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Outlook 2007 Data File Not Closed Properly

    Question

  •  

    Every second or third time I close Outlook, when reopened, I see this message: "The data file 'Personal Folders' was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems."  The file check takes ten-fifteen minutes, then everything seems to be normal.  The client is Outlook 2007 as part of Office 2007 Professional running under MS Vista Business.

     

    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:08 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

     

    The underlying reason why Outlook displays this “data file” check is very simple. There is a single flag in the header of the data file that is a Boolean value (True or False). While you use Outlook the value of this flag is constantly changing as the data file is updated. When the update begins the value is changed to False and then when the update completes the value is changed back to True (implying the update is finished and successful).

     

    So, the key to the problem is the shut down process because once the Outlook.exe process is exited this flag value cannot be changed. If the Outlook.exe process was terminated prematurely or a 3rd party add-in did not properly set the flag value to True then the flag value can be left at False. If you start Outlook with a data file where the value of the flag is False you are guaranteed to see the “data file” check. If the value of the flag is True then you will not see the “data file” check.

     

    Right now, there are a few known common causes for this issue:

     

    - Shutting down Windows before the Outlook.exe process has exited

    - 3rd party add-ins improperly “closing” the data file

    - Outlook crashing

    - Non-Outlook process accessing the data file

     

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954642/en-us

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948733/en-us

     

    Regarding the post advised by Rod, I would like to explain more detailed:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    When you shut down Outlook, the Outlook window goes away, but the Outlook.exe process can continue to run for some time. That’s why you can see Outlook.exe sitting in Task Manager for a few minutes after closing the Outlook window. If you shut down Windows while the Outlook.exe process is still running Windows will not wait for the Outlook.exe process to exit. So, you increase the likelihood of encountering the “data file check” issue the next time you start Outlook (because the Outlook.exe process was not able to “close” your data file(s) completely before Windows was shut down).

    On the other hand, if you leave Outlook running when you shut down Windows the Outlook.exe process will continue to run and exit on its own. When Windows is shut down, it sends messages to all visible window frames telling them to quit, and will wait for those programs to quit before shutting down. Not until all processes with open windows have exited will Windows finally shut down. This is somewhat counter-intuitive to most people as traditional training has always advised manually closing applications before shutting down Windows.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     

    Mike

     

     

    Monday, October 06, 2008 2:34 AM

All replies

  • Actually, I find it confusing as it seems to report two opposing points of view...

     

    So are you saying I should NOT close Outlook, and should just exit by closing down Windows, leaving Outlook open?

     

     

     

    Friday, October 03, 2008 2:04 PM
  • Hi,

     

    The underlying reason why Outlook displays this “data file” check is very simple. There is a single flag in the header of the data file that is a Boolean value (True or False). While you use Outlook the value of this flag is constantly changing as the data file is updated. When the update begins the value is changed to False and then when the update completes the value is changed back to True (implying the update is finished and successful).

     

    So, the key to the problem is the shut down process because once the Outlook.exe process is exited this flag value cannot be changed. If the Outlook.exe process was terminated prematurely or a 3rd party add-in did not properly set the flag value to True then the flag value can be left at False. If you start Outlook with a data file where the value of the flag is False you are guaranteed to see the “data file” check. If the value of the flag is True then you will not see the “data file” check.

     

    Right now, there are a few known common causes for this issue:

     

    - Shutting down Windows before the Outlook.exe process has exited

    - 3rd party add-ins improperly “closing” the data file

    - Outlook crashing

    - Non-Outlook process accessing the data file

     

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954642/en-us

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948733/en-us

     

    Regarding the post advised by Rod, I would like to explain more detailed:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    When you shut down Outlook, the Outlook window goes away, but the Outlook.exe process can continue to run for some time. That’s why you can see Outlook.exe sitting in Task Manager for a few minutes after closing the Outlook window. If you shut down Windows while the Outlook.exe process is still running Windows will not wait for the Outlook.exe process to exit. So, you increase the likelihood of encountering the “data file check” issue the next time you start Outlook (because the Outlook.exe process was not able to “close” your data file(s) completely before Windows was shut down).

    On the other hand, if you leave Outlook running when you shut down Windows the Outlook.exe process will continue to run and exit on its own. When Windows is shut down, it sends messages to all visible window frames telling them to quit, and will wait for those programs to quit before shutting down. Not until all processes with open windows have exited will Windows finally shut down. This is somewhat counter-intuitive to most people as traditional training has always advised manually closing applications before shutting down Windows.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     

    Mike

     

     

    Monday, October 06, 2008 2:34 AM
  • I've tried shutting down my PC while keeping outlook open and I get the same error either way.

     

    Friday, October 10, 2008 3:33 PM
  • Ditto and I'm running XP SP3 with Outlook 2007. Also the two links that the support jockey posted are for folks running Microsoft Communicator which I am not running.
    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:54 PM
  • Hello ASVP,

     

    I was having problems with the same error message. I am running Vista Ultimate. I tried many different things. Just tonight I went into AVG 8 and turned OFF the "Outgoing" e-mail scanning, and presto, it worked for me. Give it a try if you have an anti-virus program with e-mail scanning. I was able to leave the inbound e-mail scanning on.

