Outlook and Word are flickering!

By Benjamin ·
Hello Everyone!

It has been a while since I have had to ask a question here but I know if I want a proper answer, this is indeed the place.

My problem is bizarre but very irritating. I am using MS Office 2003 and when I open my email, it does its usual send/receive and then after that, it continues to do something which is sort of a refresh but I call it more of a tic. Not only that when Outlook is open, it affects other programs like Word and even Photoshop. It is as if something Outlook is trying to do and perhaps failing that is causing the whole screen to flash or tic or whatever you want to call it.

The screen doesn't go black, there is no loss of performance. The best way I can describe it is let's say your running an install of a large program like Photoshop. As it does the install there is a sort of "blinking" that goes on as it does its thing. I don't know if I am making any sense. I hope I am.

I ran a search here and I found something that sort of matched what I was talking about and the problem ended up being the result of the user's wireless batteries going dead. I thought hmmm... okay. My batteries are fine but I will swap out the mouse just to be sure. Nope, that didn't do it.

I have uninstalled every single program I don't need and ran MSCONFIG to ensure there is nothing running that isn't integral to the OS.

Still the same! It is real bad when I have Outlook open and try and work in Photoshop. The flashing thing is worse in that program. I have to close Outlook just to keep from going mad.

Here are my specs:

Sony VAIO VGN-250E
1 GB of proper Kingston RAM. None of that Value RAM stuff,
1.73 Ghz
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
Program affected: Outlook

I have all service packs and updates installed.
Running NOD32 virus protection.

Probably more information than needed but I thought more is better.

I thank any and all who can assist!

Take care,

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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All Answers

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by retro77 In reply to Outlook and Word are flic ...

So the screen flashes when you have Photoshop and Outlook open at the same time?

What about solitare and Outlook? Just trying to see if its a memory thing or not with the high memory usage of Photoshop. Have you tried updating Photoshop?

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Hi Retro,

by Benjamin In reply to Ok?

I know.. It is weird and it only does this on my laptop. I haven't noticed it so much in other programs. Photoshop is updated.

The problem I am sure is solely with Outlook because I open it first and before anything else is running I will watch the screen and it does the jumpy thing. I wish I could think of better words to describe it.

It is almost as if something is running in the background that is causing interference with the program. In turn that interference will affect other programs - notably Photoshop. Though the problem is noticeable in MS Word.

If I suspend send/receive on all accounts and just watch the screen it still does quick refreshes every 5 seconds or so.

I thought maybe it was a graphics issue so I updated the graphics driver. Still no change.

I Googled Outlook 2003 refreshes every few seconds and found this:

Interesting read.

So, maybe it is a graphics issue? In which case does anyone have any experience with an Intel graphics card on laptops causing "flickering"? This is a better word than tic.

I look forward to any respoonses.

Thank you again!

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by retro77 In reply to Hi Retro,

This has to be one of the oddest ones I have seen on here or even my career. Its gotta be a hardware issue. Try opening several other applications at the same time. But not Outlook, try to get the same results. I am looking towards either a memory issue or a graphics card memory issue.

Maybe once a certain area of the memory gets written, you see this issue.

Is there a way you can hook up an external monitor, try to produce the flickering. This will only rule out your LCD screen.

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I think I have sussed it

by Benjamin In reply to Odd

Hi Retro,

First, thank you for your help and ideas. I really appreciate it.

I went back to MSCONFIG because this "issue" screamed of something happening in the background and I unchecked three things related to Intel Common User Interface. The processes were: hkcmd.exe, igfxtray.exe and igfxpers.exe. I restared and went immediately to Oulook. No flickering. I opened Photoshop and all is fine.

Prior to this, just to let you know, the flickering occurred in Photoshop without Outlook even being started. So, this appears to have been a graphics issue in the sense of the programs running in the background associated with the onboard graphics.

Thank you again for your help and I wish you all the best.

Take care,

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by retro77 In reply to I think I have sussed it

glad you found the issue. Glad to hear it wasnt hardware related. Now if you try to update to the latest drivers, will the tic come back?

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by Benjamin In reply to Cool

Hey Retro,

Ironically enough, updating the graphics drivers was one of the things I did to troubleshoot these issues. After I did that, two of those programs running were not there before so I believe updating the drivers actually compounded the issues. I can tell you I did make it happen again by including this programs at start up. So, that is definitely the culprit. I now need to do some research to determine what these programs are doing in the background that may or may not cause interferance with other programs.

It has been fun to do a little troubleshooting though I have to say. I don't do much of that any more so it is pretty cool to solve a problem like this.

I thank you again for all your help! It's good to talk with people here. It brings me back to my helpdesk days when we would work together in solving problems and bouncing ideas off each other.

You take care and Happy Holidays!

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by retro77 In reply to Update

Thanks for the update. I thinks something that the IT community does good and still could do better, is bounce ideas off each other. Most of us are used to working on teams and using the resources as a pool always is better than sitting in the corner pulling our hair out [been there! lol].

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oh, you mean "tic"

by john.a.wills In reply to Outlook and Word are flic ...

I was wandering in my mind between the noise of an old-fashioned clock and a certain arthropod.

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Solution is Mouse Software - Intellipoint or other

by mail2 In reply to Outlook and Word are flic ...

The culprit is MS Intellipoint or other mouse software. Remove Intellipoint versions 6.2 or 6.3 and roll back to 5.5. For other systems that use Logitech or trackpads (laptops), uninstall that software and either roll back to an earlier version or due without it.

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Same problem, but on an HP

by aroraff In reply to Outlook and Word are flic ...

Not only do I have flickering on the header bar of Outlook, Word, Chrome, etc, but my system keeps jumping from open window to open window. For example, as I was just typing this first sentence, the screen jumped back to Outlook... When I try to select a drop down list, the drop down list closes as quickly as it opens so that I have to keep clicking and as fast as I can, find my selection and click it. When trying to change a file name, it keeps selecting the whole name instead of the part that I am trying to delete/change. Also, my laptop mouse pad has become uber sensitive so if my wrists bend at all, my mouse jumps from line to line. It's almost as if there is something running in the background that is interrupting my system. I updated my graphics card with HP customer support and ran a system check, but everything came up normal. It's driving me insane and slowing me down. HELP!

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