Unable to create personal folder files

Microsoft Outlook 2003 (full)
September 4, 2009 at 06:18:51
Specs: Windows XP SP2
I have just spent most of the morning trying to get Outlook 2003 to work after getting something like the following error message when I tried to run Outlook 2003...
"Outlook could not start because a data file to send and receive mail could not be found. To add a data file, such as a personal folder file, double-click the Mail icon in Windows Control Panel."
Outlook 2003 would then exit.

I have finally got it to work, thanks to reading lots of posts on forums etc, and thought I should give something back so I am posting my solution.

The problem I had was with my personal folder (.pst) file which Outlook 2003 seems to need to start. I did have personal folder (.pst) file here...
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
... but for whatever reason Outlook 2003 did not recognising the file. I tried to create a new one from the New Outlook Data File screen from the Mail icon in the Control Panel...
Control Panel | Mail | Data Files... button | Add... button
... but there were no types of storage available for me to select in the list and therefore the OK button was grayed out.

I was previously using Outlook Express but had to migrate now that Microsoft have stopped support for Hotmail. I had Office 2002 installed and uninstalled the Outlook 2002 component of this and rebooted before installing Outlook 2003. I also had previously used a trial version of Office 2007.

I tried to use the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) as some people suggested but I could not find it in the location specified...
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE12

I did end up finding it here in the end though...
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033

When I ran the Inbox Repair Tool it repaired my .pst files (as apparently there were errors with them) but this did not fix my problem as Outlook 2003 would still not run and I still could not create a new Outlook data file using the New Outlook Data File screen (as mentioned above).

What did work for me in the end was this which I found here thanks to Alex Cerna...
http://help.wugnet.com/office/Probl...

I backed up (by exporting) and then deleted the following keys from my registry...
HKeyLocalMachine\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0
HKeyCurrentUser\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0

Office 12.0 is the 2007 version which I had used a trial version of so I hoped I could safely delete it.

Then I backed up (by copying) and then deleted the mapisvc.inf configuration files in the following locations...
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\mapisvc.inf
C:\WINDOWS\system32\mapisvc.inf

Once I did this I tried running Outlook 2003 again and it still did not work. However when I went to the New Outlook Data File screen...
Control Panel | Mail | Data Files... button | Add... button
... it was populated with the two types of storage and therefore I could create a data file and then I was able to run Outlook 2003.

Perhaps I could have left the registry alone and just deleted the the mapisvc.inf files, in fact I would recommend that others do that. Delete the files and see if that works. If it doesn't then remove the relevant section from the registry and then Outlook should run.


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#1
September 4, 2009 at 19:01:35
All you really needed to do was create a new Outlook profile, then set it as the default and point Outlook to whatever location you wished to store your pst..

LIR


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#2
September 5, 2009 at 07:07:28
Sorry, I forgot to say that I did try to create a new profile but got a similar error message to when I tried to run Outlook saying something like "a data file to send and receive mail could not be found..."

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#3
September 5, 2009 at 15:38:13
If one doesn't exist, then you just create one. :)

LIR


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#4
September 6, 2009 at 12:16:06
I could create a new profile but even when using this new profile I still could not successfully start Outlook and nor could I create a new personal folder (.pst) file using the New Outlook Data File screen from the Mail icon in the Control Panel (Control Panel | Mail | Data Files... button | Add... button) so it wasn't the solution to my problem.

The only thing that did work (for me) was when I did what I mentioned above.


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#5
September 29, 2009 at 04:12:10
Thanks Alex.

Your advice worked perfectly for me.

The culprit was Outlook 2007, which came preloaded as a demo on a new PC.


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#6
October 15, 2009 at 20:44:10
Thanks Alex, that saved a lot of frustration, and it worked like a charm, just like you said it would!
Cheers, HeatherinOz

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