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Outlook 2003 Has Become So Slow It Is Almost Unusable

by rebecker / August 11, 2005 1:16 AM PDT

I have a standalone laptop computer that I use at home. Two days ago my Outlook 2003 started to slow down to the point that I can hardly use it. Mail comes in but doesn't appear for 1-2 minutes. Switching windows takes just as long and opening dialog boxes (adding appointments, sendeing email responses, etc) can take a couple minutes.

Two things happened just shortly before I noticed the problem and I can't figure out which caused the problem:
1. A DSL technician re-installed a DSL router to my computer. There are some disconnect issues that the phone company is trying to isolate. I suspect this is the likely cause.
2. An automatic Windows update was installed.

I reviewed some of the Microsoft knowledge base articles, but couldn't find a fix. One acticle mentioned DNS settings as a possible cause, but the KB resolution steps didn't match my computer OS, which is XP Home.

Prior to 2 days ago Outlook was running very well. In checking some of my other software, I don't seem to have any other speed issues.

Any help will be appreciated.


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Do tell more.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 1:18 AM PDT

Such as what you do for firewall, antivirus and spyware detection and removal.


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More Information
by rebecker / August 11, 2005 3:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Do tell more.

I am running Zone Alarm (free version), McAfee AntiVirus and Ad-Aware (which I believe is NOT running in the background; I run it about once a week).


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2 things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 5:32 AM PDT
In reply to: More Information
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Found Something!
by rebecker / August 11, 2005 6:24 AM PDT
In reply to: 2 things.

I was watching the Windows Task Manager for clues and saw something called zcfgsvc.exe that was using significant resources. I know it has to do with a program called ConfigFree that relates to networks, etc. Since the problem started after fooling with a DSL network I thought I'd shut it down. Guess what??? It seems to have fixed the problem!

Any suggestions how to handle this software? It starts whenever I reboot. I can manually shut it down, but I'd rather just turn it off completely.



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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 6:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Found Something!

Maybe you can try it without?

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Not Visible In MSCONFIG
by rebecker / August 11, 2005 7:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Look to MSCONFIG.

The zcfgsvc.exe file is an Intel ZeroCfgSvc file that I can't find in MSCONFIG. The real question now is why it's suddenly interfering with Outlook. Another oddity about the file is that if it is running when I shut down Windows I have to manually close the file. That issue also just appeared 2 days ago.

Thanks for your replies. Any other thoughts will be appreciated.


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Pulling the strings.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 8:01 AM PDT

This is one of the classic head bangers for Microsoft and other software developers. I noted ICS's interaction since that one was easy to take care of. But the oddity is that Word should not have cared.

-> In your case try this. Since it's not in MSCONFIG, look at SERVICES.MSC and set the Wireless Zero Config service to disabled.

Sadly you have to bear with me since I am not privy to what's in your SERVICES list so you may have to guess which it is. At least you can set it back to enabled if need be.

If you just want to test that's that is it, open a COMMAND WINDOW and try...

net stop wzcsvc


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Disabling Wireless Zero Config Doesn't Work
by rebecker / August 11, 2005 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Pulling the strings.

I disabled Wireless Zero Config. Upon reboot zcfgsvc.exe still loaded and Outlook was still very slow. Shutting down zcfgsvc.exe didn't help. Enabling Wireless Zero Config, rebooting and shutting down zcfgsvc.exe again fixed the Outlook speed issue. I tried renaming zcfgsvc.exe so it wouldn't load. That didn't work. Outlook functioned badly. So, it looks like zcfgsvc.exe needs to load and can then be shut down.

I've found that if I try to run Intel PROSet Wireless and check its settings, it doesn't seem to run properly. It reacts very similarly to Outlook when zcfgsvc.exe is running; very slow screen refresh and stalled functions.

Thanks again.


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What was not said.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 12, 2005 12:41 AM PDT

Do you need wifi on the machine at all?

I found one setup where they had both and it was a bit messy. Hint: Disable the network interface you don't use.


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Can You Tell Me How?
by rebecker / August 12, 2005 2:05 AM PDT
In reply to: What was not said.

I'm not sure how to disable one of the two. As I mentioned, I tried running the Intel PROSet Wireless, which said Windows was being used to configure wifi. However, PROSet did not run well enough for me to disable it.

Can you suggest how to analyze both the PROSet app and the Windows app and the steps to take to disable one or the other?

Thanks a lot.


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I can't be specific.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 12, 2005 2:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Can You Tell Me How?

Due to no OS noted in your last reply and other things, but in generic terms I will try. You may have noted the OS, machine make/model, but the thread is long and this forum software doesn't make review easy. Here goes.

In either case of either interface I head to the DEVICE MANAGER and find the part I was to disable there. I use the box that may have a drop down that can be changed to "Not used in this configuration." I set that, OK it and maybe reboot.

Windows is less than perfect about unused network connections so I've learned to disable what is not in use.


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Other Things Tried
by rebecker / August 13, 2005 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: I can't be specific.

Just to make sure it wasn't something else I've run the following with no change:

Panda Avtivescan
Windows Update
Spybot Search & Destroy
MS Windows Anti Spy
McAfee Antivirus

Only stopping zcfgsvc.exe fixes the problem.

What is your opinion of simply uninstalling the Intel PROSet Wireless software?

Thanks for your response.


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(NT) (NT) If you don't use wifi, then go ahead.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 13, 2005 6:24 AM PDT
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Were there any changes in the email account settings?
by flevoboy / October 3, 2005 4:07 PM PDT

I've had similar problems yesterday. It took about 10 seconds on every click within Outlook. I've updated it with Office sp2, but that also didn't help.

Untill I came in this morning and realized that I had created an account to connect with an exchange server two days ago. Since I'm on a laptop I had no connection with this server when I had this problem. I removed the newly made account and I had my performance back.

Possibly this is the same for you.

On the Microsoft site I also found something saying that Outlook may become unsuable when having multiple large pst files. But that should be fixed by installing office sp2.

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