Outlook is retrieving data from the Microsoft Exchange Server outlook.office365.com

I have a client who has been having this problem for several months now. It started out of the blue. No one else in that site has the same problem. Although the computers are not exactly the same, they all share a commonality in that they are all Dell OptiPlex workstations running Windows 10 Pro and Office 365 Business Premium Office suite.

What happens is while using Outlook, whether it’s changing from one folder to another, Outlook will randomly freeze and up at the title bar it will say (Not Responding) and then down below in the system tray where the Outlook icon is, it will pop up a black notification box that says “Microsoft Outlook Outlook is trying to retrieve data from the Microsoft Exchange server outlook.office365.com.

I cannot re-create the problem at will. It sometimes takes an hour or two for it to randomly appear again.

I have tried the following:

  • Clean Boot
  • Disabling or having the computer prefer IPV4 over IPV6 via Microsoft’s registry fix
  • Disabling hardware acceleration in Outlook
  • Clean install
  • Online repair of Office
  • Multiple new Outlook profiles
  • Outlook safe mode
  • Changing out the network card
  • Tried only via wireless
  • I will come back to this list when I remember what else I’ve tried
  • 11/19 – Replaced the entire network stack, router and switch
  • 11/19 – Replaced the entire workstation with a brand new Dell 7070 with the following specs:
  • Intel Core i9 9900K
  • 32 GB Memory
  • 512 GB PCIe NVME SSD
  • Intel Gigabit PCIe NIC
  • Fresh install of Windows 10 Pro with it being joined to a domain as well as a fresh install of 64-Bit Office 365. The problem has happened on both 32-bit and 64-bit

I have tried using Process Monitor by monitoring Outlook.exe, but nothing of significance is ever shown.

Everything I’ve found online says it might be due to too many items in the calendar. There is a total of 151 items in the calendar.

The other thing I’ve found is that there are too many e-mails. I find that hard to believe since my own Office 365 account has much more than this end-user and I do not see the same problem.

A few people mentioned updating their router’s firmware fixed it for them. I installed all firmware that was available for their router and the problem remains.

I have the end-user’s Exchange account set up in a Windows 10 virtual machine and the same version of Outlook the end-user uses on the Dell OptiPlex.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to recreate the problem. However, I have not used it as a normal end-user would meaning, for eight hours a day, sending e-mails, receiving, etc. so it’s hard to say if it truly does not happen on this virtual machine.

The Dell OptiPlex in question has the following specs:

Intel i5
256 GB Samsung Solid State Drive
8 GB Memory
Windows 10 Pro
Office 365 which is the equivalent to Office 2019

There is a caveat. This entire problem is closely related to something with Quick Books 2019 Pro.

Sending e-mails from Quick Books often times will cause Outlook to freeze up and or it takes a very long time. Sending e-mails via Outlook also tends to cause the error message to occur; however, it does also happen when not using Outlook.

I’ve confirmed the portion that affects QuickBooks and Outlook sending e-mails is a bug on Intuit’s end. That is an ongoing bug with absolutely no fix, other than a workaround, which is to use the send forms feature after queuing several e-mails to be sent.

I am still trying to find a fix for the main problem which is when using Outlook 365 or Outlook 2016 with two Exchange accounts and two shared mailboxes, when just clicking on an e-mail in the inbox, Outlook freezes completely, it says NOT RESPONDING at the top, the bars are greyed out as though it’s about to crash and is not responding to any mouse clicks. On top of that, a small window pops up at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen which says: Outlook is retrieving data from the Microsoft Exchange Server outlook.office365.com.

At this point, the only thing we have not changed out is the cable run that the computer plugs into up to the patch panel. I am having that tested tomorrow with a cable certifier. If it comes back as certified and good, I don’t know what else to try. I am at my wit’s end. I cannot believe that even after a brand new, maxed out computer, it still happens. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

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Server 2012R2 FileZilla Server stops working – only reboot fixes problem

If you’re running Server 2012R2 with FileZilla server doing FTP server dutie and you find yourself with an end-user who reports that FTP stops working every few days and then you go on to check and cannot get out via web browser, you probably have an orphaned iSCSI connector. That is what was causing this ephemeral port exhaustion in Windows Server 2012R2.

Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST): The inbox storage driver iastora.sys doesn’t work on these systems and causes stability problems on Windows. Check with your software/driver provider for an updated version that runs on this version of Windows

If you get this error message while trying to upgrade to Windows 10 1903, and you update your storage driver, but this message is still appearing, you have to go into C:\Windows\system32\drivers (WARNING, WHAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU CAN HOSE AND DAMAGE YOUR SYSTEM. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACKUP THAT YOU’VE TESTED. I WOULD CREATE A RESTORE POINT JUST IN CASE YOU GET STUCK, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES THAT MAY OCCUR TO YOUR COMPUTER BASED UPON THIS INFORMATION) and look for the iaStorA.sys file and rename it to iaStorA.sys_old. However, make sure you are seeing the updated Intel storage driver within Device Manager first.

Once you rename the file, you can go back out and re-run the update. This should get you past this error message.

iCloud 0x800CCC0E Outlook cannot synchronize subscribed folders after enabling multi-factor authentication

If you’re struggling to try to get your iCloud account with multi-factor authentication enabled to work properly within Outlook, and you’ve tried going to File > Account Settings and tried changing your password there, you’re in luck.

