Here is the problem. It first started with hundreds of event errors caused by Windows Search Service (3083, The protocol handler Search.Mapi2Handler.1 cannot be loaded. Error description: Class not registered). We are running XP 64bit, so I uninstalled Windows Search 4.0, downloaded the version for XP 64bit, and installed it. After a reboot, when I try to start Outlook I get an error that the outlook.ost cannot be accessed because it was last accessed by a different user. (Sorry I don’t have the actual message there…) Since the OST is just a copy of what’s on the server, I say screw it and tell Outlook to use an OST file that doesn’t exist. Like a good do-bee Outlook offers to create it and off we go.    But then I get the error “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The attempt to log on to Microsoft Exchange has failed.”. POS! I’ve tried the little registry hacks and bullshit fixes and nothing works.

Now, I can get Outlook to open using the ResetNavPane switch solution. However there is still no connection with Exchange. Keeping in mind that ALL other network activity is fine- Internet works, networks shares can be accessed, etc. I also found the little MS RPC registry repair and that sucked (although it was nice that the “Mr. Fixit” actually told me it fixed the problem. It usually craps out saying I don’t actually have a problem.). Needless to say it didn’t do anything.

This has happened on three machines so far and the only fix I have found is to log in as the local administrator in safe mode, rename the user folder (C:Documents and SettingsUser), log out, log back in as the user and let XP create a new user folder. Then I copy over necessary stuff like the desktop, favorites, My Documents, etc. This of course is a complete pain in the ass because all the custom settings for things like AutoCAD, MS Word, etc. need to be reset manually.

If anyone has a better fix or a simpler way to resolve this – please let me know and I’ll post it!