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    Thread: Outlook 2003 is excessively slow, unresponsive, and crappy.

    1. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:04 AM #1
      I'm looking to solutions for a friends computer. He has a Dell Dimension which runs Windows XP just fine, however his version of Outlook 2003 barely runs properly at all. It's slow to load, unresponsive, and just has become a nightmare to use.

      Does anybody here have any suggestions as to what to do? Or do you have suggestions on how to fix Outlook so that it runs smoothly? He's running Windows XP SP2 at least, most likely SP3.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    2. 04-18-2012 10:11 AM #2
      Is he loading from a POP3 account or an IMAP account because that can determine how quickly emails arrive? Or does even get to the point that he sees email before it craps out? Another alternative to see if it is Outlook that is having the problem is to load Thunderbird and have it load up the same mail profile and if it loads slowly there then you know there is something wrong with the connection itself and not Outlook.

    3. 04-18-2012 10:16 AM #3
      How big is the PST file that Outlook 2003 is trying to load? Are there any other plug-ins that Outlook is trying to load? If Windows Search (or some other app) is trying to index a huge PST file, Outlook is going to be slow as balls.

    4. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:16 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by dvlish09 View Post
      Is he loading from a POP3 account or an IMAP account because that can determine how quickly emails arrive? Or does even get to the point that he sees email before it craps out? Another alternative to see if it is Outlook that is having the problem is to load Thunderbird and have it load up the same mail profile and if it loads slowly there then you know there is something wrong with the connection itself and not Outlook.
      Two accounts - a POP3 and an IMAP account. The IMAP account has barely anything on it though and connects just fine. The POP3 account has tons of emails and contacts though.

      The problems show up when he double clicks to load the damn thing.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    5. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 10:23 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiffyGTI View Post
      How big is the PST file that Outlook 2003 is trying to load? Are there any other plug-ins that Outlook is trying to load? If Windows Search (or some other app) is trying to index a huge PST file, Outlook is going to be slow as balls.
      Would Windows XP try to index the pst file?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    6. 04-18-2012 10:27 AM #6
      Some search plug-in or something like that might.

    7. 04-18-2012 10:28 AM #7
      Also, start up Performance Monitor and see what your disk I/O looks like when Outlook's open because if that spikes then you know something is ripping through a massive PST file.

    8. 04-18-2012 10:45 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      Would Windows XP try to index the pst file?
      yes the OS would do that if set up to index the C Drive. You can always check the properties of the C Drive and make sure that indexing is turned off that should help it a little bit with the loading. But like the other member mentioned if it is a massive PST file the you would need to check for possible corruption of the PST file as well. Once that file approaches 1.8GB its going to self corrupt and there is the possibility of losing email.

    9. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 12:12 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by dvlish09 View Post
      yes the OS would do that if set up to index the C Drive. You can always check the properties of the C Drive and make sure that indexing is turned off that should help it a little bit with the loading. But like the other member mentioned if it is a massive PST file the you would need to check for possible corruption of the PST file as well. Once that file approaches 1.8GB its going to self corrupt and there is the possibility of losing email.
      Oh shyte. Time to archive the old PST file elsewhere and start anew.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    10. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 12:15 PM #10
      How well does Thunderbird work versus outlook? I actually do not know many people who use thunderbird but does it have advantages over outlook? Can it handle a beating and a heavy workload?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    11. Member x047x's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 12:31 PM #11
      I like Thunderbird a lot over Outlook ( I use TB at home and Outlook at work). BUT what is he using it for? Simply checking email? If so I would definitely say try TB. Outlook has a ton of integration features but is bloated but since he just has POP and IMAP (and not exchange) I would guess he's mostly just checking email.

    12. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 01:14 PM #12
      This individual has a boatload of contacts, does Thunderbird have a contacts/address book feature? Or is it an add on?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    13. Member x047x's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 01:53 PM #13
      Yeah it has a fully functional address book. TB is to Outlook as Firefox is to IE. Like I said, I think it's a better program.

      EDIT: And if he's using Outlook Express, then TB is definitely better. The one thing Outlook (full version) does better is the Calendar and scheduling and stuff but if he doesn't use those functions then go TB and never look back.
      Last edited by x047x; 04-18-2012 at 01:56 PM.

    14. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 01:57 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      This individual has a boatload of contacts, does Thunderbird have a contacts/address book feature? Or is it an add on?
      Yes it does.

      I used TB about 5 years ago, and it wasn't much different from Outlook 2003.

      Unless your friend is running Exchange, there's no reason to forcibly use Outlook.
      80 people! Do you know how much that is? Two 40s, you son of a b***h!
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    15. Member x047x's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 02:03 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenandChrome View Post
      Unless your friend is running Exchange, there's no reason to forcibly use Outlook.
      This... TB will also have a much smaller footprint in terms of resources used

    16. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 02:20 PM #16
      Then this switchover is happening as soon as I can make it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    17. Member You are to blame's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 03:03 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      Would Windows XP try to index the pst file?
      Microsoft has a limit of 1.8GB for pst files older than 2002 format. Sometimes they crap out on outlook 03/07 too without even being that big. Run scanpst and then create a new archive and copy old archive into new one just to see if it helps.
      Signatures are for the insecure

    18. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 03:24 PM #18
      how to run scanpst? is this a command prompt thingy?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    19. Senior Member SAPJetta's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 03:57 PM #19
      How large is the PST file? Has Outlook been repaired/reinstalled?
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

    20. Member You are to blame's Avatar
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      04-18-2012 04:06 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      how to run scanpst? is this a command prompt thingy?
      Here are some tips and how to for Scanpst... http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287497

      You should try closing the archive/personal folder/pst files (or whatever you want to call it) then close outlook and open again. If it's still very slow, then try reinstalling ms office/outlook.
      Last edited by You are to blame; 04-18-2012 at 04:08 PM.
      Signatures are for the insecure

    21. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      04-19-2012 11:35 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      How well does Thunderbird work versus outlook? I actually do not know many people who use thunderbird but does it have advantages over outlook? Can it handle a beating and a heavy workload?
      I run both to keep my work email and my personal email totally separate. Thunderbird is very primitive compared to Outlook. I don't do anything fancy with my personal email so it's fine but it would be totally inadequate for what I do at work.

      With Outlook, you pretty much have to auto-archive and change archive folders from time to time to prevent .PST files from getting too big.

    22. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-20-2012 01:33 PM #22
      Windows XP still has security updates that install from time to time. Could any of these cause Outlook to slow down or really get messed up?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    23. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-20-2012 01:35 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      I run both to keep my work email and my personal email totally separate. Thunderbird is very primitive compared to Outlook. I don't do anything fancy with my personal email so it's fine but it would be totally inadequate for what I do at work.

      With Outlook, you pretty much have to auto-archive and change archive folders from time to time to prevent .PST files from getting too big.
      So I take it that at a certain point, you archive all of your emails into a separate .pst file and then the original pst file becomes considerably smaller, correct?

      Does anybody know if there are third party software programs out there which can "move" emails out of a .pst file and keep the original there, just so that the original settings don't get messed up?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    24. 04-20-2012 02:40 PM #24
      If you can drag and drop, you can move files out of a .pst.

      Do this:
      -Go to File > Data File Management... (I'm going on memory here)
      -Click 'Add..." and name a new pst file, let's say "Archive.pst" or something like that
      -You should probably change the title from "Personal Folders" to "Archive" or "Old Emails"
      -On the left, you should see the new title
      -Right-click the new title and create a new folder, name it "Old Received"

      You probably want to create one for sent items too since mixing them can be a pain in the ass. Go to your original inbox, highlight a bunch of old email, then drag it to the new folder you created on the left.

      Outlook won't immediately compress the OG PST file but it will gradually reduce in size over time.

    25. 04-20-2012 07:22 PM #25
      I am going to place money on the PST file being over 2GB, and since it's Outlook 2003 it's unicode format and probably already corrupted.

      Also, why on earth would your friend willingly use Outlook at home?

    26. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 03:24 PM #26
      the outlook file was at 2.7GB. No wonder the damn thing was atrocious.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

    27. Member You are to blame's Avatar
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      04-23-2012 10:26 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      the outlook file was at 2.7GB. No wonder the damn thing was atrocious.
      Ok, since the pst file is corrupt, make a copy of it and further corrupt it using a hex editor tool and then use scanpst to repair the file. Make sure you make a backup copy of the pst before you do anything.

      Here are some instructions: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...t-file/5054599
      Signatures are for the insecure

    28. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-23-2012 10:33 AM #28
      Here's the thing, Windows in general is being bogged down by this entire mess.

      Once I repair the pst file, should I just ditch outlook entirely or stick with it?
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

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      04-23-2012 10:35 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by You are to blame View Post
      Microsoft has a limit of 1.8GB for pst files older than 2002 format. Sometimes they crap out on outlook 03/07 too without even being that big. Run scanpst and then create a new archive and copy old archive into new one just to see if it helps.
      Outlook 2003 does not have a size limit to PST files, you can let one get as large as you want. 2GB is an artificial limit that people have adopted because of the frequency with which a PST larger than that will corrupt.

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      04-23-2012 10:56 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      Outlook 2003 does not have a size limit to PST files, you can let one get as large as you want. 2GB is an artificial limit that people have adopted because of the frequency with which a PST larger than that will corrupt.
      It does have a limit if the pst was an earlier format. I see this even in office 2007
      Signatures are for the insecure

    31. 04-23-2012 11:10 AM #31
      Correct, there's a very old format that has a 2GB file size limit. However, I'm pretty sure that by default, Outlook 2003 uses the new file format unless otherwise specified. Anyway, the fact that it's 2.7GB definitely isn't helping Outlook to run fast. You can run ScanPST to fix any potential issues with the file, but that won't magically make it run faster. Your best bet is to create a new PST file, transfer all the old email to that, then remove the file from Outlook. Outlook will slowly but surely shrink the current PST file now that all the excess email has been removed and it will be back to running lean and mean. (or you can choose to "Compact Now" and it'll take a while to manually shrink the file)

      I say stick with Outlook. If you're really convinced that it's Outlook that's crappy and slow, then feel free to switch to Thunderbird.

    32. 04-24-2012 12:57 PM #32
      Drop Outlook like it's hot. It's the gold standard for businesses with on-premises Exhange, but home users should really get a Gmail account.

      BTW I do this for a living so its not like I'm an OS X fanboy trashing everything MS.

    33. Member GreenandChrome's Avatar
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      04-24-2012 01:29 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Angry_Birds View Post
      Drop Outlook like it's hot. It's the gold standard for businesses with on-premises Exhange, but home users should really get a Gmail account.

      BTW I do this for a living so its not like I'm an OS X fanboy trashing everything MS.
      Using Outlook at home is fine, if you're used to the UI (which 95% of users are*). For the average user, Outlook is definitely overkill. Simple web-based apps work just fine. But there's nothing wrong with using Outlook. It's familiar. It gets the job done, as long as you delete the emails from Gamma that are chain emails from 5-10 years ago.

      Seriously... my mom, who used to work at MSFT, never deleted her deleted folder contents in Outlook.



      * Statistics pulled from my "donkey"
      80 people! Do you know how much that is? Two 40s, you son of a b***h!
      Default post options: So, it has come to this. | If you think so. | Not that there's anything wrong with that. | That's what she said. | WTF.
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    34. 04-26-2012 12:17 AM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Angry_Birds View Post
      home users should really get a Gmail account.
      Not everyone wants Google to keep their messages forever and mine their data.

    35. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 11:21 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by O_G View Post
      Not everyone wants Google to keep their messages forever and mine their data.
      I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable about this. A friend of mine has his own domain and private server for email services and I'm seriously thinking of copying his model and making it mine.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbiodiesel!
      It really is the perfect, no excuses all-rounder for the rich guy who's accustomed to having it all - the Hybrid version especially. It's like an F-150 Raptor banged an M5 in the men's room of a biker bar. Nobody really wanted the results, but damn - what a set of genes.

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