Potential Bug with Outlook 2003 and X1 Enterprise Edition

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Is your Outlook 2003 PST file being corrupted by X1 ?

Yes
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67%
No
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Total votes : 3

Potential Bug with Outlook 2003 and X1 Enterprise Edition

Postby CarolHaynes » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:32 am

I have reported this via the bug report page on the X1 website but it would be useful to me if users could check that I am not mistaken - especially as the response email states there is no guaranteed feedback if I am not a registered paying user.

I was using the free download version of the Enterprise Deployment Kit (v. 5.5.5) and recently upgraded from Outlook XP to Outlook 2003. Before the upgrade I didn't notice any problems but since I started using Outlook 2003 my PST files are being corrupted on a daily basis.

After disabling X1 the corruption stopped, and as soon as I re-enabled X1 the corruption started again. For the time being I have now completely uninstalled X1.

The big problem is that Outlook does not report any corruption - it glibbly carries on using the corrupt file unitl it will suddenly fail and become unusable.

I only spotted the problem because I ran the "Inbox Repair Tool" provided as a hidden feature in MS Office.

If anyone is using Outlook 2003 and indexing your email with X1 could you please run the Inbox repair tool (you can usually find it at "C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\SCANPST.EXE") and check the consistency of your email data. Please post the results here if you have good or bad data so that it can be determined if there is a general problem or if it is specific to my setup. I have asked others about this and found other people with the same problem - so I know I am not totally alone on this!

When you run the inbox repair tool you have to specify the PST file to check - you can find its location in Outlook (Files > Data File Management ...). Make sure Outlook is closed and X1 indexing is disabled before you run SCANPST.EXE or it will fail to start the scan as it needs exclusive access to your PST file.

Note the Inbox repair tool does not alter your PST file unless you tell it to. If you do have errors and elect to fix them you original PST file is not removed but its file extension is changed to BAK and a new PST file produced in the same location. There is also a log of any problems stored in the same folder.

If you do find corruption can I suggest you repair it and then disable X1 indexing on your email in the X1 options and try using Outlook again for a few days before running SCANPST.EXE again. If there are no problems re-enable X1 indexing and check to see if the problem reappears. (I found it did on the next download of email). You may want to keep a backup of your good file in case corruption reappears.

Thanks for your help.
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Postby Kenward » Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:01 am

Running the inbox repair tool on Outlook invariably finds errors. These files seem to be damage prone. But they rarely get so broken that they do not work.

So, running scanpst and finding faults may have nothing to do with X1. Outlook itself seems to be quite capable of screwing up its own files. I am always finding errors, and the frequency has not gone up since I started using X1.

If you have anything else that accesses PST files, to synch with a portable for example, then you can almost guarantee that things will screw up at some stage.

That is why I backup my PST files every day.

Other than finding errors in the PST files, what are the symptoms of the problems you have with X1 and Outlook?

I'm not denying that you have problems with X1 and Outlook. But the difficulty is that the fact that you see problems with Outlook and X1 may not be related to errors in the PST files. I'd look deeper for the causes.
MK
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Postby CarolHaynes » Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:44 am

The fact is that whenever X1 is running and indexing my Outlook files ScanPST finds errors in my PST files. Without X1 ScanPST finds no errors.

The issue seems to be consistent and happens everytime I download new mail with X1 running. Without X1 it consistently find no errors.

I have no other software accessing my PST files and I don't sync them with other computers.

I am willing to admit that X1 is not necessarily responsible for the file corruption and that other things on my system (such as Outlook plugins) may be interacting adversely to cause the problems but I know of other people who are suffering the same problem when X1 is indexing their Outlook files. I figured by posting here I could at least raise a little attention to the possibility there may be a problem.

In the past the only problems I have had with PST corruption is when Outlook has failed to exit cleanly (which was related to a pluging that didn't close properly and which I no longer use) but that isn't an issue any longer.

It is annoying that Outlook doesn't have a more rigorous approach to file integrity but nevertheless I see a problem which could potentially lead to data loss - and X1 developers and users need to be made aware if there is a possible problem.
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Postby Kenward » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:28 pm

Are you saying that the only symptoms of your problems with X1 and Outlook are reports from SCANPST?
MK
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Postby CarolHaynes » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:46 pm

Yes - but are there any other ways of testing for data integrity in PST files?

Don't you find it worrying that everytime email is downloaded or Outlook modifies the email store in a PST files whilst X1 is indexing the file appears to have errors?

I don't know about you but I find this quite worrying - especially as SCANPST fixes PST files by truncating them at the error (real or perceived). If an error is generated early in the file it could be possible to lose most of your emails.

The only obvious solution to this seem to be either not use X1 to index emails or to keep the 'live' PST file v. small and continually archive messages to an unindexed archive - but doesn't that defeat the point of indexing ?
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Postby Darwin » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:46 pm

Hi Carol,

I seem to be having the same trouble - when X1 is monitoring my e-mails in real-time scanpst.exe consistently reports that it has found errors in my pst file. When I disable indexing, this doesn't seem to be the case. One "fact" in support of this being related to X1 indexing the files is that I managed to set up X1 to index only one of two archive pst files and that X1 does not index another pst file because it is work related and I don't want to have it indexed. These pst files that have never been indexed have no errors - the archive that is indexed and my main pst file do get errors.

*edit* Note that after checking my e-mail - ie downloading new messages, exiting both X1 and Outlook (required to run scanpst.exe) and running scanxp.exe the files that were recently repaired are once again found to have errors while those that were not indexed continue to be given a clean bill of health.