     

    Barry

     

    Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:07 PM
  • I was having this issue as well, for the last month.  I tried everything I found here and on other sites/forums.  Nothing worked!  I kept receiving the "file did not" message.  Then I started to get the message about my archive.pst, too!

     

    Some of things I tried were:

    1. Going into the Office folder (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\) and double clicking on the SCANPST.exe file.  I even tried to run the same file from the command line, both in normal and safe mode operation. (FAILED)

    2. Running my Norton AntiVirus, Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware, and Ad-Aware SE programs. (FAILED)

    3. Repairing Outlook with the built in Diagnostic Tool. (FAILED)

    4. Restarting Windows while Outlook was running. (FAILED)

    5. Putting my disk back in and running the "Repair Boot" option and "System Restore". (FAILED)

     

    Until today.  I opened my Outlook 2007 to check my mail, and got the message again, as usuall; kinda started getting use to seeing it Sad !  I then received several phone calls that kept my busy for about 45mins - 1 hour.  As I got off the phone I started going through my email, and OUT OF THE BLUE, I got a pop up that said that Outlook had repaired the problem!

     

    Since then I have PURPOSELY tried to crash the .pst file again, by opening and closing Outlook, at rediculous intervals!  I haven't seen the message since!

     

    My suggestion:  Open Outlook, let it sit for a very long time (depending on the size of your .pst file), and see if Outlook will fix the problem by itself.  It worked for me! Wink

     

    Good Luck

     

    Sven2157

    Saturday, November 01, 2008 11:24 PM
  • Sounds like it may be the complete answer - and from the people who (inadvertently) brought us the problem in the first place!

     

    Sunday, November 02, 2008 12:31 AM
  •  Barry J. Rosie wrote:

    Hello ASVP,

     

    I was having problems with the same error message. I am running Vista Ultimate. I tried many different things. Just tonight I went into AVG 8 and turned OFF the "Outgoing" e-mail scanning, and presto, it worked for me. Give it a try if you have an anti-virus program with e-mail scanning. I was able to leave the inbound e-mail scanning on.

     

    Barry

     

     

    I use ESET NOD32 and disabling outbound email checking doesn't seem to be an option.

     

    I suspect other applications using the OL2007 databse (PDA Sync for example) also hold the database open and cause the problem.  No doubt the MS solution mentioned above as being part of the forthcoming Office 2007 SP2 will address the issue properly - hopefully - once and for all.  Roll on 2009...

    Sunday, November 02, 2008 12:35 AM
  •  Sven2157 wrote:

    I was having this issue as well, for the last month.  I tried everything I found here and on other sites/forums.  Nothing worked!  I kept receiving the "file did not" message.  Then I started to get the message about my archive.pst, too!

     

    Some of things I tried were:

    1. Going into the Office folder (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\) and double clicking on the SCANPST.exe file.  I even tried to run the same file from the command line, both in normal and safe mode operation. (FAILED)

    2. Running my Norton AntiVirus, Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware, and Ad-Aware SE programs. (FAILED)

    3. Repairing Outlook with the built in Diagnostic Tool. (FAILED)

    4. Restarting Windows while Outlook was running. (FAILED)

    5. Putting my disk back in and running the "Repair Boot" option and "System Restore". (FAILED)

     

    Until today.  I opened my Outlook 2007 to check my mail, and got the message again, as usuall; kinda started getting use to seeing it Sad !  I then received several phone calls that kept my busy for about 45mins - 1 hour.  As I got off the phone I started going through my email, and OUT OF THE BLUE, I got a pop up that said that Outlook had repaired the problem!

     

    Since then I have PURPOSELY tried to crash the .pst file again, by opening and closing Outlook, at rediculous intervals!  I haven't seen the message since!

     

    My suggestion:  Open Outlook, let it sit for a very long time (depending on the size of your .pst file), and see if Outlook will fix the problem by itself.  It worked for me! Wink

     

    Good Luck

     

    Sven2157

     

    Interesting theory...  I open OL2007 when I switch on, and leave it running all day.

     

    The problem only occurs when I close OL2007.  So I try not to.

     

    For the moment I leave it running always which seems to avoid rather than fix the problem.  I just hibernate Vista (using the quick shutdown/startup option.  I haven't rebooted from a cold start since th last big round of Windows Updates.

     

    I think the Office 2007 Service Pack 2 sounds like the proper solution.  We'll all just have to struggle on until then.

    Sunday, November 02, 2008 12:44 AM
  • This pre-SP2 hotfix (so far!) seems to have resolved the consistency check problems:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957909/en-us

    I have installed this on two different machines (one XP and one Vista) that were having the problem and I'm no longer getting the message.  I have tried repeatedly closing & reopening Outlook without getting this message.  I'll give it a couple weeks to see how it holds up, but the initial response is very positive.

