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  • Outlook went down for four hours yesterday. What happened? How did Microsoft fix it?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Outlook went down for four hours yesterday. What happened? How did Microsoft fix it?

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      • #2281016
        woody
        Manager

        Spoiler: No, there was no buggy update. No emergency patch. Just sheer incompetence. Microsoft promises to give us details in five days, after the rag
        [See the full post at: Outlook went down for four hours yesterday. What happened? How did Microsoft fix it?]

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2281032
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for identifying how far back the problem goes.  I replied to your post yesterday I am running Ver 2006 Build 13001.20266 which should have crashed.  All I can say is I went on line at 06:30 EDT and worked all day without issue other than the occasional Yahoo server error.  Maybe I launched Outlook outside the time people were seeing it not open and I was not affected.  I can only offer one user’s experience.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281036
        anonymous
        Guest

        Hmmm, I don’t use Outlook but MS’s techworthy explanation, as usual, is wordy to the point where it makes no sense.

        “The Committee Club Association Group meeting cycle will determine…”

        Whaaaa???

      • #2281062
        r1ma
        AskWoody Plus

        I thought its because of the new update I installed for an app or a Win 10 2004 issue, I got mad and decided to do a clean install of 1909, I had a bootable USB of 1909 on my desk and had enough motivation to do a clean install because my friend also told me he didn’t updated to 2004 yet.

        Is the Outlook problem solved now?

        Thank you.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2281066
          geekdom
          AskWoody Plus

          From Woody’s ComputerWorld article:

          In fact, there weren’t any changes made to any PCs. Individual users didn’t get new versions. Administrators didn’t push anything out on their networks. Outlook just suddenly started working again.

          The short form is that it’s working, but Microsoft offers no explanation.

          On Hiatus {with backup and coffee}
          offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender TRV=1909 WuMgr
          offline▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.685 x86 Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant
          online▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.804 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox86.0 WindowsDefender TRV=20H2 WuMgr
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2281079
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        I use Outlook msi version 2006 Build 13001.20266  on 1909 and I was not aware of any particular problem. Outlook was running all day yesterday.

         

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281078
        anonymous
        Guest

        Now also listed as a known issue for every version of Windows 10, 8.1 and 7:

        Outlook closes unexpectedly or you might receive an error when attempting to open

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2281080
          anonymous
          Guest

          So its working for now. Thank you.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281088
        UncleRemus83
        AskWoody Lounger

        Good thing we moved everything off premises to the Microsoft Cloud where these things never ever happen.  Oh, wait, never mind.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2281098
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        Outlook is the first program I open every morning when I sign in.  Outlook fetches mail from three email accounts, including Outlook.com.

        I didn’t notice anything at all yesterday.

        Fully updated 2004.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281110
        arbrich
        AskWoody Plus

        Here is the part that really concerns me.

        I had the exact same problem running Outlook 2019 Stand Alone (MSI) and I do not tie into an Exchange or Office 365 Server. I simply have a pop account to my PST file and download messages from my ISP. Also I log into my PC with a local account NOT a Microsoft account. How did they fix it for me ???

        I certainly am not an expert on how Outlook talks to Microsoft but to me,  in my situation, there should not be much talking at all as I should be able to run with NO internet connection to simply access my mail locally but apparently there is more talking then we know ???

        Ideas ??

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2281142
          woody
          Manager

          I’ve been wondering the same thing. Perhaps we’ll find out in five days.

          Or perhaps not.

          The Windows Search box bug was similar – it turned belly up whether you were using Bing search or not.

      • #2281157
        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        An email from the O365 message center hit my inbox today. Part of the message is shown below. It is a reminder that Microsoft Office 2013 users will no longer be supported on Office 365 cloud services after October 13, 2020.

        It’s the usual initial message all companies release when they prepare to abandon a product. