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by simonwilding / April 7, 2006 2:30 PM PDT

Hello Everyone

My hard disk has started thrashing whenever Outlook 2003 has been running on idle for a few minutes. If I close Outlook 2003 the disk stops thrashing altogether.

I tried a programme called 'FileMon' and the results window kept repeating the line "OUTLOOK.EXE:2144" as soon as the thrashing started.

The machine is running Windows 2000 Pro with Service Pack 4. It has 1.5Gb of RAM and the hard drive is a 123Gb IBM. CPU is an AMD 2600.

I've got Norton SystemWorks Premier 2006 and Norton Personal Firewall 2005. I've tried a full system virus scan and found nothing. I've also tried various spyware programmes and again found nothing suspicious.

Can anyone help me?

Many thanks


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IMO. Norton...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2006 10:49 PM PDT

In short, it's likely to be the combo of Norton or maybe a memory manager you installed but did not list.


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Not Norton
by simonwilding / April 8, 2006 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: IMO. Norton...

I don't think it's Norton since Norton Systemworks & Norton Firewall have been installed for several weeks and the machine has beeen working fine up til now.

I haven't installed any memory manager programmes either.

The disk thrashing has only been happening for two or three days.

I just tried FileMon yesterday so that I could see what processes are running when the disk thrashing starts.


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For years...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2006 4:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Not Norton

Norton and systemworks has caused issues. So far it's the only clue that you've provided. Filemon is interesting, but not conclusive.


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Things to try.
by Kees Bakker / April 8, 2006 4:57 AM PDT

- Disable Norton to prove that Bob is wrong (or right).
- Does this happen also in Safe Mode?
- System Restore to a few days ago. If there is an unknown software cause it could be neutralized.

Hope this helps.


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It's Windows 2000. To restore...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2006 5:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Things to try.

All you can do is SCANREG /RESTORE and see if that has a few day old item.

The problem I had with Norton was it's Outlook plugin and some items in SystemWorks.


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by simonwilding / April 8, 2006 10:25 AM PDT

I've got an exact clone of my C Drive - it's another 123Gb IBM and the copy on it is one day old.

Both drives are in swappable drive caddies. Not surprisingly the clone drive also starts thrashing when Outlook 2003 has been running for a few minutes.

So far I have tried these tests using the clone drive:

1. Completely uninstalled Norton SytemWorks - made no difference, disk still thrashes. That would seem to rule out Norton as the culprit.

2. Completely uninstalled Copernic Desktop Search - made no difference, disk still thrashes.

3. Completely uninstalled Microsoft Office 2003 and reinstalled it again - made no difference, disk still thrashes. That would seem to rule out a corrupt Office file.

4. I did think the Windows Indexing Service might be the culprit. I've tried to disable/stop it using the Computer Management tree but I'm not sure if it's enabled or even installed. There's an option in the Computer Magagement tree to set the INDEXING SERVICE USAGE to NEVER USED - I've tried this but it keeps going back to USED OFTEN. Completely baffling.

No I haven't tried Safe Mode Kees - I'm not sure I can launch Outlook 2003 in Safe Mode.

There is no 'System Restore' in Windows 2000 Pro so that rules that out that possibility. I'm loathe to try 'Scanreg/Restore' because I don't know exactly how to do it.

I can't think what else there is I can do. If I leave it thrashing like this it'll probably wear out the hard drive.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2006 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: TO BOB AND KEES

Press Start, Run, enter OUTLOOK /SAFE for a test run.


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by simonwilding / April 8, 2006 11:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Try OUTLOOK /SAFE

Ok Bob, I just tried that and it launched Outlook 2003 in Safe Mode. After a few minutes C drive started thrashing again just as before. Does this give you any clues?

I also ran FILEMON while the thrashing was happening. It showed that process OUTLOOK.EXE.1520 was making continuous requests to READ, WRITE, FLUSH, or QUERY INFORMATION on path C\DOCUMENTS & SETTINGS\MY NAME\LOCAL SETTINGS\APPLICATION DATA\MICROSOFT\OUTLOOK\OUTLOOK.PST - Does that mean anything to you?

By the way I appreciate the help. Many thanks.


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Re: outlook.pst
by Kees Bakker / April 8, 2006 9:34 PM PDT
In reply to: TO BOB


That's very helpful info.

You seem to have ruled out any software cause (although you never know, in fact). So it's time to consider the data side.

Outlook.pst is the database Outlook stores all it's data in. Start with renaming it (to outlook_old.pst for example). Run Outlook again. It will create a nice empty uncorrupted new one. Wait and see, and wait and see. If things seem OK than use File>Import to (gradually!) import all your data (contacts, mails) from the old renamed version.

Worth a try, I should say.


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To Kees
by simonwilding / April 9, 2006 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: outlook.pst


I'll give your idea a try using the clone drive. I'll let you know if it does the trick!

By the way I did wonder whether it was a virus - apparently the virus W32 Mimail.Q@mm can masquerade as Outlook.exe. However I've done a 'normal' virus scan and a Safe Mode virus scan (using Norton) and neither of them came up with anything.


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PS. To Kees (again)
by simonwilding / April 9, 2006 5:15 AM PDT
In reply to: To Kees

PS to last post.

I forgot to say that I did try deleting all the emails and contacts in Outlook to see if any of them contained something suspicious. It made no difference - the thrashing started up as usual. (Deleting everything didn't create a new Outlook.pst file though.)

One other thing - I've just noticed if I click the Send/Receive button in Outlook, the thrashing stops for a while - but then it begins again after a few more minutes of inactivity.


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Still weird.
by Kees Bakker / April 9, 2006 6:20 AM PDT
In reply to: PS. To Kees (again)

However, it might point the way to a work-around. Write a simple VBA-routine (autoexec if that's possible) that does a send-receive every two minutes (using the sleep command in between).
Or maybe Outlook has an option to do so automatically (Outlook Express has: check for new mail every ... minutes).


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Re Still Weird
by simonwilding / April 9, 2006 9:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Still weird.

I haven't got a clue how to write a routine - I'm not that clued up technically. Outlook does have the option to do an auto send/receive every x minutes and I did think of using it as a work around but I'd rather stop the thrashing properly.

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Automatic background compaction.
by Kees Bakker / April 9, 2006 6:33 AM PDT
In reply to: PS. To Kees (again) describes automatic background compaction. But, alas, it doesn't tell how to turn it off.

But it's imaginable, in principle, that this process can go astray in a database that's somehow corrupted. In that case, my suggestion should work. Let's hope so.

Or maybe your .pst file is very, very big, so that automatic compaction is a very, very timeconsuming process? In that case, consider dividing it into multiple pst's (called personal folders files then).

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Re Microsoft Article
by simonwilding / April 9, 2006 9:34 AM PDT

I just read the article and you're right it doesn't tell you how to turn it off. Typical Microsoft.

I was about to try your idea of renaming the Outlook.pst file on the clone drive when I noticed that it wasn't thrashing at all - even 10-20 minutes after launching Ouklook. The other drive is still thrashing though!! Now I'm really confused.

I'll try rebooting and running the clone a few times and if it still doesn't thrash, I'll use it as the master C Drive.

After that I'll try renaming the pst file on the other drive and see if your theory works.


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