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Salesforce for Outlook causes Microsoft Outlook to crash

Knowledge Article Number 000028644
Description User experiences an issue with Microsoft Outlook crashing right after installing or trying to run Salesforce for Outlook (SFO)

User sees the error message below as soon as they run Salesforce for Outlook or the wizard finishes


 
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NOTE*
Sometimes the error message is showing up in the background and Salesforce for Outlook system tray icon gets stuck on a percentage. You would need to minimize your browser, Outlook or other apps to be able to see it




 
Resolution

This issue could be related to a few things such as 
 

STEP 1 - A few corrupted or problematic records in Outlook
STEP 2 - A corrupted Outlook data file (.OST file)
STEP 3 - Connectivity issues or Security settings such as a Proxy Server
STEP 4 - Latest Service Pack and Microsoft Updates
STEP 5 - The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is installed on your computer
STEP 6 -   A corrupted user's Windows profile


But first thing you should check or have the customer's IT team to check is the Windows Event Viewer logs.

Event Viewer tracks information in several different logs. The Windows Logs that you would find useful are:

  • Application (program) events. Events are classified as error, warning, or information, depending on the severity of the event. An error is a significant problem, such as loss of data. A warning is an event that isn't necessarily significant, but might indicate a possible future problem. An information event describes the successful operation of a program, driver, or service.

  • System events. System events are logged by Windows and Windows system services, and are classified as error, warning, or information.


Simply click on Start and right click on the Computer icon or My Computer icon and click on Manage. When the Computer Management opens up, expand Computer Management (Local) | expand the System tools | Event Viewer | Windows logs. You need to check the Application and the System logs one at a time and search for any errors around MS Outlook, Salesforce for Outlook or any other errors at the time of the crash (error on the screen)

If you have Windows XP - Please refer to Microsoft knowledge base 308427 and if you have Windows Vista, 7, or 8, refer to the following Microsoft knowledge base

 

It would be very useful if you could select one or more of the events (the errors would be in red) in the middle and then use the Save Selected Events and attach it to the case if you need to escalate

 

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The errors in the Event viewer could be straight forward and explain why SFO or Outlook crashes. It could be something that the IT department can handle. If there are no errors or anything related to Outlook or .NET or SFO (SFDCMsOl.exe) and such in the Event Viewer logs follow the troubleshooting steps below
 

More information on how to use Event Viewer - It is a 3rd party website but has useful information with screen shots and explanation
 

Windows 7: Event Viewer - Open and Use in Windows 7



 

Possible causes and resolutions


STEP 1 - A few corrupted or problematic records in Outlook

    Examples:

  • Look for events that have a duration of none or events with a value of 60 min or larger in the Duration field/columns instead of hour. For instance, instead of an event with a duration of 2 hours, you see 120 minutes. Edit the event to correct the duration

  • Events that are created by another application could generate different ASCII characters such as # or > --> ==> in the Subject field. One scenario that we have faced a few times, a Airline ticketing system generating events for the user in their Outlook Calendar with these characters that would cause our SFO sync to fail. Correcting these events resolved the issue

  • Look for wrong type of records in Contacts, Events and Tasks folder. For instance, make sure there are no Emails in the Contacts or Events folder.


After correcting such errors, rename the sync db and re-sync

 

STEP 2 - A corrupted Outlook data file (.OST file)

If you have Outlook running in the Exchange Cache mode, by default Microsoft Outlook will create a data file with a .ost extension in the following location and download the data from the Exchange server so Outlook and other applications such as Salesforce for Outlook can access the data locally much faster

%LocalAppData%\microsoft\outlook\

 

You can also locate the Outlook default .OST file from the MAIL icon in the Control Panel.

1- Go to Control Panel and find the Mail icon (you can type in Mail in the search box on the top right corner of the Control Panel window)
2- Double click on it 
3- On the Mail Setup screen click on "Show Profile" and on the Mail window, select the default profile and click on "Properties"

4- On the Mail Setup - <profile name> click on Data Files
5- On the "Account Settings" window, select the Default .ost file and click on Open Folder...


At times the Outlook data file ( the .OST file) becomes corrupt and repair is not an option. In such a case, the OST file can be renamed (we don't recommend deleting anything from the end user's machine).