I'm running the latest build of the free version of X1 under XP Pro Sp-2 and use Outlook 2003.
Last edited by Darwin on Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CarolHaynes » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:49 pm

Thanks for replying Darwin.
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Postby Kenward » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:58 am

CarolHaynes wrote:I don't know about you but I find this quite worrying - especially as SCANPST fixes PST files by truncating them at the error (real or perceived). If an error is generated early in the file it could be possible to lose most of your emails.


I can see why you might be worried about this sort of thing, and I will see if I can get any more information.

I have just tested a bunch of my PST files, all of them indexed by X1, some have errors, some don't. When it has repaired the file, the new one is withing a gnat's whisker of the size of the original file. which brings me to the next point.

Your description of how scanpst works is at variance with my understanding and that in the Microsoft KnowledgeBase:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287497/en-us

I have seen PST errors for years, long before I started using X1. I have always put it down to flaky behaviour on the part of Outlook. I also wonder if what it really finds and reports are places where it objects to what has gone on, rather than real faults. I have often run scanpst and received reports about minor defects that, it tells me, don't matter, but it invites me to fix them anyway.
MK
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Postby CarolHaynes » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:34 am

Kenward wrote:I have seen PST errors for years, long before I started using X1. I have always put it down to flaky behaviour on the part of Outlook. I also wonder if what it really finds and reports are places where it objects to what has gone on, rather than real faults. I have often run scanpst and received reports about minor defects that, it tells me, don't matter, but it invites me to fix them anyway.


The thing that bothered me slightly is that since using Outlook 2003 I have had consistent errors when X1 is running. I have also never had the "This file has minor inconsistencies. You can choose whether or not to repair them" message from ScanPST each time I have got the stark "This file has errors" message which strikes me a potentially serious problem.
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Postby Kenward » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:08 pm

This needs a bit more input from the people who know what they are talking about at X1.

If there is an issue, they need to fix it. If not, we need to know why.

I won't be able to chase things for a couple of days. Thanks for raising it anyway. Even if it turns out to be a red herring.
MK
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Postby Greg Dawes » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:00 pm

CarolHaynes wrote:I was using the free download version of the Enterprise Deployment Kit (v. 5.5.5) and recently upgraded from Outlook XP to Outlook 2003. Before the upgrade I didn't notice any problems but since I started using Outlook 2003 my PST files are being corrupted on a daily basis.
Hi Carol,

While we have had users, throughout the years, report that a PST file has been corrected by running ScanPST, we have not noticed a strict correlation with Outlook 2003 PST files.

We "believe" that your issue may be caused by:

1. Having PST files mounted in Outlook AND adding them directly to X1 by using the "Add PST File(s)" button. Because PST files are designed to have only one connection, adding a PST file both to Outlook and to X1 can cause these types of issues.

2. Backup software (this can be corporate backup software) that tries to backup a users PST file while X1 is open. We recommend that users close X1 using File > Exit prior to any backup software running.

I hope this helps!
Last edited by Greg Dawes on Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby CarolHaynes » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:24 am

Thanks for the reply but neither of these situations apply to me.

1) My default PST file in Outlook was added to X1 by X1 when I clicked on the email option. I did not add it manually. I also have 7 archive PST files which are not loaded in Outlook but were manually added to X1 for indexing and they all have the same issue.

2) I don't use any form of corporate backup software (I am using a home wireless network of only two computers which are only connected in the sense of using a Router for internet access and swapping the odd file now and again). I use Acronis TrueImage to backup my system daily - but that just takes a hard disc snapshot at the time of system shutdown.

Just to reiterate ...

If I run ScanPST error free and then synchronise my email with Outlook (with X1 realtime indexing my PST file) errors are reported when I rerun ScanPST.

If I disable X1 then I do the same I do not have this problem with my PST files at all.
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Postby Kenward » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:16 pm

Greg's message did not say that the issue applied only to adding the default PST file manually.

He wrote:

Having PST files mounted in Outlook AND adding them directly to X1 by using the "Add PST File(s)" button.


This seems to me to apply to your comment that:

I also have 7 archive PST files which are not loaded in Outlook but were manually added to X1 for indexing and they all have the same issue.


In which case, one of these circumstances may well apply to you.

How do you add these extra PST files?

Are they linked to your Mail profile? I maintain a separate (Archive) Mail profile specifically for X1. Not that this eliminates corrupt PST files. Some of mine needed repairing last time I looked, some did not. But it does mean that I do not need to add PST files manually.

On the positive side, there is no evidence that these fractured PST files cause problems in Outlook.

I have since had confirmation from an Outlook expert that the idea that scanpst truncates PST files may be wrong. He said that the only thing he can think of is that truncation happens when someone uses a different repair tool to recover old style PST files when they break the 2Gb limit that no longer applies.
MK
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Postby CarolHaynes » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:09 pm

The archives aren't mounted in Outlook at all - they were just added into X1 using the add a PST file option - each file was assigned its own profile by X1.

I realised one of these circumstances applied to me but the word AND suggests that problems have only been noted where both situations apply.

Still a little concerning if it is a known issue though - there is no warning in X1 that adding PST files that are already mounted in Outlook could have data corruption issues !
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Re: Potential Bug with Outlook 2003 and X1 Enterprise Editio

Postby rhmitul » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:22 am

there's another useful tool included with Outlook in addition to the scanpst.exe one its does pretty much the same, but for the "offline cache" files. If those files becomes corrupted, Outlook will start behaving badly no matter the state of your .pst files.
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Re: Potential Bug with Outlook 2003 and X1 Enterprise Editio

Postby Kenward » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:33 am

Are you referring to scanost.exe? Or is there something else to look for? You don't say.
MK
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