Outlook 2003 beta deletes e-mail on systems running Outlook 2002

Outlook 2003 beta deletes e-mail on systems running Outlook 2002

An important bug lives on in the latest beta version of Microsoft Outlook 2003, as reported by the GCN Lab [see story, www.gcn.com/22_9/news/21864-1.html], despite two widely publicized fixes.

The Inbox bug systematically deletes e-mail messages throughout networked systems that still have Outlook 2002 installed. Deletion starts when Outlook 2003 receives new e-mails and doesn't stop until Outlook 2003 is closed.

Shutting down Outlook 2002 and using only Outlook 2003 doesn't stop the bug from removing the e-mails in the 2002 version. Microsoft Corp. has not told the lab staff what specifically causes the bug, but one proposed workaround involves 21 steps to redirect the location of the cache and change the location of the default profile's Offline Folder File. That didn't work in our tests.

Another workaround, which also didn't fix the Outlook bug, is to back up all user data on the server running Microsoft Exchange Server and then delete and recreate the Outlook Profiles. Backup is necessary because this procedure deletes calendar data, e-mails and so on. We found that it did remedy the frequent crashing we had found in Outlook 2003 and improved reliability.

Microsoft has delayed final product release from early summer to late summer or early fall. We'll report on the final version then'without the Inbox and other bugs, we hope.

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