For most of my Outlook email problems, I can work my way to a solution. This one had me stumped although I had some functionality running Outlook in safe mode. Prior to calling Microsoft Support, I did a query on the error message to see what solutions had been suggested. I tried a PC troubleshooting approach similar to what I use to understand Windows error messages . I saw some solutions that worked for people and others that didn’t. While I don’t know the cause of the problem, I found 3 suggestions that might solve the problem.
Suggestion 1: Reinstall Microsoft Outlook.
If the developer offers a solution on an error message, that’s where I start. Let’s face it, they have the inside advantage. In my case, I recently installed some Windows patch files and thought they may have contributed to the problem.
Suggestion 2: Create a New Outlook Profile
From what I read, this procedure fixed the problem for many folks. This was the first thing the Microsoft technician suggested. This is an easy procedure and Microsoft has a good knowledgebase article with instructions.
Like the first suggestion, this one didn’t fully resolve my problem. It appeared to work and then the error message reappeared. Again, I had to call Microsoft again.
This is one of the few times a Microsoft employee let me down. If you’ve ever called their support lines, they are fanatical about getting your phone number in case you get disconnected. So, it would make sense that if the line dropped, they would call me back. When I sent an email from my Gmail account to the rep, they replied “wait for my call”. I then got the following email.
We have agreed that the follow action plan needs to be followed:
Arranging a callback
Please let me know if the steps we discussed have resolved your issue so that I can update your case accordingly. If the issue is not resolved, please provide me with a convenient date and time frame (2 hour window) for a callback. To help work towards a resolution for your issue, please respond to this e-mail, so that we may continue troubleshooting your problem. My working hours are 12 noon PST to 9 PM PST from Monday to Friday.
Excuse me, but I spent 90 minutes with the second Microsoft support rep and now I need to schedule a callback! Moreover, the rep made security and registry changes to my system right before the line went dead. To add insult to injury, an old support number, (425) 635-7056, was included in that email.
I’ll spare you the contents of my subsequent replies. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to schedule a 2 hour window for a callback. Instead, I called the correct number to get Rep 3.
Suggestion 3: Close Outlook and Rename 4 .DAT files
The third time was a charm as the saying goes. This tech rep offered a different solution from his peers. In my case, this solution worked.
There were four .dat files that were renamed so the originals were still around if needed.
When Outlook restarted, it created new versions of those files. The file locations vary based on systems, but Slipstick has a very useful Outlook file location article.
As a result of this fix, I did lose some custom view and toolbar settings, but I think it was worth the cost. It’s was much easier for me to recreate those settings than to be without my email. And yes, I’m still catching up on email inquiries if you sent me something.
Last Updated (Saturday, 19 June 2010 15:46)