none
Can only access OST in elevated instances of Outlook RRS feed

  • Question

  • I feel like there's probably an obvious answer I'm overlooking for this, but everyone else in my department is also stumped so I'll take any ideas at this point.

    We've deployed Office 2013 to all our end users (Win 10 Pro user environment), mostly without issue. Recently, two things have started happening for new setups of Outlook specifically:

    1. Autodiscover is no longer properly retrieving exchange accounts, so we have to manually enter the user's credentials (which do successfully authenticate)
    2. After the mail profile has been created and Outlook is being opened for the first time, it acts like it can't authenticate the account and then gives the error:

      "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file [.ost filepath] cannot be accessed. You must connected to Microsoft Exchange at least once before you can use your Outlook data file (.ost)."

    Outlook will then close, as the .ost is considered inaccessible. In troubleshooting the issue, we've found that the second authentication failure problem happens in non-elevated copies of Outlook in standard Windows user accounts, but does NOT happen in elevated instances of Outlook. We have also tried:

    • Verifying the local machines can talk to the right servers with pings, tracerts etc.
    • Verifying permissions are set to full r/w access for the user's Outlook directory
    • Updating our host files
    • Manual DNS entries
    • Resetting .network adapters
    • Wi-Fi vs LAN connections
    • Verifying SMB settings between client and server

    Currently the ideas are being floated that autodiscover's implementation isn't quite right or we're having a DNS issue since both the ost authentication and autodiscover are being affected, but I'm questioning whether permissions are a factor considering the way Admin accounts go through the setup successfully.

    Any suggestions?

    Friday, October 18, 2019 6:37 PM

All replies

  • What do you mean by "elevated instances of Outlook"? Run as administrator?

    Do you computers domain-joined? Try test Outlook connectivity or Outlook Autodiscover via ERCA. If any errors, paste the details here.

    Problematic users can also log on their account on another computer which works for others. We may check if it lies on server side or client side.

    As far as I know, Outlook stores data file in drive:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook Files folder by default. So normally, current user should have permission to access this folder.

    Please try starting Outlook in safe mode and see whether this issue continues. This helps eliminate if the problem is related to any third party add-ins. To do this, please exit Outlook, press Win key + R to open the Run command, type outlook /safe, press Enter.

    Regards,

    Perry


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Monday, October 21, 2019 5:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Can you open Outlook normally? I'm wondering if the information above is helpful to you.

    Regards,

    Perry


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, October 24, 2019 1:39 AM
    Moderator
  • I’ll write a brief summary here for your information:

    [Issue Symptom:]

    ====================

    Outlook cannot open. Give this error: 

    "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file [.ost filepath] cannot be accessed. You must connected to Microsoft Exchange at least once before you can use your Outlook data file (.ost)."

    Autodiscover is no longer properly retrieving exchange accounts, so we have to manually enter the user's credentials.

          

    [(Possible) Cause:]

    ====================

    This seems to be related with Autodiscover settings.

          

    [Troubleshooting Steps so far:]

    1. test Outlook connectivity or Outlook Autodiscover via ERCA
    2. Try Safe mode
    Saturday, November 9, 2019 2:48 AM
    Moderator