Software

Spotlight Question: Outlook 2002 email problem with Windows 7

TechRepublic member Bear1Bear recently upgraded to Windows 7 Pro but now has a problem with sending email in Outlook 2002. If you can help this member resolve this email issue, you will earn a free TechRepublic coffee mug.
TechRepublic member Bear1Bear submitted the following question.

I recently upgraded my system from Windows XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro. After installing all my "useful" programs (Firefox, OfficeXP Pro, MBSA2, CCleaner, ZoneAlarmInternetSuite, Ad-Aware, MS SecurityEssentials, Spybot S&D, FoxitPDF Reader, Irfanview, Malwarebytes AntiMalware, SpywareGuard, Winzip, & WinPatrol), I tried to check my email (Outlook 2002 -- from OfficeXP).

Outlook now has an annoying loss of focus problem. As I'm typing this email, I've had to click inside the mail window numerous times to continue typing! I'm wondering if one of my "security" apps is the cause, but using msconfig to turn off all and selectively restart those apps has no effect on the problem. Also, I've noted that my laptops fan speeds up while I'm losing focus.

I'm completely stumped. Any suggestions would be truly appreciated.

Please post your answer(s) in the discussion thread. If you can successfully help this member, we will send you a TechRepublic coffee mug.

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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

23 comments
esvcx
esvcx

I had this exact same issue on my laptop. My laptop was a dell running with the "precision ON" feature. It turns out this was set to keep a record of my emails every 5 mins. When it went through this cycle, my email would lose focus for 5-10 seconds, and anything I wrote at that point was ignored (very irritating as I dont touch type). After changing the setting to "only export on exit" everything was fine. Even if you dont use the DELL precision ON system there are others like it that can cause the same issue. Check in the application log to find out which program is running at the time this issue occurs. Hope this helps someone.

Windows7Guy
Windows7Guy

Hello Sonja, Just an FYI for you. It is always best to check with the software manufacturer FIRST. They will tell you if they have tested the product and the version, as well as whether or not it will work with Windows 7. Check out the Windows 7 Compatibility site: (There you will find out about hardware and software compatibility.) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/en-us/default.aspx There is a pulldown from which you can choose "hardware" and "software". There are also some great articles, instructional videos and such to help with your Windows 7 at our Springboard site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/default.aspx In any event a lot of the times, Vista drivers will work in lieu of Windows 7 drivers, however, it's not 100%! As stated previously, it's best to have the Windows 7 certified drivers installed. Thanks again, John M. Microsoft Windows Client Support

grof21
grof21

You can try to start Outlook in Compatibility Mode (Windows XP)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't recall even hearing about a 2002 version of Outlook, or any other Office application. Office XP, 2000, 2003, 2007, yes; but 2002? Was this a Mac version? Was there a full Office 2002 suite, or just an Outlook app?

Charles.Moore
Charles.Moore

Well as most geeks would tell you, the easiest way to figure this thing out is to eliminate variables. Hardware or Software. If you can, try this. Use another machine or VM, instlal Windows 7 and Outlook 2002 ONLY. Is the issue still present....? Typically the issue you are speaking of will not be a hardware issue. I have to say I have never seen a program cause a fan to "wind up" for any reason unless the program is specifically written to do so. (remember the old coffee cup holder trick with a CD-Rom) So in short I would say personally this issue is probably related to some other software installed on your machine. I do have to agree with everyone else in saying to much ANTI spyware, malware, and antivirus can be just as harmful as having the actual infection.

kburrows
kburrows

First, you are probably having issues with spyware programs conflicting with each other, You have ZoneAlarm, Ad-Aware, Malwarebytes, Spybot, SpywareGuard, WinPatrol and MSSE all running at the same time. Talk about overkill! Several of these also scan email for malicious activity, so I am sure there is a queue for each one to take a turn with every email. Try turning ALL of the spyware programs off except the MS Security Essentials and I think you will find your CPU usage drop and the fan speed drop with it. Another trick you can try since you have Win7 is to add the CPU meter desktop gadget and see what happens with and without all the spyware programs disabled. I understand your thought process that not every spyware program catches everything, but you may be doing more harm than good by running this many at one time. Pick one (most of these are great programs) and use it exclusively for active scanning and use the others for maintenance scanning.

ultimitloozer
ultimitloozer

Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite & MS Security Essentials are both AV products. You should NEVER have 2 AV products installed on the same machine due to the massive performance hit such an action incurs and it can induce TONS of quirky behavior on the system. I would recommend removing one of the products to see if that remedies the situation. If it does not, we need to know what other applications and background processes are running. Any indication of problems in the error or system logs (especially in regard to hardware) categorized as either warnings or errors? When you lose the focus, what element is gaining the focus? Is it shifting to another app, something running in the notification area, or the desktop?

