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 www.windowsupdate.com. 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
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:
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:
[ http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;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'
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
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 :
[ www.sarc.com ]
I also suggest visiting Windowsupdate.com 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.