Throughout the business world, you find Outlook to be almost ubiquitous as far as mail clients are concerned. The problem is, even though it has evolved, at it’s core, it’s the same chunk of 15 year old code that was included in Office ’97, and some might even argue the DOS versions of Outlook! You’d be hard pressed to find something different that is widely supported, but Outlook has had its growing pains. So what do you do when it’s won’t open? Here’s one tip.
SYMPTOM: Outlook sits and stays at the LOADING splash screen
(similar to what we show above, but rather than starting, it will probably say “Loading…”)
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING: It’s very likely that your “local copy” of your mailbox has become corrupt. If you use Exchange for your email, and you are in Cached Exchange Mode, it means that your computer keeps a local copy of your mail and only synchronizes the changes since it has last been opened – rather than re-downloading your entire mailbox every time you open Outlook. Somehow (we won’t go into details, suffice to say “it happens from time to time”), your local copy has become corrupted.
HOW YOU ARE GOING TO FIX IT: (this looks long, but it’s VERY simplified, I promise!)
- Click Start, then Control Panel (if you’re using Windows XP, click SETTINGS then Control Panel).
- Find or search for “Mail” and open that.
- Click “E-Mail Accounts” at the top.
- Highlight your email account and click Change, just below the row of tabs.
- Uncheck the box that says “Use Cached Exchange Mode.”
- Click Next, then Finish.
- Open Outlook.
- At this point it should open, and begin syncing mail.
- Close Outlook (you don’t have to wait for it to complete the sync process).
- Re-Enable Cached Exchange Mode by following steps 1-3 again.
- Click the “Data Files” tab at the top.
- Highlight your default mailbox (the one with the check mark to the left).
- Click “Open Location” below the tabs.
- Rename the highlighted file.
- Close the open folder.
- Click back to the Email Tab.
- Click the Change Button.
- Re-Enable Cached Exchange Mode.
- Click Next, then Finish.
- Open Outlook. Everything SHOULD be working!
This time, it should rebuild the OST from scratch – since it won’t be able to find the old OST file. Depending on how much mail you have, this process can take several hours – but it will download “Inbox” then work it’s way to other folders, and you’ll be able to send and receive new mail while it works.
Next week, we’ll talk about what to do when Outlook freezes up before you can open a single email!
I am a huge fan of the website AlternativeTo.net. I have been using it since they were in their infancy, I submitted several product reviews and filled in a few blanks in my time on the site. It’s a very useful site for tech geeks like myself, who might be looking for a program that is similar to something else, but might be more affordable, or have a different feature set. If you want something similar to Norton Ghost, it might suggest Clonezilla, or if you want DropBox, you might want to check out SugarSync or SkyDrive.
AlternativeTo covers all of the major platforms, from Windows, to Mac OSX, to Android, iOS, and even WebOS… you can find great suggestions if you’re looking for an app similar to another, because one doesn’t quite suit your needs. I can suggest the website enough, it’s all built up with user feedback, and I really hope it’s around for years to come.
Knowing your way around Windows 8 is going to be critical. Microsoft has put together a list of Common Management Tasks for Server 2012, many of which apply to Windows 8. Be careful, there are some differences – for instance, according to the article, the Start Menu in Windows Server 2012 will be located in the upper right hand corner of the screen (defying all logic). But don’t worry, classic keyboard shortcuts like pressing the Windows Key, or Control + Escape will still bring it up.
Other standards still hold true, as well, like Windows Key + E to open My Computer, and Windows Key + R will open the Run dialogue box – even if you’re at the start menu, it will drop back to classic desktop mode and open the Run prompt.
Check out the TechNet article for even more great tips.
I like to do the Xbox Tip of the Week on Sundays, but this time I feel obligated to let everyone know of a little Zune tip I have for you. I know, they’re not extremely popular, but my sister has one and she recently let her Zune Pass lapse. After she renewed, she was receiving the Your Zune Pass info needs to be refreshed error message, even though she had synchronized her Zune.
Microsoft used to have a support article about this in their Knowledge Base, but if you try to visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946369 there is no page there anymore. It’s like Microsoft wants to disavow knowledge of the Zune’s existence. Well, I used a little Archive.org-fu and dug up the original contents of the page. Deeper in this article, you’ll find some of the contents of the original Knowledge Base article, with multiple tips for fixing this and similar issues. Continue reading “ZUNE Tip of a Lifetime: Zune Pass info needs to be refreshed solved! (KB946369)”