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

Maybe upgrade to a slightly newer version of Office/Outlook?

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

TechRepublic member Bear1Bear recently upgraded to Windows 7 Pro but now has a problem with sending email in Outlook 2002. According to Bear1Bear, "Outlook now has an annoying loss of focus problem. A I'm typing this email, I've had to click inside the mail window numerous times to continue typing!" If you a solution, please post it in the discussion thread. The first person who can fix this problem will receive a free TechRepublic coffee mug.

kgort
kgort

Office 2002 is another name for Office XP

BEAR1BEAR
BEAR1BEAR

While I did state that I HAVE all these protective programs, I did NOT state that they all run at the same time. Only Zone Alarm, WinPatrol, Spyware Guard and Spybot run concurrently and they NEVER conflicted on the XP Pro setup I used to run. AdAware, MSSE and MalwareBytes are run once a week using admin settings and when scanning ceases they are turned off (unless a problem is detected). That being said, eliminating the conflict possibility, why then, would Outlook, Word or Excel(all v2002 from Office XP Pro)lose focus and mysteriously re-focus after say, 3 to 5 seconds? I'm not a computer tech (like most of the people on this blog seem to be) just a user with a problem. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Alain in Qu?bec
Alain in Qu?bec

We faced a very similar situation after upgrading a workstation to Win7. Turned out that the keyboard was behaving erratically under Win7. Switched keyboards, problem solved. By the way, the old keyboard still behaves OK on an old XP workstation. Alain

BEAR1BEAR
BEAR1BEAR

On the XP Pro I had before Win 7 Pro (on the eact same hardware) I ran ZAIS AND AVG a/v without any problems. If the settings don't conflict with each other, for example--only ZAIS scans email actively--why should there be a problem? At any rate I removed AVG temporarily to see if there was a behavior change--there wasn't. Also, because I'm not very familiar with ALL the processes that are supposed to be running as a part of Win 7 I cannot isolate any one process. In answer to your question RE: where focus goes...it simply leaves the "active" window, no dialog box, no other program request, nothing. I'm assuming it's the OS that's taking the focus away. BTW..I am not a technician, just a user interested in technology.

BEAR1BEAR
BEAR1BEAR

A good suggestion, but not practical in my case. The OS cost major budget $$$$ compared to my employment situation (as in, I'm unemployed for now). Need a solution to the problem not more MS software that could cause MORE problems.

robert.a.hatcher
robert.a.hatcher

I have built 3 laptops from Windows Xp to Windows 7 (all HPs) and after scrounging around for drivers and putting on Spyware Doctor with Anti-virus, updating everything I then install Office 2002 (XP) and it works fine. Even after the three jillion updates Office wants.

rsharpton
rsharpton

At the point the fan speeds up I would look at the running processes. Task manager's process tab should be sufficent, although process explorer http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx (by microsoft) is more detailed. Just click the cpu column and sort by the process with the highest cpu load. Likely this would be the offending application. You can do a quick cross reference to www.tasklist.org to make sure what program it is if it is not obvious. Hope that helps, Robin

dklandry
dklandry

First, make sure your bios is the latest version. The problem your describing sounds like a drifting mouse. You may want to disable your laptop internal mouse to test this. What model laptop is it, and did you run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor to determine its compatibility with the new OS? Are you using the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7, and is it Ultimate, Professional, etc?

BEAR1BEAR
BEAR1BEAR

I appreciate the input but I'm not qualified to swap out a laptop keyboard. Besides, I'm not convinced it's a hardware issue.

kburrows
kburrows

If it were a hardware issue, he would see the same issues with other applications. It wouldn't be application specific. It would occur with any system usage.

ultimitloozer
ultimitloozer

Open up the Registry Editor (Run... regedt32) and navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop Look for the value "ForegroundLockTimeout" and set its value to 200000 (decimal). It is probably set either to 0 or a much lower value than 200000. BTW, multiple AV packages running concurrently on a single system can produce erratic behavior and even the failure of one or both products to continue scanning, especially if they both attempt to do "on-access" scanning.

BEAR1BEAR
BEAR1BEAR

I do not think it is a "drifting mouse". W7 Upgd advsr showed compatability of OS & hdwr. I am using a Gateway laptop NX570X with 2GB RAM on a 32bit Win7 Pro OS. As for the bios --unsure how to upgrade that -- I'm not a technician.

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