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Outlook problem, cache mode, outlook0.ost, windows desktop search.

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Outlook problem, cache mode, outlook0.ost, windows desktop search.

jromeu
Hi, here's a relatively tough one for the forum's gurus.

I'm running Windows XP SP3 on a Dell XPS M1530 laptop with Intel Core Duo at 2Ghz with 2GB RAM. I am running Office 2003 Professional Edition, Firefox, McAfee Viruscan Enterprise 8.5.0i, Windows Desktop Search 4.0, Skype and a few more apps, but not that much crap installed.

I run Outlook in cache mode, with the outlook0.ost file being at 301MB and the Exchange mailbox size is 271Mb (I just compacted the OST file). I currently have 5 PST files for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 year emails. For professional reasons I should keep all my emails & appointments. Their sizes are respectively 0.2Gb, 1.7Gb, 2,7Gb, 3.5Gb and 3.4Gb. The current-year PST stores everything older than 2 months. I don't expect 2008 and 2009 PST files to grow over 4Gb. By the way, all PSTs are recently compacted.

I have Windows Desktop Search setup to index all PST files as this is something I really need (I might perform 10 email searches per day, 50% including <2008 emails). WDS also indexes "My Documents" with about 5.000 items, while the whole index (including the PST files) goes to about 250.000 items.

Both My Documents folder and the PST files are on an encrypted partition using Truecrypt 6.0a with Twofish. TC's benchmarks reports 125Mb/sec read and 119MbMb/sec wirte speeds with the 1Mb buffer option, averaging to 122Mb/sec. This is second to AES cipher performance which gets 138, 138 and 138 respectively. That's about 13% faster than Twofish on my system. If needed, I can change from Twofish to AES I think. However, I cannot do without encryption.

The PST files were defragmented about 15 days ago and specially the '04, '05, '06 and '07 don't get any changes nowadays.

Overall, the laptop's experience is decently good, I don't have to much crap installed in it. I can simultaneaously run Outlook, Firefox, Excel, Photoshop, Skype and something else quite well.

The problems I am experiencing are Outlook-related. When I run it, it might take a few secs to sync the inbox but that's fine. Running a WDS search will find emails pretty well & fast.

However, after a few minutes I will start getting a popup with this message:

"{mypathhere}\outlook0.ost is in use and cannot be accessed. Close any application that is using this file, and then try again".

Appart from the annoying popup (which might come in bundles of 3-4 every 10-15 minutes), the worst effect is the fact that it makes the PST files unavailable from Outlook. They still appear on the left folder menu and WDS can still find and show me their emails in the preview pane (because they are indexed) but I cannot open them. The only way around I have found so far is to restart Outlook and do the searching *before* I get the popups again.

When I travel and I have slower connections, this tends to happen more often so I suspect there's something to do with network problems... although this should not be the case at our office (where pinging the Exchange server give a consistent 1ms).

Reducing the number of open PST files open from Outlook seems to help. Right now, I have only 2007 & 2008 and I haven't being blocked for 20 minutes but this is painful because WDS is right now de-indexing the older PSTs so once I open them again (1) they will not be searchable and (2) WDS will need quite some CPU cycles and time to re-index them. So I really need to have all PSTs available at all times.

I think there might be some problem with WDS. When the popup appears, I see a few READ REQUESTS to outlook0.ost from both OUTLOOK.EXE and searchprotocolhost.exe returning a a SHARING VIOLATION error using Sysinternal's Filemon app. Many other READ REQUESTS return SUCCESS though. It's like WDS and Outlook interfere with each other until WDS blocks access to the OST and the the PST files are unreadable... !??

I hope I have given all the needed info... now it's time for you gurus help me somehow :-)

Thanks in advance
J
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The Scummy One
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creating a new .ost file?
Disable offline use, close Outlook. Re-enable offline use, and create a new .ost file.


Does this stop the error?

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jromeu
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thanks for the answer, I already tried that too a couple of weeks ago. It took some time to recreate the new OST (it's 300Mb) but it didn't solve the problem.

