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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

By techrep ·
The problem child is a win98 dell box running office 97 with outlook 98 installed. It is part of a small pear to pear network (8 win 98 boxes), one as a file server/mail server with a tape backup, one as a proxy/firewall to the internet, the rest just on desktops for basic stuff. Except for the servers, they all use outlook 98. Only the problem child is having the problem I am about to explain.

Problem: Anytime the box sits idle for a number of hours, outlook hangs when you try to open it. If it is already open, it hangs when you try to use it. Only outlook seems to have a problem. No error message, nothing, just the hour glass forever and a "not responding" in the task list. If you close it from the task list and try to re-open it, it hangs again. If you shut down the computer and then open it, everything is fine until it sits idle for a few hours again. This is only happening on the one problem machine and it would have to be the company president.

I have attempted to resolvethe problem with the following: Install every bug fix and every service pack I could find that seemed remotely related, updated the drivers for the nic and video. Updated IE to 5.5. I even deleted the registry files and reinstalled win 98 to a new directory. Nothing! Still the same thing! Oh, I should also mention, no screen savers, and no energy saving features are turned on. Before this whole mess started, I told them outlook
would cause problems, but they went ahead anyway. Now the outlook trainer is finished and the problem becomes my headache. The trainer said she had no idea what was wrong. It's a real pain, they call me in to fix it, I have to wait hours to see if my fix did any good or come back the next day. So far, the outcome is always the same. I was about to call it user error until it did it to me one day when I came in when the president had been out of the office all day.

Ideas PLEASE...

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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

by saihib In reply to Outlook 98 hangs after id ...

This may be a fix.
SYMPTOMS
When you start Microsoft Outlook 98, Outlook stops responding and you receive a continuous hourglass.


CAUSE
This can happen when you are using the Preview Pane feature and the first item in your Inbox is a corrupt e-mail message.


RESOLUTION
Start Outlook without the Preview Pane by using the /nopreview switch.


MORE INFORMATION
You can use the Preview Pane feature to display the contents of messages without having to open them. When you open Outlook, the Preview Pane will display the first item in your Inbox. If this item is corrupt, it may not display so Outlook stops responding without completing the open process. To bypass the corrupt item, start Outlook with the /nopreview switch and remove the corrupt item without opening it.

To turn off the Preview Pane so you can remove the item, follow these steps:


Click Start on the Windows Taskbar and click Run.


In the Open window, type the path to your Outlook.exe file. If there are spaces in the path name, enclose it in quotation marks.


Following the last character in the path name, type a space followed by /nopreview, and click OK. For example:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" /nopreview


When Outlook opens without the Preview Pane, delete the first item in the Inbox or move it to another folder without opening it.


The /nopreview switch turns off the Preview Pane and removes the option from the View Menu. To display the Preview Pane, you must quit Outlook and restart without the /nopreview switch.

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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

by techrep In reply to Outlook 98 hangs after id ...

Should not be a factor. Tested with empty mail & contacts list from a clean install. This is not a sometimes problem. Everytime it sets idle for several hours the problem shows up.

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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

by NetTek In reply to Outlook 98 hangs after id ...

Outlook is very sensitive to name resolution problems. If you are using TCP/IP as your network protocol, try adding an LMHOSTS file on the affected PC that will resolve the IP address to the NetBIOS name of the PC that is acting as your mail server.

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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

by techrep In reply to Outlook 98 hangs after id ...

Poster rated this answer

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Outlook 98 hangs after idle time.

by techrep In reply to Outlook 98 hangs after id ...

Stupid Work-around found...

Because I discovered that after outlook hung, I had lost all network connections. I started checking the network connection again. Naturally, the connection seemed OK. However, after I would check the network connection first, Outlook would not hang until it set idle again. Now remember, Outlook is the only app. that has any problems and it's not the only app. that uses that volume on the server. Also, outlook uses the actual IP to login to the mail server. (in this case 90.0.0.100) After changing the Nic card from a 3com 905C to a cheap LinkSys card, nothing changed with regard to the problem. Ok, Fine. Use the task scheduler, run DIR F:>NUL every 30 min. Problem gone. Hmmmmm... (Outlook was set tocheck mail every 10 min. but this made no difference) Only problem now is the 1 second flash on the task bar from the DIR running minimized. If no solution turns up, will write a stupid program to do this in the background.

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