Unable to open Outlook

By nik2
Mar 18, 2008
  1. My Microsoft Outlook file (not Outlook Express) was set up to send/receive messages through one of my ISP’s. I made some minor changes to my Tasks folder on 3/10/08. I then went to Disc Cleanup and compressed my files. Prior to this day I had never checked “Compress Old Files“ for cleanup. I then shut down the computer. When I restarted, I was unable to access Microsoft Outlook at all.

    If I right clicked on Outlook Icon on the toolbar a box would open asking me to create a new profile with a new profile name. When I hit “cancel” I received this Error Message “No profiles have been created. To create new profile, use the Mail Icon in the Control Panel. When I pressed OK I received another Error Message saying “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists.” When I went to the Control Panel and pressed the Mail Icon, there was a box that said “These are the profiles that are set up on this computer.” Inside the box is “empty” showing no profiles at all.

    I then did a search and located my Outlook file. I attempted to open it to no avail. It had 44,256KB Office Data File.

    When I attempted to open it I receive this Error Message: Cannot start Microsoft Outlook the command line argument is not valid. Verify the switch you are using.

    On 3/12/08 I ran Outlook in Safe Mode. I was able to create another file, Outlook 1, which I can use in the future. Of course, I still have the problem of opening my original Outlook file with years of data in it.

    I hope someone on this site can help me. This is my first posting.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Backup your 44,256KB file (just make a copy)

    ReInstall Office and select repair option (you may be able to single out Outlook only)
    You will need your original Office CD and key
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    the modification timestamps(TS) are worthless; Outlook will modify them in the act of
    attempting to open the archive; it doesn't complete and fails, but has modified the TS regardless :(
  4. nik2

    nik2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Question for Kimsland

    I'm not sure what backing up my original Outlook file and reinstalling Outlook would do to alleviate my problem? As I stated previously, I was able to set up a new file - Outlook 1 - which I'm presently using. My problem is that I need the data from my original Outlook file. I need to know how to open it.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    just double clicking on it should open it; are you suggesting it doesn't?
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I'm saying it will repair it (ie the data will then be accesssible again)
  7. nik2

    nik2 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    If I'm able to follow your instructions and reinstall Outlook, will I then have two Outlook Outlook and an Outlook 1?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes, two accounts
  9. nik2

    nik2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Could there be a correlation between me losing my original Outlook file and "system restore" not working properly? It seems doubtful to me, however, I thought I should at least ask. I do so because immediately after losing access to the Outlook file (which I have previously described), I attempted to do a system restore. Ironically, none of the "specified dates" I tried worked. Prior to that date, I had never experienced a problem using system restore.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,150   +597

    there might be a date upon which major 'things happened' but
    1. MS will run w/o outlook
    2. outlook has nothing to do with the OS itself
    Whatever 'ate your homework' caused multiple issues and is just coincident.
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