SQL Saturdays – Outlook Woes

Published on: Author: Brandie Tarvin Leave a comment

So in this weekend’s SQL Saturdays’ post I’m talking about Outlook, not SQL Server.

Email is such an essential tool of any job. It’s all about communication and keeping in touch with the other IT people and with the end users. So when it flakes on you, life can be pretty miserable.

That was my week at work. When I’m working on several high priority projects and have other IT people asking me to push releases through our environments, it’s a bad time for Outlook to go down. I couldn’t search any of my folders, and every time I flipped from one folder to another, all my Inbox defaults got reset. For instance, I had “View Groups” turned off (I hate that feature), but it started popping back on. Plus columns I’d added to my view disappeared and columns I’d removed showed up again. Outlook wouldn’t even show me the mails in some folders because “there is not enough memory to complete this operation. Please close some programs and try again.”

GAH. I hate messages like that. Especially when closing BIDS, SSMS, and half a dozen other essential programs (which never seemed to cause Outlook issues before) slowed down my ability to work.

I ran ScanPST.exe on all of my .pst folders (I have several) and it fixed some errors the first time I ran it. But the problem continued to crop up, crippling my ability to do anything with email. I hadn’t realized how dependent I was on it. Finally, I figured out what the problem was.

When I first started working at this place, we were on Office 2000 (and Outlook 2000). I had created two new .pst files to keep important emails because we had a severely limited Inbox capacity (corporate created limits). Then we upgraded to Office and Outlook 2003, but I didn’t upgrade these .pst files. The old 2000 files had a 2GB limit and I had just hit that wall this week.


The solution was to create new Outlook 2003 files that were similarly (but not identically) named, move all the emails & their folders into the new files from the old, then delete the old files and rename the new ones so I didn’t have to relearn which folder was in which file.

And after a week of fighting with Outlook, I’m back on track, able to search and use my email, and get on with both my job and my life. YAY!

Oh, wait. That means I have to work again. CRAP. @=) Need more details on the resolution process? Just let me know in a comment.

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