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  1. #1
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    Another workstation has modified a PST file?

    I use Outlook 2010 version 14.0.6023.1000 (32-bit), part of Microsoft Office Click-to-Run version 14.0.5139.5005, to send and receive four POP3 mail accounts.

    A couple of weeks ago (I wish I'd noted the exact date), Outlook stopped exhibiting one annoying behavior and began displaying another, much more annoying, behavior.

    The annoyance that went away: If there was only one message in my in-box and I deleted that message, the message would disappear from the list of messages (the middle column), but would remain displayed in the Reading Pane. I had to click on another e-mail account, or go to Calendar or Contacts, then return to the original e-mail account to clear the Reading Pane display. That was a minor nuisance, but I was able to work around it.

    The new annoyance that won't go away: Every few hours (the timing seems to be totally random), Outlook begins throwing up Send/Receive errors. When I display the details, the error message reads "Receiving 'reported error (0x800300FD): 'Unknown Error 0x800300FD.'"

    When the Send/Receive errors pop up, clicking on one of the accounts, and sometimes on Calendar and Contacts, causes the following message to be displayed on a gray background in the Reading Pane: "The file c:\users\(username)\appdata\local\microsoft\outloo k\accountname.pst cannot be accessed because another workstation has modified it. Close and then restart all mail-enabled applications. You might need to restart your computer." The POP3 account that gives me the error on any one occurrence seems to be random.

    What other workstation? This is a home PC. I have a WiFi network with another workstation and a laptop, but neither of the other PCs runs Outlook, and the Send/Receive errors occur whether or not either PC is running. The PC with the problem does not have anything running in the background that monitors file status (I'm thinking of backup programs like Carbonite). For backup, I use Cobian Backup, which does a batch backup once a day. In addition, as far as I'm aware nothing else, in terms of new programs being installed or given major updates, happened around the time these errors started appearing.

    Outlook checks four different POP3 accounts every 5 minutes. The Send/Receive errors seem to occur with any of the four accounts, at random. Investigating the "unknown error" part of the problem, I saw claims that the PST file in question had been corrupted, and recommendations to use SCANPST.EXE to repair the file. I tried that, several times, but the Send/Receive errors continued to occur.

    In fact, I'm convinced the PST files are not corrupt and never have been: When the Send/Receive errors pop up, the (temporary) solution is simply to shut down and restart Outlook. That has worked every time, but it's annoying to have to keep rebooting Outlook.

    I also tried to resolve the problem by going to the Programs and Features control panel and doing a repair on Microsoft Office. The repair successfully completed, but it did nothing to resolve the problem.

    Has anyone else been experiencing this problem? More importantly, does anyone have a suggestion as to how to make it stop?

    Larry

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  3. #2
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    Do you have Office 2010 SP1 installed?

    Have you tried emptying your Temp folder?

    Have you tried emptying your Outlook TIF? Hidden folders in your TIF structure.
    C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files. Open a command windows. Enter DIR /A. Enter CD Content.MSO. Emtpy this folder.

    Joe

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Do you have Office 2010 SP1 installed?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you tried emptying your Temp folder?
    Hadn't tried it; just did.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you tried emptying your Outlook TIF? Hidden folders in your TIF structure.
    C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files. Open a command windows. Enter DIR /A. Enter CD Content.MSO. Emtpy this folder.

    Joe
    Hadn't tried it. Just did.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed and report back. Thanks!

    --Larry

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions, but none of them helped. I just now got another Send/Receive error and had to restart Outlook to make it work again. Same symptoms, same temporary solution (restarting Outlook).

    Anything else I can try?

    --Larry

  6. #5
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    Sometimes a mail profile becomes corrupted and nothing seems to fix it. You can create a new mail profile. See How to create and configure a new mail profile for details.

    Joe

  7. #6
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    I'll try that, but the Send/Receive error (followed by the other symptoms) picks on all four of my mail accounts (PST files), seemingly at random. Are you suggesting that all four profiles become corrupted, at random, and need to be recreated when this happens? That could get old very quickly.

    And you need to remember that shutting down and restarting Outlook resolves the problem temporarily every time. I would think that a corrupt profile would cause somewhat more consistent errors that a simple restart of the application wouldn't fix.

    --Larry

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    I would still like to know what other "workstation" is reputedly grabbing hold of or modifying the PST file(s) to cause this error. Or is that message not to be trusted as to accuracy?

    --Larry

  9. #8
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    All the accounts are in the same email profile. I can't find any other useful information about the error. Sorry but I'm out of ideas.

    I'd say the message may be somewhat generic and not entirely accurate.

    BTW, have you run a complete A/V scan?

    Joe

  10. #9
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    Thanks, I wasn't aware that all the information was stored in one profile. I'll try recreating them (couldn't hurt).

    Regarding A/V scans, some sort of infection was one possibility I thought of early on. I run Webroot Internet Security Essentials, and have for several years. It does real-time monitoring for bad guys, and I've done two full scans since this problem cropped up. In addition, I've scanned the PC at least twice with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. All of these scans have indicated a clean machine.

    I don't have a lot of confidence that rebuilding the profiles will resolve the issue, but I'll give it a try. In the meantime, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who has experienced the same issue, and how (hopefully) they resolved it.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    --Larry
    Last edited by larryc43230; 2011-08-05 at 12:07. Reason: Clarification

  11. #10
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    One thing I thought of after I had quit thinking about this

    If your A/V scans incoming email try disabling it for a time.

    Joe

  12. #11
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    Webroot Internet Security Essentials (the package I use for A/V protection) has an option to scan incoming email attachments. I turned that off a long time ago, because of flaky behavior, the details of which I forget. I just checked, and I still have email scanning turned off. Worth checking, though!

    --Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Sometimes a mail profile becomes corrupted and nothing seems to fix it. You can create a new mail profile. See How to create and configure a new mail profile for details.

    Joe
    I followed your advice and created a new Outlook profile. Nothing changed. Within a couple of hours, Outlook threw the same series of errors, beginning with the Send/Receive error messages. Once again, closing down and restarting Outlook cleared up the errors and the program performed normally, but only temporarily.

    I'm now out of ideas and beginning to contemplate using some other e-mail client, since nothing seems to resolve this issue. I would very much appreciate any other suggestions. Thanks for your help so far.

    --Larry

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    Outlook continues to throw up Send/Receive errors, as described above. I happened to be sitting at the computer when it happened a few minutes ago. When I shut down and tried to relaunch Outlook, I received the following error message, in a window titled simply "Microsoft Outlook":

    "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file C:\(username)\Documents\Outlook Files\(mailfile).pst is in use and cannot be accessed. Close any application that is using this file, and then try again. You might need to restart your computer."

    After waiting a minute or so, I was able to relaunch the program, so whatever it was that had hold of the file had released it.

    Given all the wonderful utilities available for Windows, is there any way to find out what program or process is accessing and/or modifying the PST file? I'm still tearing out what little is left of my hair trying to figure out why this continues to happen.

    --Larry

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    I would say it's Outlook itself. You can try and open Task Manager and if you do, you will probably find out Outlook is still running.

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    You can use a tool such as Process Monitor. It produces an enormous amount of data and you'll have to play with it a bit to get the filtering down but it is very good. Plus, the bonus of being free.

    Joe

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