Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Outlook won't open ( Answered,   11 Comments )
Subject: Outlook won't open
Category: Computers
Asked by: bd-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 09 May 2002 09:15 PDT
Expires: 16 May 2002 09:15 PDT
Question ID: 13979
Outlook won't open, I think a program is running in the background,
how can I fix it?

Request for Question Clarification by axe-ga on 09 May 2002 09:36 PDT
Hi there!

Could you please clarify how "Outlook won't open"? Does it give you an
error on startup?

Also, have you tried rebooting your computer? If a program preventing
Outlook from running were running in the background, a reboot should
fix it.

Lastly, could you please include your exact operating system (e.g,
Windows 95, Windows 98SE, etc) in your clarification.



Request for Question Clarification by mvguy-ga on 09 May 2002 09:41 PDT
Also, it would be useful to know if Outlook has opened before, or if
it has it never opened.  Also, have you installed any software since
the last time Outlook worked?

Clarification of Question by bd-ga on 09 May 2002 11:06 PDT
My base is Windows 98, upgraded to Office Premium 2000.

The Outlook banner opens then freezes. Only way to get out is contol
alt delete.

Several Error Messages.

"Iexplore caused an invalid page fault in module wininet.dll at


"The system is danerously low in resources." Notwithsytanding the
resources are 85% free.

The error messages appear after I try to exit the program.

I have rebooted many times, uninstalled programs etc. to try to get
the program to work and nothing seems to help.

I have been using Outlook for 4 years, on occasion it has failed as a
result of incorrect parameters in my email system, somehow outlook
express becomes my mail server or a problem with my email supplier
definitions. I don't believe I have downloaded anything, other than
Adobe Acrobat since the problem started, however, my son sometimes
surfs the net and something may be ijnstalled that I don't know about.


Clarification of Question by bd-ga on 09 May 2002 14:18 PDT
To: webadept-ga

I checked the set up in Exploerer, was set to what you suggested to
use inline box etc., tried to reset default, then tried to open
Outlook, banner froze, however, Outlook icon showed up in bottom
toolbar, hasn't happened befoe.

Had to use ctrl alt del to get out, during this process several white
boxes appeared asking if I wanted to exit from programs, ie. Explorer
etc. When I got to Rundll an error message showed up "Rundll caused a
general protection fault in module

USER.EXE at 000b:000231d."

Then blue screen of death appeared indicating "A fatal exception OE
has occurred at 0028:CO2A2213 in VXD VWIN32 (05)".

Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
Answered By: nishka-ga on 09 May 2002 21:08 PDT
Hello bd-ga!

Sounds like you're having quite a problem with Outlook.  Typically
when Outlook freezes up it usually (but not always) is the result of a
corrupted outlook.pst file.  The .pst file is basically a database
that contains your outlook email, calendar, contacts, etc.

I'm going to suggest a few different courses of action to take here. 
Each will take some time, and it is likely that none will result in a
solution to the problem.  If none of my suggestions below work, please
followup to this question and I will continue to work on this with
you.  Be advised that under certain circumstances, data is simply not

Before we do anything, first I'd like for you to update your Internet
Explorer version..  Since you had an iexplore error on Outlook
startup, there's a slim chance that a corrupted installation of
Internet explorer is causing your woes.

The latest version is 6.0, and you can download it from Microsoft free
of charge.  The easiest way, since you're running Windows 98, is to
get it through the Windows update service.  You can simply click on
the 'windows update' icon on your start menu, or point your web
browser to  Click on product updates, and
select Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.  My windowsupdate (running under
Windows 2000) lists IE6 as a 'pick of the month,' although your screen
may be different.

If after installing IE 6 you still do not have access to your Outlook,
we'll eliminate the next possibility by reinstalling Office 2000. 
Simply reinsert your Office 2000 CD and go through the installation
process again.

If you're still not having any luck, the next step will be to examine
the condition of your outlook.pst file.

In order for us to effectively manage this problem, we first need to
find your outlook.pst file :).  After we find it I urge you to make a
backup copy on the desktop so we don't risk working on our only copy. 
It's an optional step, but it's always best when dealing with
corrupted data to work from a copy just in case.

Windows does not make finding this file easy.  What you'll need to do
first is click on start->search->files and folders.  Make sure 'look
in' has your hard drive c selected (99% of the time your windows and
outlook data will be in this drive).  In the 'search' field, type in


Then click the search button.  make a note of the directory in which
outlook.pst appears.  In many cases the file will be located here:

C:\windows\application data\microsoft\outlook\

But for machines with multiple users, it could be more complicated
than that.  So the easiest thing to do is run the search.  After it
finds the file, right click on it, and select copy.  Then click over
to your desktop, right click anywhere on the desktop, and click paste.
 Check the folder info for the file.  It should read something similar
to what I listed above.  Make note of this location, because if we do
manage to fix the file you'll want to go back to this location again.

