Outlook 2003 Won't Open

By MrNemo ยท 4 replies
Feb 12, 2007
  1. I am troubleshooting a client machine. When Outlook 2003 is opened in normal mode, Outlook freezes on the splash screen (not responding). When Outlook safe mode is selected, it crashes slightly after the splash screen appears. Also, when attempting to modify email profile settings (control panel>mail), the program stops responding when it gets to the e-mail accounts window (add, change, remove).

    Solutions attempted:
    1. Detect and Repair
    2. Complete uninstall of Office and complete Reinstall w/ Office SP2.
    3. Restart- selective startup with all startup items disabled.

    This is a domain user on a laptop with roaming profile.

    Any troubleshooting ideas? I wish I could remove the account from the Mail list and re-add it, but when starting Outlook after the fresh install, it is trying to migrate his data (you can see that screen come up before it freezes when opened in Outlook Safe Mode). I imagine there is some sort of way to set Outlook to defaults so it isn't trying to pull in that profile, some sort of switch or something. Methink I should have removed stray registry settings after uninstalling it or something to get it really clean.

    Thank you!

  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Just a quick thought, but disable (or even uninstall) your virus scanner, temporarily. I'm unsure if safe mode disables virus scanner plug-ins, but if it doesn't, this could definitely be a possible cause.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    sound like a corupt user profile for Outlook.

    your contacts et all are in
    \Docs & Settings\yourlogin\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    save these elsewhere as backups.
    outlook.pst is the major file. it's too late now, but in the future, export
    your Contacts, Tasks, and Calendar as a protection.

    the other stuff is in
    \Docs & Settings\yourlogin\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    I *think* these are your problem, but not sure;
    also copy these elsewhere

    delete both sets
    attempt to open Outlook

    If it will operate correctly, you can exit and restore your contacts with a copy replace (not a move -- keep'em!)
  4. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    JoeBeard's advice is spot on for a starter. A slightly easier test is to log into the same laptop with a different user (with similar domain and local machine privledges) and then see how Outlook behaves. If it crashes too, you know you have a local machine issue as opposed to user profile. Being a roaming profile, though, I find the profile highly suspect. If things point at the profile, Joe's advice is a great starting point, and fixes 90% of such issues that I've seen.

    There are quite a few registry keys that can get mucked and furthermore, the permissions on those keys. A Google can help you find those if you really want to go about a manual uninstall (after the initial uninstall), but oy that's a pain- should be used as a last resort. Like I only do that if reinstalling/reimaging the machine isn't an option for some reason (in most reasonable corporate/domain environments that's a quick solution- usually the problem preventing a reimage is a unique setup, or the user storing all of their information on the local HD instead of the network like told over and over and over and ()#*)%(#*%!!!! Sorry, rant..)

    Does changing the user's local machine privledges help any? IE if you go from normal user to power user or admin, do things work better? (probably not.) If you're a glutton for pain: If you do a packet capture, what is the last mapi/ldap/imap/pop/smtp request you see go out before the freeze or crash? For example, when Outlook fires up the accounts window, it actually will query an exchange server for information about the account before showing you the screen.

    Just some ideas, hope they help.
  5. MrNemo

    MrNemo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    Fantastic. Thanks for the help. I forgot to mention I logged on as Admin and everything worked, Doh! But I just renamed the local account to .old and let it pull it down from A/D. Everything seems fine.

    Thank you all.
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