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Outlook Express Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

OE has become very slow when opening
These steps apply to slow performance opening or using Outlook Express 5 - 6 on Win 98, Win ME, Win XP

On Win 9x platforms: (Do not follow these steps on Windows XP - See the XP section below)

1) Check for existing pstore.log and missing imagehlp.dll. Search the HD for pstore.log and imagehlp.dll Make sure you are searching in hidden files and folders.

a) If pstore.log is there proceed to scanning for AV in step 11 and then do the pstores fix.

b) If imagehlp.dll is missing proceed to step 5.

c) If both pstore.log is there and imagehlp.dll is missing then include extraction of imagehlp in the pstore rip.

d) If that does not resolve then come back to step 2 and complete the steps not tried. If there is no pstore.log file then the evidence does not indicate doing a pstore fix.

2) Check Messenger and Contacts Pane. Check to see if Messenger is checked and see if disabling the contacts pane resolves the slowness issue.

3) Check for Rules. A lot of rules can slow down OE if you are downloading messages.

4) Check for Background compaction. A simple check mark can fix this and is easy to check. 311030.KB.EN-US OLEXP: Outlook Express Is Slow to Open Mail Messages and Links to Web

5) Check imagehlp.dll. If OE is slow to open search for Imagehlp.dll - if missing or the incorrect version then this is the problem. This usually happens after uninstalling Mcafee AV. See 235300.KB.EN-US OLEXP: Outlook Express 5 Starts Very Slowly.

Note: This article talks about Pstores. This is a long process and should be done only if the pstore.log file exists.

6) Empty the Temp folder. If you find OE opens fairly quickly but opening messages is slow this is likely due to a full temp folder. To find the temp folder type %temp% at the run line.

7) Empty the temporary Internet files.

8) Fixmapi. If you are having trouble switching Identities you can try running fixmapi.exe

9) Create a new Identity. This eliminates the customers data and settings as the culprit.

10) Boot to windows safe mode. If it opens faster here then do clean boot troubleshooting. Note: this might be a sign of a virus on the system.

11) Check for viruses. Find out if they have an anti-virus program and have done a recent update and scan. If they do not or have outdated AV definitions we should consider that a virus may be affecting performance. If they have done a recent virus scan with updated definitions then we can assume this is not the problem and move on.

12) Do the pstores fix if we are on Win 9x. If we found a pstore.log file then proceed with this step only after a virus scan. Most of the time the
pstore.log is created because of a virus on the system. Important: The articles listed below indicate we need to reinstall IE. This is not needed and will not work for Windows ME since pstore files are not downloaded with IE. The articles have been commented. Obtain copies of the files listed in these articles from either the appropriate Windows Update Setup Files Folder or in the Case of Win ME extract them from the ME CD. Do not reinstall IE to obtain new copies of the files. (See above statement).
If we are not on Win 2000 or Win XP then Do the Pstores fix in one of the following articles:

OR:

(It is recommended that imagehlp.dll is replaced during the pstore fix.) Do not do pstores on a Win 2000 or Win XP machine - it does not apply.

13) Roll Back IE. If you have the ability to do this rollback IE to a previous version. Test and see if this works in the old version. At this point you should be able to reinstall IE from the local cab files usually located in "C:\Windows Update Setup Files" or in the case of IE 6 "C:\Windows\Windows Update Setup Files"

IF you are troubleshooting Windows XP:

1) Check to see if Messenger is checked or Missing and Uncheck the Contacts Pane.

a. If Messenger is checked uncheck it and test.

b. If the option for Messenger is missing this is the problem. Do not proceed further until we have solved this problem.

c. Disable the contacts pane to see if that speeds up the process. If it does then messenger is the likely suspect.

2) Check for Rules. A lot of rules can slow down OE if you are downloading messages.

3) Check for Background compaction. A simple check mark can fix this and is easy to check. See the following MSKB article:

4) Check imagehlp.dll. If OE is slow to open search for Imagehlp.dll - if missing or the incorrect version then this is the problem. This usually happens after uninstalling Mcafee AV. See the following MSKB article:

Note: This article talks about Pstores also but this is a long process and should be done after checking for a missing Imagehlp.dll file.

5) Empty the Temp folder. If you find OE opens fairly quickly but opening messages is slow this is likely due to a full temp folder. To find the temp folder type %temp% at the run line. Windows XP has a cleanup utility that will help you empty the temp folder.

6) Empty the temporary Internet files.

7) Create a New Identity. This will eliminate customer data from the list of culprits.

8) Boot to windows safe mode. If it opens faster here then do clean boot troubleshooting. Note: this might be a sign of a virus on the system.

9) Check for viruses. Find out if they have an anti-virus program and have done a recent update and scan. If they do not or have outdated AV definitions we should consider that a virus may be affecting performance. If they have done a recent virus scan with updated definitions then we can assume this is not the problem and move on.

10) Make certain the PSTORES service is started. Before you open OE after a reboot the pstores service has to start. If it is not starting or if you open OE before the service starts then OE will open slowly. Once the service is started OE should open normally. This is by design. Do not do the pstores rip on Windows XP

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