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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Aiken, SC 29803 USA
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    Angry Mysterious Attachments

    My Wife's laptop is running Windows 7 - Professional (64 bit), and Outlook 2016 (32bit). Outlook has recently started the following Mysterious behavior. It's not debilitating, but it is bugging me that I can't figure out how/why it is happening.

    When a new Email is generated (HTML) it looks perfectly fine, with or without any attachments. However, when it is Sent, an extra Image (.img) file gets attached, and shows up in the Email file that appears in her "Sent Items List". The extra file does not always appear in Emails received by "To:" Addressees, but sometimes it does. The phantom file contains one of a number of photographs that she has taken at some time in the past.

    Now here's the odd part. A search for the filename of the phantom photograph on her hard drive returns "no result". It is apparently a random filename assigned at the time it is sent unrelated to the actual file name of the stored photo. Sending repeated test messages to me as recipient shows the same file in her Sent Items, but I see nothing in the file in my inbox except the Lorem Ipsum used as a test message. I don't get a notification that a file was stripped from the message I received, nor is there any evidence in the received message Source code evidencing the presence of a call to the to the phantom file. I have not yet figured out how to read the source HTML code of her message before it is sent or from her Sent Items Folder. I suspect that might reveal where the file is coming from.

    The first place I looked (after a conventional search of her hard drive) was the OLK file named in the Registry as the "Outlook Source Temp Folder". Sure enough, there was one, that returned "no file found" even with "Show hidden files" unchecked in Folder Options. So, I deleted the folder, deleted all photos being accessed by the Outlook Send function, and the folder they were kept in. Then I emptied her Recycle Bin.

    Imagine my surprise when the next test Email exhibited the same result as before, but using a different photo from the (now extinct??) folder. "OK", says I, "that's strange, let's see if the process repeats". Twice more I deleted the (empty) Outlook Source Temp Folder, each time with it showing a different randomly named folder as promised by MicroSoft. I cleared the Recycle Bin, and then rebooted as before. Each time a test Email message got the next (different) photo from the no longer present folder. Weird, no?

    I conclude that either Outlook, or Windows, has stored the photo files in question, in a really well hidden location, possibly inside another file, which Outlook uses to create the new, randomly named, OLK file/folder on reboot

    Has anyone else encountered this problem? Any suggestions as where I might look next?

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia
    Thanked 47 Times in 33 Posts
    Weird. If you have Process Monitor, try running Outlook with PM turned on. It will produce a large trace with thousands of entries, but somewhere in there you may see where the photos are coming from. You can get Process Monitor (it's free) from .

    When/if you run it, set up a filter which says "If process name is Outlook.exe then include", and "If process name is not Outlook.exe then exclude". Then you will only see trace entries generated by Outlook.

    Have you tried running Outlook in safe mode? Outlook.exe /safe .
    Last edited by Bundaburra; 2016-09-27 at 04:59.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
    I was curious about your problem so I did a few searches until I came up with this old thread with the same issue.
    The fix was to do a Repair on Microsoft Office. You do that from Control Panel.

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