    Mike
    Monday, November 03, 2008 3:57 PM
  • There is a post SP1 hot fix for Outlook available that - for two machines I have anyway - has resolved this issue:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957909/en-us

    I was getting this almost every time prior to installing this fix, and since then haven't gotten it once (and I've tried to - exiting & restarting Outlook numerous times, etc.).  Hope this helps some people.

    Mike
    Monday, November 03, 2008 4:05 PM
  • In NOD32 - go to the EMON module in control panel and click Setup

    You can turn it off there. I'm trying it now and hoping this solves the problem (or at least makes it better until SP2)

     

    Mine rebuilds about every other time - never had this problem in Outlook 2003 unless the system really had crashed.

     

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 8:51 PM
  • Had the same problem but caused by Trend Micro Anti Virus and got the following solution from them - substitute any add on you may be using - worked for me:

    This is caused by a conflicting Add-in settings between the Trend Micro product and the application you are using.

     

    1. Open your Outlook 2007

    2. Click on Tools.

    3. Click on Trust center.

    4. The Trust center window will pop-up
    5. Click on Add-ins on the right part of the screen.

    6. Under Manage: COM Add-ins  Click on Go.. (Middle bottom part of screen)
    7. Uncheck all the Add-ins Exept for TMAS (TMAS is Trend Micro) then Click on OK.

    7. Restart your computer.

    Thursday, January 01, 2009 2:52 PM
  • Pig Dog Bob,
    Thank for your submission.   I too have Trend Micro and tried your steps and it cleared the issue.

    Thanks again!
    Monday, January 12, 2009 5:38 PM
  • This is similar to my problem, I had this happen several times but continued after the data was caught up as per a pop-up box, or so I thought. I let it do it's thing then went on with life. I understand a little better now what was happening, but I'm not that computer literate. This is now the 2nd day that I cannot even open the Business Outlook either from the desktop shortcut or thru Programs. About 3 week ago, I updated to SP3. Don't know if that had anything to do with this or not.
    Then a couple of days ago before I crashed, I joined Window @live e-mail. I was told that has nothing to do with it.

    I use Comcast cable and can access my new incoming mail only. Called Comcast and they said I have a serious MS problem. Yeah! it is serious when you can neither get business or personal mail.
    I see some of the problems, but now does anyone have a solution.

    Can anyone help me?

     To verify my problem, Several times I got the message that the personal data didn't close down properly. It started happening about a week after I updated to XP SP3, then about 2 days after I joined MS @Live and a week after I joined Facebook, I cannot access my 2007 MS Business Outlook---in anyway except thru the Comcast Home page for new mail.
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:53 PM
  • Every second or third time I close Outlook, when reopened, I see this message: "The data file 'Personal Folders' was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems."  The file check takes ten-fifteen minutes, then everything seems to be normal.  The client is Outlook 2007 as part of Office 2007 Professional running under MS Vista Business.

    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    I've been having the same problem for some time with a number of users in a small business network I support.  Not all users experience this problem and those that do seem to have periods when everything works properly.  I've tried all the recommended solutions and some additional ones:

    • I've run SCANPST repeatedly
    • I've archived old data to reduce the PST size
    • I created new PSTs and imported messages from the original PSTs
    • I've run Office Repair
    • I've re-installed Office
    • I've disabled all add-ins
    • I've switched off the Avast! antivirus
    • I've tried shutting down Outlook before rebooting
    • I've rebooted without shutting down Outlook
    • And the list goes on .....

    However, I've now found a factor which is consistent - having just done a complete Windows re-install on a user laptop (to resolve some unrelated performance issues) I was amazed when the user reported that the "Outlook Data not closed properly ... " was back.  I'd tested the system thoroughly after the re-install and everything appeared to be fine.  After much testing and re-testing, I couldn't reproduce the problem, yet the user was encountering this problem every time Outlook was launched after a reboot.

    Eventually I realised that, while the user was working directly on the machine, while I was working via remote control.  Further testing confirmed that the problem only occurs when working directly on the machine. Operating via any form of remote control (so far, I've tried PCAnywhere, Teamviewer and Remote Desktop Connection) you can reboot and re-launch Outlook (with or without shutting it down first) and Outlook starts up without a glitch every time. I couldn't re-create the problem under any circumstances. I have suggested that the user just works on the machine via PCAnywhere, but this proposal was not well received !

    All our users' machine are running Windows XP Pro SP3, Outlook 2007 SP3 in Internet Mail mode (no Exchange Server)

    I cannot imagine what could be different between launching Outlook in a remote session and operating directly on the machine which could affect the PST file.  Any thoughts, suggestions or further questions will be welcomed !

    Friday, August 31, 2012 3:20 PM
  • is there any queries for this type of error 

    what will we do to get access to outlook

    Monday, December 02, 2013 10:21 AM