, the file that stores your toolbar custom settings in Outlook. To see if this resolves the problem with Outlook crashing, close Outlook and go to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and delete this file. Since the crashes can be random, monitor for the problem before assuming it has been corrected. A telltale sign that this file is causing the problem is to check its size. A normal outcmd.dat is between 10-20 kb and anything larger than 100kb should be suspect.

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