Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Posts Tagged ‘Outlook’

The Case of the Missing SharePoint “Connect to Outlook” Action

Posted by William Diaz on December 1, 2011


This one originally came to me as a complaint from a single user about his inability to connect one of his SharePoint calendars to Outlook 2003. In most SharePoint lists, there is an Actions menu that should contain this option:
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Often, this problem is resolved by installing the SharePoint Services Support for Office and/or simply repairing Office. You can also find a good guide to troubleshooting this issue here. But none of these options were resolving the issue. Additionally, as I began to investigate to see if the problem could be recreated on various tech workstations, I realized that the impact was not isolated to a single workstation, but almost all workstations in our helpdesk. Of the systems that were not affected, one of them resided on my desk, a lab PC that had since departed from the standard Windows XP Pro image we deploy firm-wide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some PDF Internals

Posted by William Diaz on November 2, 2011


Often times when sorting through Process Monitor logs, you find yourself having to employ some intuition to zero-in on what is an otherwise vague result: NAME NOT FOUND. Its normal to see these results en masse, and most of these are perfectly legit. But knowing how to apply a few filters and some basic understanding of what you are looking for is sometimes enough to narrow down why your application is failing. In a previous post, I demonstrated this approach. Here is another example.

In this case, the user was not able to open PDFs from within our Outlook-integrated document management system. The error reported was rather generic as you can see below: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Troubleshooting Tools | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Printing A List Of Outlook Folders

Posted by William Diaz on September 1, 2011


Besides taking screen shots of the Outlook navigation pane, there is no built in way to print or output to a file a list of folders. However, you can work around this by creating a macro in Outlook using the Visual Basic editor.

In Outlook 2010:

  1. Enable the Developer tab by going to the File tab > Customize Ribbon.
  2. Check the Developer option under the right column and click OK.
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  3. The Developer tab is now part of the Outlook Ribbon.
    image
  4. Select the Visual Basic button (or ALT+F11).
  5. Right-click the Module folder, then Insert > Module and name it.
  6. Copy and paste the code at the bottom of this post into the VBA Project window
    or
    Import the attached .bas file below by going to File > Import File
  7. Run the macro by clicking the Macro button. There are two options available, ExportFoldernames and ExportFolderNamesSelect:
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    The first one exports the currently selected folder and the second one allows you to specify a folder (or the entire mailbox). You can choose to structure or not to structure the output and a text file will be written to the desktop named outlookfolders.txt.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Office | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Dumping A Thread to Find An Exception

Posted by William Diaz on August 3, 2011


Before any basic crash analysis, I always turn to the Windows Event view to find signs of problem. In the case here, the problem manifested itself as Outlook crashing when the user opened a particular Outlook form. Looking at the Windows Event Viewer, we see an application event for Outlook:
Read the rest of this entry »

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Outlook 2010 Disables Windows Search Email Indexer … By Design

Posted by William Diaz on August 2, 2011


As more organizations start migrating toward Outlook 2010 and Windows 7, you are bound to start seeing complaints of the Windows Search Email Indexer being disabled:
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There is no shortage of misinformation on the Internet about the subject that explains how to enable this add-in and regain the missing search functionality. Ignore all of it. This is by design. Windows Search is already part of Vista and Windows 7, and there is nothing wrong with Outlook or Windows. See the details in this Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2385524

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Sizing It Up – How Encoding Impacts Successful Message Delivery

Posted by William Diaz on August 1, 2011


Because of the way e-mail messages are encoded, several more MBs can be added to the size of a message, causing it to exceed the message send restrictions defined on the Exchange server1. As a result, there can be some confusion, since Outlook will show that the message is well below the size restrictions. For example,  we cap our message size restrictions at 24MBs. However, we might have a recipient that never receives a 20MB message or is not able to send a message of the same size.

Lets take the example here where I have created a message and attached two Word documents, 10MBs and 11MBs respectively: Read the rest of this entry »

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Everything You Wanted (or Didn’t Want) to Know About the Outlook Auto-Complete File

Posted by William Diaz on May 6, 2011


Some Auto-Complete (.nk2 & .dat) facts: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Office | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Know the Stack (or More Hang Analysis Using Process Explorer)

Posted by William Diaz on April 28, 2011


A few moments after opening Outlook, the user complains of unresponsiveness. We start by running Process Explorer. Process Explorer is “self-contained”, so there is no installation required. You can run it directly from SysInternals Live: http://live.sysinternals.com/. I also have it on our lab so I ran it from there:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Troubleshooting | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

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:
Read the rest of this entry »

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