Any other ideas? :-)

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The Scummy One
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appt. is giving an issue. Try archiving all of your old calendar items.

What is your storage allotment on the exchange server? Many places have exchange restrictions (such as 100MB-500MB).

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jromeu
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Thanks a lot for your suggestions Sucmmy One. Let me see:

Storage allotment on the Exchange server shouldn't be a problem as now I have about 300Mb and it was over 1Gb last week.

I just did what you suggested. I renamed outlook0.ost and logged in. It has taken Outlook 5 min to recreate the 293Mb OST file.

I have also archived all calendar items older than 1 months. That was only 2Mb of data.

Unfortunately, I still get the same problem:

1. Occasional error popup as mentioned on first post.

2. Occasional error popup when I click on any of the PST files. The message is "Outlook no puede abrir este conjunto de carpetas" which should be something like "Outlook cannot open this group of folders". The effect of this is that all PSTs become anavailable and I have to restart Outlook.

Any other idea? Any one else? :-)

I know I can still format everything & reinstall everything but I don't feel like doing it myself (1 day job) or asking the IT people to do it (1 week job) ;-) Besides, this XPS M1530 is supposed to be Vista-only and there was quite a lot of work to do to find the right XP drivers, install order, etc.

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jromeu
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after I posted the previous message (about 4h ago) I have not had any other problem. I didn't get the outlook0.ost error popup anymore and clicking on the PST folders on the left menu worked perfectly. However, now I have found the latter error again.

I detail the problem. When I click on any of the PST files on the left menu in Outlook, I get an error message which translates to "The set of folders could not be open" and I have a link to a MS page (http://www.microsoft.com/products/ee/transform.aspx?ProdName=Office&EvtSrc=OfficeErrorMessages&EvtID=10056&LCID=3082&ProdVer=11.0) where unfortunately says nothing.

On a different post I have found instructions to run SCANPST.EXE which I have done for all my PST files, showing the following information:

2004 email PST: contained errors.
2005 email PST: contained errors.
2006 email PST: contained errors.
2007 email PST: contained errors.
2008 email PST: contained errors.

I have instructed SCANPST.EXE to correct all errors (backing up the files). Restarting outlook I get no apparent problems... I'll post back in a while to show the progress..

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jromeu
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after 2-3 hours of scanning all 5 PST files (11,5Gb) plus a quick SCANOST.EXE which reported no errors, nothing has been solved. I am still geting the above mentioned errors..

/me looking desperately for some guru advice... :-)

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teresa_shull
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Detect and Repair works for me when I am directly connected to the network. Doesn't seem to work when connected via dialup or VPN. Sometimes I have to select to have the repair done using a restore to default settings.

Unfortunately, I feel your pain as this scenario seems to continue to reoccur for me. It's very frustrating, especially when working from home and having to go into the office to repair. If anyone has a better solution, I'd appreciate it too.

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mfwarner
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I'm not a guru, but I too am looking for a stable way to encrypt PST AND OSTs, which brought me to this post...

As a test what if you disable WDS and try Google Destop. Still get the errors?

You mentiond that PSTs are on an encrypted partition. Is your OST encrypted as well? Again, as a test, if you do not use cached mode (no ost) do you still get errors?


Also more than one Exchange "expert" has told me that PSTs larger tham 2GB can tend to cause inconsistant results.

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jeremymk32
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I found a fix for this in microsoft support KB927676. Google that for link, brief info follows:

To resolve this issue, use the Fixmapi.exe tool to change the provider DLL search order.

Note If you reinstall the Exchange System Management Tools after Outlook 2007 has been installed, you must rerun the Fixmapi.exe tool. To run the Fixmapi.exe tool, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type %windir%\system32\fixmapi.exe, and then click OK.
2. Restart the computer.
3. Rebuild the computer's index catalog. To do this, follow these steps:
1. In Control Panel, double-click Indexing Options.
2. In the Indexing Options dialog box, click Advanced.
3. Click the Index Settings tab, and then click Rebuild.
4. Click OK when you are prompted to rebuild the indexed locations on the computer.
5. Click Close to close the Indexing Options dialog box