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Outlook 2003 -- Phantom Message Sending and sending and sending....

By reggiefor ·
About two months ago, my client started experiencing a problem with Outlook 2003. Every time a "send/receive" runs, a "phantom" message registers as "sending" but it never finishes. So, if he has six messages in his outbox, and hits send/receive all, it will first reflect "sending message 1 of 7", then "2 of 7" and so on until it finally shows "sending message 7 of 7" at which point it will either continue until stopped by an outside force (cancel) or, more often, shift gears and suddenly show "sending message 1 of 1" and then continue to register that until a cancel is issued or my client exits Outlook. So far, I am stymied.
He is using a pop3 account with domain mail hosted by Globat.
The other people in his office have the same setup and they are not having any problems.
If I look at the Send/receive Details, it always shows a "send" in progress, but sometimes it also shows a "send" completed. There is only one email account in his profile. OS is Windows XP sp3.

I have tried:
1. Using MDBVU32 to check for stuck read receipts (though I'm unclear whether mdbvu32 is only meant to support Exchange mail)
2. Creating a new Outlook profile and deleting his old one.
3. Running the inbox repair tool available in Outlook
4. Running the MS Office
"repair" utility available under add/remove/change programs in Control Panel
5. Emptying the Deleted Items folder
6. Moving all "Sent" items to a new folder so that "sent items" is empty, too.
7. Uninstalling and reinstalling Outlook, but I guess if the problem lies in the .pst file, that would only help if I didn't import the old .pst, which I did.

Any thoughts -- other than storing all of his old mail under a separate profile and starting clean with a new profile and new .pst? I know my client would find that annoying.

Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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All Answers

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Have you checked "Outbox"?

by TobiF In reply to Outlook 2003 -- Phantom M ...

A message seems to be stuck in Outbox.
If this wasn't Outlook, I'd suggest you delete the Outbox file, but here you can't do it.

Is your client using a "personal folders" pst file?

In that case, you could try to create a new pst file, and then copy all items, folder by folder, but NOT copy the outbox.

Finally, check that the client doesn't have any funny message rules in his setup.

Other ways to find clues:
Dig into the log file (you may activate more verbose logging temporarily)
Use a packet capture program to analyze where it gets stuck and what kind of message it is trying to send (and via what server).

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Yes. Outbox is empty.

by reggiefor In reply to Have you checked "Outbox" ...

I've had the "message stuck in outbox" problem before, but this is totally different.

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Here I'm assuming that no messages are actually sent

by OH Smeg In reply to Outlook 2003 -- Phantom M ...

If that's the case move all of the items to be sent to the Drafts Folder and check for attachments on the E-Mails.

I've had numerous cases where some E-Mails from a Secure Exchange Server or an Attachment cause the Mail to get stuck and not send.

Of course if it's sending the mail your only option is to delete the PST File after exporting it to a storage file and reinstall Outlook. Do Not import the PST File and see if the program will send mail now. If it's still not sending I would be looking for a Mass Mailing Worm.

Col

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Yes and No

by reggiefor In reply to Here I'm assuming that no ...

Real messages are being sent. Sometimes, they have to wait until the phantom message gets interrupted by a timeout or by a logout, but they do get sent. There's just this one phantom message that never goes away. It starts trying to send as soon as Outlook starts up and it keeps trying to send continually during the Outlook session. Sometimes, it will time out (I set the connect time limit to one minute), but not always. If it times out, then the outbox messages go on the next auto (or manual) send/receive.

After that, we're back to the lone phantom message trying to send. It's just weird. As long as it times out every time, it's almost something one can ignore, but sometimes it doesn't time out and delays other messages... I'm just annoyed that I can't seem to figure it out.
Computers are humbling.

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Well if that's the case here

by OH Smeg In reply to Yes and No

You should be looking for an Infection as apposed to a problem in Outlook.

Maybe one of the Rescue Cd's and scan the system without Windows running is your answer here. Maybe this TR Article will be of some help

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=3803&tag=content;leftCol

Col

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