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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Locked PSTs (2000-SR1)

    Our users have always stored their PST files on a mapped network drive and all was going well until about a month ago.

    In the last month, we've had a rash of users complain that when they try to open their PST files, they get an Outlook message box "Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. The file [filename] is in use and could not be accessed..."

    In general, when the user logs off of Outlook, the PST file becomes available once again. Sometimes, the user needs to log off of the network and log-back in to regain access to their PST. These users are not logged on to any other computers and only the specific user (and the IT team) has rights to the folder containing the PST--so we don't think anyone else has an open copy of these PST folders.

    Has anyone else seen any similar locking behavior with PST's saved on a network or any ideas for what to look at?

    (Microsoft does advise against saving PST files on the network--but why would this behavior have just begun having an effect on our users? In any event, we need to back-up the PST's and it's far easier to do that on the network than on local hard drives).

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Locked PSTs (2000-SR1)

    What workstation OS and server OS are you running?

  3. #3
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    Re: Locked PSTs (2000-SR1)

    We're running Outlook 2000 on Windows 2000 workstations; Exchange Server 5.5 is running on NT4 and the file servers (where the PSTs are located) are running NT4.

    One other piece of info--one of our users (actually, one of our IT guys) thinks that when he used to log on to a second computer, the second machine would take over the ownership of his PSTs such that he could then use the PSTs on the second machine and they would become locked on the first computer. At about the same time that we started finding a lot of users' having locked PSTs, our IT guy noticed that if a PST's folders were expanded on the first computer, the first computer would no longer relinquish ownership of the PST to the second computer. Unfortunately, not yet being able to travel back in time, we can't replicate this scenario to confirm this storyline. However, the timing is strange!

  4. #4
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    Re: Locked PSTs (2000-SR1)

    No answers for you, but some ideas that might help.

    Next time someone reports this ask them to stay in Outlook. Then check the server tool in their NT server's control panel and see what people or processes are accessing the share. I'm thinking some change at the network level was made about the time the reports started coming in. Maybe your backup system is working overtime. Maybe you started running index server or an anti-virus utility. If your company has a change management process maybe their schedule will provide a clue.

    I hate these kinds of problems. Good luck, and let us know!

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