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error message on Outlook 2003

by jspn85 / May 3, 2006 2:05 AM PDT

I have Office 2003 installed, Outlook has worked fine for months until yesterday.

Now I am receiving the dreaded "An unexpected error has occurred" and it refuses to send e-mails, not all - sometimes it allows one or two to go out. It does not discriminate by only allowing short mail, or mail without attachments - seems to have a mind of its own and is not choosey. Any help will be appreciated, MS help website is a hopeless mess I think.

Windows XP downloads up to date.

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Error message
by jspn85 / May 9, 2006 5:57 AM PDT

It is me again, I have something to add to my post, I have now found in OUTLOOK that if I send to a GROUP listing in my address book, I get that dreaded merror message, if I list everyone separately it goes through okay.

It never did this before, just suddently started. Now the question is what causes that to happen and what is the solution.

I received notification from CNet that I had responses to my posted question, but I have not been able to find any.

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outlook 2003 unexpected error has occurred
by Sweiver / July 26, 2006 6:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Error message

I am also getting this error when sending to a distribution list in Outlook 2003. Has never happened before until the past couple of weeks. Did you get any answers??

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Just an example.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 26, 2006 7:08 AM PDT

Many discover this after they install Norton. But the members usually forget to supply all the needed details. I'll not reply until the clues show up.


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Another possibility with problematical group mail sends
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 27, 2007 10:37 AM PDT

may be that your ISP has imposed a limit on the number of copies of an e-mail that can be sent at once. Many ISPs have such limits (I seem to remember that Compuserve's was 10) to prevent their service being used for Spamming. Check to be sure that the error is actually coming from Outlook and not your ISP's mail server.
-- Dave K.

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distribution list unexpected error
by stevesimnick / July 17, 2007 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Error message

Don't know whether this is relevant to your situation or not but I've found that a distribution list name containing a space produces the error whereas the same distribution list with no space in its name does not. For example, a distribution list named "the gang" produces the error but the same distribution list, instead named "gang", does not.

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Outlook unexpected error
by Captain_Sensible / August 8, 2007 9:38 PM PDT

Thanks for this as it sorted my problem for me.

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probably a name cache issue (.NK2)
by jbollyn / December 10, 2008 3:01 AM PST
In reply to: Error message

I have seen this happen with group distribution lists, whose members have changed. Outlook keeps a name cache file (search your profile for *.nk?), which is that 'auto-complete' feature when you begin typing in an email recipient that you have used previously.

The reason clicking on 'To:' works is, the dist list is pulled from the Exchange server, not the cache file.


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I have a friend that is having the exact same problem.
by Sabremg / September 27, 2006 2:15 AM PDT

I have a friend that is experiencing the exact same problem. Has anyone offered a resolution? I checked Microsoft and didn't find any thing usefull. Thx for your help.

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Does this friend have Norton installed?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 27, 2006 3:27 AM PDT

Why would Microsoft fix that?


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Error message in office 2003
by Sabremg / September 27, 2006 3:42 AM PDT

She uses Symantec.

Yes, I know... (your comment about Microsoft:)

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I've run into this dozens of times.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 27, 2006 3:51 AM PDT

The fix is going to come from Symantec.


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Outlook error message
by jbarlow1 / September 28, 2006 4:18 AM PDT

Did Symantec indicate when they would be coming out with the fix?

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All I can share is ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 28, 2006 4:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Outlook error message

It's still happening. Symantec needs your calls?


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How do you enter address
by mcmaineacjam / January 2, 2008 2:11 AM PST

I have found that if you type the group name right in as opposed to going to the contact list and selectiing it causes this. Click your "To:" button and select the group[ from the list and see if it goes. It worked for me!

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Entering the Address of Recipients
by aldelosreyes / January 25, 2008 4:13 AM PST

This suggestion has worked for me too! Thanks, you are God-send.

Just an observation from the strings of replies, re: this problem. This problem occurs only in MS Outlook and not with Gmail or Yahoo mail. Since this is the case (at least for me), I can't blame Norton or any anti-virus/anti-spam software for this. Microsoft should address this issue!

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deleted list
by chmcarls / January 31, 2008 10:11 PM PST

I found that a user was getting this error when the message she was trying to send was addressed to several distribution lists, one of which had been deleted. Removing the offending list remedied the problem (though it didn't answer how it had gotten deleted in the first place).

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Hi there....
by unnimb / September 10, 2008 6:15 AM PDT

Thank you for the solution. It has helped me with the problem I'd sending a mail to a distribution list using MS Outlook today. Thanks once again Happy

Manoj Unni(Bangalore, India)

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Thank you!
by ElaineJanice Smith / September 11, 2008 10:25 AM PDT

The tip about selecting the distribution list from the contacts list rather than just typing it in worked for me too. I had previously rebuilt this DL and really didn't want to have to do it again.

BTW - is anyone else really finding the Microsoft MVPs rather snarky on this issue.

This is the first forum that had a real answer.

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How do you enter address
by rfruth / October 5, 2008 10:12 PM PDT

This worked for me too. Thanks for the assistance. It was driving my crazy. Microsoft, you should be fixing this.

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Re: How do you enter the address
by currami / December 10, 2009 4:18 PM PST

That worked for me as well. Clicking on To: then typing the name of the ditribution list. Peculiar work around. I hope as good as a product as Outlook is, they can resolve something so seemingly simple.

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It works
by jrwittnco / July 2, 2010 3:33 AM PDT

I tried this idea of selecting from the list instead of typing the name in and it solved the problem. The interesting thing is ... now it works even if I do just type the name in.

I'm convinced its all smoke and mirrors just to confuse me!

Thanks to whoever it was that posted this fix.


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I found a solution (for me, anyway)
by swhack49 / March 28, 2009 1:20 PM PDT

I have been experiencing the same problem in MS Outlook 2007 with only one of my email group addresses. I simply changed the name of the group, and it worked! Try this.

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An unexpected error when sending emails in outlook 2003
by pkhurana / April 12, 2009 3:18 PM PDT

i had the similar problem until i figured that this error message comes only when sending to the distribution list. double check the distribution list because outlook picks up the names from the *.nk? files. I opened the "TO" box and clicked the distribution listi from within the addressbook and it worked fine.

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Some solutions to the problem
by krneal72 / November 4, 2009 12:11 PM PST

1. A number of people have suggested that the issue is the AutoComplete feature, and that you can work around it by clicking the TO: button and selecting the distribution list from your Contact list. That works, but it's clunky. I prefer...

2. Select Contacts, then double-click the distribution list to open it. Click the Update button, then Save. For most distribution lists, this solved the "couldn't send to it" problem.

3. For some reason, one of my distribution lists still didn't work after #2. I could test to see if it was fixed by creating a new message, typing the distribution list name and allowing it to AutoComplete, then double-clicking the distribution list name to see the contents. If the list was still "bad", I received an error, and figured that I needed to delete the AutoComplete entry. To delete the AutoComplete entry, start a new message, type the name of the distribution list until it's shown in the AutoComplete dropdown, then press the Delete key on your keyboard to remove the AutoComplete entry. Then, type the distribution list name and allow it to AutoComplete, and sending should work.

4. Worst case, if you can't find any solution to recover the distribution list, create a new one with a similar name. Add all the contacts, delete the original list, and rename the new list. You'll want to check the new list using the process in #3.

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