To rename the corrupt OST file,
You can use the Knowledge Article 000193713 - 
How to rename and recreate Microsoft Outlook data (.OST)
file that has step by step screen shots or follow the steps below

 

1- Close Microsoft Outlook
2- Exit Salesforce for Outlook by right clicking on the SFO system tray icon if it is running and click on Exit
3- Next navigate to %LocalAppData%\microsoft\outlook\
4- Locate the OST file that you want to rename
5- Right click on it once and click on Rename and change the name and press Enter


Note**
If you are unable to see the file extension you may need to change the Windows settings from Control Panel. See the Microsoft link below for more information on "How to show or hide file name extensions in Windows Explorer"

6- Reopen Outlook and you will see Outlook starts to configure the data file. This may take anywhere between 10-60 minutes depending on the user's mailbox size


Make sure you do not open SFO until the mailbox is fully created and downloaded. You will see a message at the bottom right corner of the Outlook window saying "All Folders are up to date" when this is done

See image below - This image is an example of this message in Outlook 2010

 


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STEP 3 - Connectivity issues or Security settings such as a Proxy Server


Salesforce for Outlook may cause Outlook to crash or freeze and throw the "Outlook not responding" error or a quick crash if there is something on the machine or your network blocking its communication with our servers.

Make sure the IE optimal settings Knowledge Article is applied even if your default browser is not IE.

Sometimes security software such as ESET, Norton and such prevent Salesforce for Outlook process ( the SfdcMsOl.exe file) file to run properly and it may cause a crash

This file in SFO version 2.4.2 and older, is located in the C:\Program Files\salesforce.com\Salesforce for Outlook\ and in the SFO version 2.5.x ~ 2.7.x is located in the %appData%\salesforce.com\Salesforce for Outlook


 

STEP 4 - Latest Service Pack and Microsoft Updates

Make sure you have the latest Windows updates and Microsoft Office service packs installed. Please refer to your IT department

Download Locations for Microsoft Office Service Packs

Microsoft

Office Version

Service
Pack

Size

(MB)

 

Download

Office 2013

SP1

643.6

32-bit

SP1

774.0

64-bit

Office 2010

SP2

638.2

32-bit

SP2

730.4

64-bit

Office 2007

SP3

351.0

32-bit




STEP 5 - The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit [ EMET ] is installed on your computer

** if you do not have EMET installed on your machine, skip to STEP 6
The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a utility that helps prevent vulnerabilities in software from being successfully exploited. EMET achieves this goal by using security mitigation technologies. 

The security mitigation technologies that EMET uses have an application-compatibility. Some applications rely on exactly the behavior that the mitigations block. If you encounter a problem that affects a specific mitigation, you can individually enable and disable that specific mitigation. Also when an application crashes with EMET it’s because that applications is matching with something that EMET does not like. 

What you need to do is to open the list of programs that EMET is currently protecting and uncheck the Outlook.exe process. This is something that you would need to reach out to your Internal Help Desk but if you don't have an IT team and would like to do it on your own, try the following


1- Click on the Start menu | All Programs and find Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit | EMET GUI or Click Start and type in EMET GUI in the Search box | Click on Apps | Look for OUTLOOK.EXE

2- Once the program window is open, click the Apps button on top

 

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Note: This window shows you the list of programs that EMET is currently protecting. What it’s showing you is a list of the programs’ executable file names. These can be cryptic, so you probably won’t recognize some of them. If you click Show Full Path, it will show you what folders the files are in, giving you a better idea of what the program might be.

3- Highlight Outlook.exe and uncheck the box under column of SimExecFlow and click OK.
You can also try to select Outlook.exe process and then select Audit Only and see if the crash still occurs.
This is not a Salesforce product so we can only document settings that resolved similar issues in the past with other customers. Please reach out to Microsoft for more help with its configuration - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/jj653751

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4- Restart your computer

5- Launch SFO then Microsoft Outlook and see if the issue is reproducible

 

STEP 6 - A corrupted user's Windows profile


* Using this Article uninstall Salesforce for Outlook completely

if none of the steps 1 through 5 resolved the issue, you may need to ask your IT department to create a new Windows profile (username) on your computer and see if the that resolves the issue. Once everything is working in the new Windows profile then you can ask your IT to transfer your data. Your IT can simply log in with their account and rename your Windows profile from C:\users\ and have you relogin. Your old profile won't be deleted in case this does not resolve the issue. For example if your username is JDoe they can change it to JDoe.old

If you do not have an IT department you can follow the steps below in order to create a new profile (Windows username). This link from Microsoft also has a video that would walk you through this process.

 

1- You need to be logged in to your computer as a local Administrator to create this new account. You can do this from Control Panel | Users

2. Assuming you already uninstall Salesforce for Outlook, log off and log in with your new username.

3. Windows will take a little bit longer since it will try to configure your profile for the first time. Once you see your Desktop you try to install SFO and see if the issue is still reproducible before copying your data from the old profile.



Note***
They must log you off first, switching users will keep you logged in hence won't allow them to rename your profile


If you have an Exchange email, company email, you must have your IT department assist you with this task. After you create a new user profile, you would have to create a new Outlook profile and transfer your Outlook data file along with My Documents, and other data

The Microsoft link below will assist you with creating a new Outlook profile if you do NOT have an IT department
How to create and configure an email profile in Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2003

Additional information from Microsoft support
Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010 not responding, hangs, freezes or stopped working

 





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