If for some reason you cannot cut and paste out of the search screen,
you'll need to get to the file manually.  Open up an Internet explorer
window, and type in the full path to the file, but do not type the
file name.  The format should look similar to the example I used
above.  Once you type in the correct path, you should see a number of
different files.  What we're looking for is a file called
'outlook.pst.'  Simply right click, select 'copy' and then click the
desktop.  Right click again, and hit paste.

Now we have a backup copy on your desktop which we'll work off of for
our next step.

Our next step is to verify the outlook.pst file.  Microsoft hides a
very handy utility for this purpose on your hard disk after installing
Microsoft office.  The program is called 'scanpst,' and its specialty
is repairing broken inbox files.

The location varies depending on your operating system.  The Microsoft
Knowledge base tells me in this article:

[;EN-US;q272227 ]

That scanpst should be located in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\95 

You'll want to load up an internet explorer window and paste the above
in there.  Then simply double click on the 'scanpst' file to load the
program.  When it's loaded, we're going to run our scan on the file we
copied to the desktop.  Simply select browse, and click on the drop
down menu next to 'Look in' to select the desktop.  If you copied the
file correctly, outlook.pst should be right there waiting for you. 
Double click on it, and then select 'start.'

The program will then start analyzing your outlook data file. 
Depending on the size and the speed of your computer it may take some
time.  If it finds errors, it will try to repair them.

If it finds errors and fixes them, there's a good chance that the file
is now in working condition.  In that case do the following:

1.  Right click on the outlook.pst file you copied to the desktop.  
2.  Select copy from the menu.  
3.  Go back to the directory where your original outlook.pst file was
4.  We're going to rename the original file.  Simply click on the
letters beneath the file's icon once.  After a moment the text will
become editable.  Rename the file 'outlook.bak.'
5.  After renaming the outlook file, right click on the window storing
your outlook files (anywhere there's white space below the navigation
bar), and click paste.
6.  Load up outlook.

If for some reason you're still locked up, there is still hope!

Next we're going to have outlook start from scratch.  

1.  Go back to the directory where you just copied your 'repaired'
outlook file.
2.  Select the file you just copied by clicking on it once.
3.  hit the delete key
4.  Confirm moving it to the recycle bin.
5.  Load up Outlook.

At this point you should not have a locked up outlook.  It will start
from scratch and build a new file, at which point we'll try to import
data from the corrupted file.  If it still locks up, our problem is
most likely not with the datafile, but could very well be with your
installation of windows itself.

If, after deleting the file you still experience a lockup, my
suggestion would be to reinstall Windows 98, or upgrade to Windows XP
if your system has at least a Pentium II processor and 128 megs of
RAM.  That will most likely eliminate most of the operating system
problems you may be having :).

If Outlook starts up without a complaint, our next step will be to try
to import your data from the old file.  Configure the options it asks
you to configure, and then do the following:

1.  Click on file - import
2.  Select import from another program or file
3.  Select 'personal folder file (.pst)'
4.  Click 'browse'
5.  Pull down the 'look in' menu and select desktop
6.  Double click outlook.pst
7.  Select 'replace duplicates with items imported
8.  Click next
9.  Select personal folders
10.  check the 'include subfolders box'
11.  Select 'import items into the same folder in'
12.  Ensure personal folders is listed

Click finish.

Outlook will then try importing the data.  If this works most if not
all of your old data will be imported into the new file.  It will
likely stop on any corruption, so you could lose some data.

If this doesn't work, the file is most likely beyond repair.  However
if you have a zip driver or CD-burner, I could make arrangements for
you to send the file to me for furhter analysis.

Try these steps and let me know what happens.  I'm committed to
getting your outlook data back!!

In either case, I do suggest installing an Antivirus program on your
machine and updating it on a regular basis.  I like Norton Antivirus,
which can be found at :

[ ]

I also suggest visiting on a regular (weekly) basis
and install the latest 'critical updates' which will patch up security
holes in outlook and other windows programs.  Occaisionally virus
authors write code to exploit vulnerabilities in Outlook, which can
lead to data corruption.

Best of luck!  I will be monitoring this question to see how you do
with my suggestions.  I do advise having your local neighborhood wiz
kid over to help you through this process if it seems overwhelming. 
Fixing Outlook data is never an easy task.

Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: gnuguy-ga on 09 May 2002 10:19 PDT
If you do a Control-Alt-Del, you will be given a list of running
applications.  Do you see the OUTLOOK.EXE process?

If you end or kill that process, that should allow you to open Outlook
again.  I have had this problem happen to me.
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: davidmaymudes-ga on 09 May 2002 10:22 PDT
also, sometimes after a crash, Outlook likes to go through a lengthy
process which I think consists of verifying your mail file.  you may
have to let it sit for several minutes, but eventually it will come
Subject: Mozilla has a free email client
From: grantstern-ga on 09 May 2002 12:04 PDT
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: webadept-ga on 09 May 2002 12:41 PDT
Accourding to Microsoft, your Explorer program is messed up and needs
to be reset. Outlook uses the Explorer libraries to show you your
mail, and in some of the other areas as well. Since you are obviously
using your Explorer I'm not sure that this is the complete resolution,
but, nothing in these steps will harm your Explorer or your Outlook
Setup. So, I felt it was worth a try, and it makes some tech-sense on
fixing the problem. Let us know if this works out for you.

By the way, I did do these steps on my own computer before sending
this out, so I'm comfortable this will probably work out well. Print
these instructions before starting, since there's a lot of rebooting

Here are the steps to solve the problem. 

To resolve this issue: 

1. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options . 

2. Click the Advanced tab. 

3. Click to clear the Use inline AutoComplete for Web addresses and
Use inline AutoComplete for Windows Explorer check boxes.

4. Click OK . 

5. Reboot your computer. Press and hold down F8 while the computer
boots to display the Startup menu.

6. Choose Command Prompt Only , and then press ENTER. 

7. Type the following items, pressing ENTER after each item: 

deltree downlo~1 
deltree tempor~1 
deltree history 
deltree cookies 
NOTE : Press Y if you are prompted to confirm any deletion. 

8. Reboot your your computer normally. 

9. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options . 

10. Click the Advanced tab. 

11. Click to select the Use inline AutoComplete for Web addresses and
Use inline AutoComplete for Windows Explorer check boxes.

12. Click OK . 
That should do it, I would now reboot the computer one last time and
the open your Outlook.

Hope this helps 

Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: mvguy-ga on 09 May 2002 13:06 PDT
From what I can tell, nothing that webadept told you is going to hurt
anything, as what is being done is deleting files you don't need (they
are replaced as needed).  However, you should be VERY careful about
using the deltree command unless you know what you are doing.  Deltree
is one of the DOS commands that very easily could make your system
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: journalist-ga on 09 May 2002 14:33 PDT
If your computer is not equipped with an anti-virus program, I suggest
you purchase and run one immediately.  You may have a computer virus. 
And, as one person offered, be very careful with any delete functions.

To learn more about computer viruses and what programs may be affected
by certain ones, visit
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: webadept-ga on 09 May 2002 14:57 PDT
Saw you message, you don't say that you cleared the file areas, and if
that wasn't done, if you didn't follow all the directions then you are
simply running into the same problem over and over.

Reinstalling won't help, if this is the problem area, the program is
going through the temp files and running into the snag there.

If you did follow all the directions then write back and let us know
that, so we can continue looking for possible causes.

Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: ninu-ga on 09 May 2002 16:36 PDT
Try increasing your virtual memory.
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: raptor-ga on 18 Jun 2002 08:34 PDT
With problems like this sometimes just reinstalling the software does
not fix the problem. It often is necessary to uninstall the software
first and delete any leftover files, and sometimes even deleting
references in the registry before a reinstall fixes the problem. At
times reinstalling windows is needed as well.
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: vop-ga on 21 Jun 2002 20:29 PDT
I had a similar problem.  Here is my workaround:

Since the Inbox Repair Tool showed no evidence of any corruption in my
.PST file, I decided to create a new user profile for email only.  Had
to reinstall/initialize OUTLOOK 2000 for that new profile.  Imported
all the .PST data into my new profile without loosing a word.

Still trying to figure out what happened to OUTLOOK in my original
profile.  Will be trying some of the suggestions here in order to
better try and understand what happened and whether it is ultimately
fixable - a learning opportunity with no urgency attached to it.  Want
to get my email back into my main profile.
Subject: Re: Outlook won't open
From: anutyj-ga on 09 Dec 2004 00:29 PST
Nishka - thank you a million times.....i followed the entire procedure
and have outlook back running top speed....what a fantastic site and

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy