Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The story of Outlook 2000 and the Magical Pixie Dust...

I do a bit of IT Consultancy for a local business (see, I am a monkey of many many talents).

Yesterday, there was a bit of an issue with one of their PCs and Outlook. The PST file was just under 2GB and as we all know, Outlook 2000 struggles with a file of that size.

Anyway, I scanned the pst file to see if there was any corruption to it, it turned out fine, but still would not load. It didn't matter how long it was left, it just would not work.

I thought, well maybe there is an issue with the AV software, it has happened before on other sites, so why not here. I disabled the AV, tried again, nada...

Right, if it is not the pst file and not the AV software, could Outlook system files have got corrupted somehow??? Uninstall, reinstall. Still a no go. My head was wrecked by this stage, 3 hours and no joy. I finally suggested the famous, why don't I just reformat and reinstall everything. It will take a couple of hours, you will lose nothing as it is backed up.

Fair enough, we scheduled a time to do it.

Somehow, somewhere, the pixies (no not the band!!!) got into the office last night and poured some of their magical pixie dust over the PC. When the PC was turned on this morning, lo and behold, Outlook worked!!!!

Since we could now get into Outlook, I decided it was best for them to trim down the size of the PST file. 3000 emails later and it is working like a dream, or so I thought.

I get a phone call later in the afternoon... "Ehhh... where is my send and receive button gone?? I can't send or receive any email." I log on remotely (the whole thing was done remotely) and yeap, sure enough there is no send receive button. Ahh sure I will just add it from the customised option... Eh no, no I won't because it is not there!!

Now, I don't have that much spare hair that I can pull it out when ever I get stressed (I'm not going bald you understand, but as I get older, I find I am more attached to what hair I have), but this had me tugging at the roots!!

Much googling later, I still had no solution. Then, for no other reason than checking the blindingly obvious, I took a look at the account settings. Y'know, it is hard to send and receive email when there is no email account set up!!!

As I don't have their account details, I did not set it up, but I did tell them that the account had to be created before they could access the mail (there is a guy on site who looks after the simple stuff). He forgot..... Oops.

Anyway, the moral of this story.... Pixies and their magical pixie dust rule!!!
Oh and secondly, check the blindingly obvious first!!

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