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Users cannot open Outlook on different PC, empty .ost file generated RRS feed

  • Question

  • Lately, several users have been having issues opening outlook on different PC's than their own. It seems the .ost files that are generated on starting outlook are empty, giving the error '[username].ost file is not an Outlook file'.

    Disabling Exchange Cached mode gives a more generic 'Network problems are preventing connections to Microsoft Exchange'. Everything works fine on their own PC (which has a working .ost file).

    Below are some points I have checked:

    • Mailbox not in quarantine
    • autodiscover settings are set properly
    • autodiscover.xml is generated as it should be
    • Flushing DNS does not help
    • Mapi enabled, imap and pop3 disabled
    • Disabling RPC encryption does not fix
    • Certificates are bound properly in IIS
    • AD account inheritance is enabled
    • Migrating mailboxes to different DB does not solve the issue
    • Test autodiscover settings
    • Exporting their mailbox in the Exchange environment properly generated a .pst file

    Below is the OPMLog.log generated upon starting Outlook 2016.

    2018.12.10 16:39:12 <<<< Logging Started (level is LTF_TRACE) >>>>
    2018.12.10 16:39:12 HELPER::Initialize called
    2018.12.10 16:39:12 Initializing: Finding a Transport
    2018.12.10 16:39:12 MAPI XP Call: XPProviderInit in EMSMDB.DLL, hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI Status: (-- -- ---/--- -- ---)
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: TransportLogon, hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 Initializing: Found a transport, Error code = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: AddressTypes, hr = 0x00000000, cAddrs = 3, cUids = 1
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: TransportNotify(BEGIN_IN|BEGIN_OUT), hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 HELPER::Initialize done, Error code = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 HELPER::GetCapabilities called, Error code = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 HELPER::Initialize called
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 Initializing: Finding a Transport
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: XPProviderInit in EMSMDB.DLL, hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI Status: (-- -- ---/--- -- ---)
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: TransportLogon, hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 Initializing: Found a transport, Error code = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: AddressTypes, hr = 0x00000000, cAddrs = 3, cUids = 1
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 MAPI XP Call: TransportNotify(BEGIN_IN|BEGIN_OUT), hr = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 HELPER::Initialize done, Error code = 0x00000000
    2018.12.10 16:39:13 HELPER::GetCapabilities called, Error code = 0x00000000

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    • Moved by Manu Meng Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:54 AM relocate
    Monday, December 10, 2018 4:00 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Based on your description, I know that you are getting an issue that users cannot open Outlook on different PC and empty .ost file generated. Since we mainly discuss Exchange server side issues in this forum and your issue is more related to Outlook client side, to better resolved it, I will move the thread to the specialized forum: Outlook IT Pro Discussions.

    Thanks for your understanding!

    Regards,

    Manu Meng


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    Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:53 AM
  • Hi,

    Does this issue happen to specific PC?

    If we switch to another network, will same error occur?

    Have you tried re-adding the account to Outlook client or creating a new profile?

    We can try opening Outlook in safe mode to see if the issue continues. Please exit Outlook, press Win key + R to open the Run command, type outlook.exe /safe and then press Enter. This helps eliminate whether the problem lies on any third party add-ins.

    Besides, do you have any antivirus software running on this PC? Please temporarily close them to check the results.

    Any updates, please feel free to post back.

    Regards,

    Perry


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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:57 AM
  • Hi, thanks for the reply.

    This happens on every PC that doesn't already have a .ost file.

    Running outlook in safe mode doesn't help. I've also disabled the antivirus programs.

    Adding a new account only seems to work when I authenticate with a different Active Directory account that has full access permissions on that particular mailbox.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:42 PM
  • That won't solve the issue at hand I'm afraid. Manually repairing the .ost file is not an option every time someone wants to login on a different computer.
    Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:42 PM
  • Hi,

    >>giving the error '[username].ost file is not an Outlook file'.

    Would you mind sharing a screenshot of this error so that we can do more research.

    Currently, I haven't found related documents about this issue. We can do some steps to narrow down this issue.

    • If user1 logon user2’ PC with user1’s Windows profile, will it work?
    • Did customer deploy Outlook/Office using OCT which included pre-settings for Outlook?
    • Can he setup a new PC and install a fresh office client downloading from Microsoft website, then try again?

    Besides, what’s the version of Exchange server?

    Regards,

    Perry


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    Friday, December 14, 2018 5:54 AM
  • Hi Perry,

    Thanks for thinking with me here. Below is the error message.

    • If user1 logon user2’ PC with user1’s Windows profile, will it work?

    This works without issue

    • Did customer deploy Outlook/Office using OCT which included pre-settings for Outlook?

    Outlook is deployed through SCCM. There is a .prf file, but as far as I can tell it contains the default settings.

    • Can he setup a new PC and install a fresh office client downloading from Microsoft website, then try again?

    A fresh install of outlook 2019 does not fix the issue.

    We're using Exchange 2016 (version 15.1.1591.8).


    Thanks again!

    Since apparently I cannot verify my account (??) here is a link to the image:

    imgur[DOT]com/hmwsL7H.jpg

    Sorry about that.



    • Edited by dvrooij Friday, December 14, 2018 4:03 PM
    Friday, December 14, 2018 3:55 PM
  • Hi dvrooij,

    Sorry for replying late.

    Do you use any deployment tools to install Office? If yes, we can try directly downloading Office from website and install it on a new fresh machine to test the result. As far as I know, some issues could occur if you deploy Office via GPO or .prf file.

    What's your Windows version? Instead of Outlook client, we can also try other mail client to test this issue. For example, add the account to Mail app of Windows 10.

    Besides, please check the group policy on the client to see if there is policy that force some settings in Outlook.

    Regards

    Perry


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    Tuesday, December 18, 2018 4:12 AM
  • Hi Perry,

    Office is installed through the image process in SCCM. This is done the same way for everyone, and if someone else tries to login on their machine, it works.

    We are using Windows 10.  I'll try to get one of the affected users to login using the Mail app.

    For group policies, there are a few things being applied such as disabling of functions such as weather. This is all applied to the computer however, and doesn't seem to prevent other users from logging in successfully.

    Thanks again.

    Monday, January 7, 2019 12:16 PM
  • Update on the mail app:

    The affected user can login using ActiveSync. Using the Exchange option doesn't seem to work for neither the user or me.

    Monday, January 7, 2019 2:00 PM