Sysinternals saved my day. Again!

So I got into office early today and was greeted with this error when I fired out Outlook: Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file D:\Merill\Mail\Personal Folders.pst cannot be opened.

The only promising link from searching (hmm.. I wanted to write googled, but since I used Live Search what should I say ‘lived’) around on the internet was this. But trying to start up in safe mode didn’t work.

I then fired up FileMon, made a filter to show only ‘outlook’ and then ran Outlook as expected the error occured again. I then went into FileMon to figure out what exactly was happening and there it was an Open request to D:\Merill\Mail\~Personal Folders.pst was returning a ‘Sharing Violation’.

Now having to figure out which process was holding on to this file I started up Process Explorer and did a search for the processes holding a handle to ‘personal folders’ and there it was, a rogue Outlook.exe (must have crashed earlier). So I killed of the outlook.exe process and got my Outlook running back again.

So what does this all prove. If you have any problems with files not being accessible first try restarting Windows.

Written on October 26, 2006