You first have to generate an app password at appleid.apple.com.

Next, you have to go through Control Panel, Mail app and then choose the iCloud account there. Next, click on change and then enter in your newly created app password. Click next and allow it to do a test send/receive. If it sends/receives OK then go ahead and click finish.

On1 Raw 2019.5 error 1005

If you’re trying to open a file from browse mode in On1 RAW 2019.5 and you receive the icon indicating no photo available, you might need to convert the color space profile of that photo to something other than what it currently is. Try changing it to sRGB and seeing if it opens up properly.

If you don’t have access to a program like Photoshop, you can download Irfanview, which is free.

Office 365 shared mailbox prompting Search Protocol Host password prompt

I have a client who has two shared mailboxes in Outlook and they started to receive a password prompt asking for the password of the shared mailbox account. Typically the shared mailbox accounts do not have password. I know that it is possible to assign a password and then grant webmail access but in this case, no matter what password we tried, the password prompt never went away.

It appears that if you have previous Outlook profiles with that particular account added to said profile and it was not an actual Exchange or Exchange shared mailbox at one point then you will receive a password prompt as Windows is trying to index that file for search.

Source: https://gcits.com/knowledge-base/remove-microsoft-windows-search-protocol-host-prompt/

Realtek NIC constantly disconnecting and reconnecting on Windows 10

If you encounter a workstation that has a Realtek NIC that constantly connects to the network and reconnects, I suggest you turn the following settings off or on in device manager:

Auto Disable Gigabit > Relink Battery or AC
Green Ethernet > Disable
Energy Efficient Ethernet > Disable

Thanks to: https://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-devices/304958-realtek-pcie-gbe-family-controller-keeps-disconnecting-my-fix.html for the fix.

PS, this is truly a random fix. This was a shot in the dark right out of far left field and it worked. I was going to replace the NIC as the next step but glad I tried this.

Adobe InDesign 2019 crashing after opening

I had a client who was experiencing Adobe InDesign 2019 crashing a few seconds after opening it. . It did not matter what file they were working with. I created a brand new file and within a few seconds of trying to draw with the Pen tool, InDesign would close out and crash. This was happening on a brand new iMac, with High Sierra and Adobe Creative Cloud.

I could not recreate the problem on my laptop which is a MacBook Pro with Mojave and I am using the same version of Creative Cloud/InDesign as my client.

I soon Googled and then searched Twitter and found that multiple people were having the same issue. I figured at that point it was probably an issue with the activation servers that the software uses to call home every once in a while.

Just the fact that the software is calling home so much and a mistake on one of Adobe’s server can cause such a large issue is very concerning. Especially when you’re paying these guys hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month to borrow their software. The last they could do is get it right.

According to this forum post from an Adobe staff member by the name of Steve, the issue was a server on Adobe’s end, which I guessed correctly: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2581509.

Per the thread, things should be fixed. We’ll see.

Weird WAN speed issues with my workstation

I’m having some of the strangest issues with my workstations.  Here are the specs:

ASUS Rampage V Extreme
Intel Core i7 5820K @ 3.30GHz
Corsair Dominator Platinum 64 GB
Samsung EVO NVMe 500GB solid state drive
Seasonic 1000W PSU

I recently upgraded to gigabit Internet with Spectrum Business.  I initially was seeing horrible speeds, anywhere from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps.  I finally hooked my 15″ Mid 2015 MacBook Pro up with Lightning to Ethernet adapter and plugged directly into the modem.  I can see my connection is NOT the problem.  I see anywhere from 800 Mbps to 1.3 Gbps on the MacBook, CONSISTENTLY.  This is the mind-boggling part.

Now we go back to my Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit workstation.  I was on 1803 and updated to 1809 last night.

I consistently see speeds being gimped from the gigabit I should be getting to around 100-300 Mbps which is pissing me off.  I know that something is using up my network resources and or is doing some traffic shaping.  I’ve tried a clean boot, but some programs don’t adhere to a clean boot and keep running anyway.  I wish I could do a clean install but don’t have that kind of time anymore.  I may look into installing Windows onto one of the various spare PCs I have lying around the house but, procrastination and stuff.

In the meantime, I’d like to put this out there and if anyone else has seen their speed test speeds being gimped but clearly know that it’s working properly because they hooked up another device, whether it’s a Mac or another PC with a different OS or a clean install with no other applications running, let me know.

Something is gimping the connection.  I have disabled the firewall, antivirus, and any other programs that I can think of that would use the WAN link heavily.  I sometimes can see gigabit speeds through fast.com and speedtest.net, but it’s not consistent.  I know some people might be thinking well, there are peak hours and other various explanations, but that does not explain why my MacBook Pro can consistently, and I mean at any time of the day, do speed tests out to fast.com and speedtest.net’s various servers and see close to if not gigabit speeds!

I found a blog that suggested running TCP Optimizer from https://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php.  I ran it, and so far I see consistent gigabit speeds.  I will continue testing throughout the day and will report back if it’s a permanent thing.

Edit: 12/16/2018:

Well, I can confirm that the TCP Optimizer has fixed my issues.  If you see weird slowdowns on your WAN connection as though something is throttling your speed, check out the TCP Optimizer.  I ran it, changed the settings to optimal and restarted.  It’s been about a full 24 hours and no problems to report.  I’m seeing the full 1 Gbps connection being used on all speed tests.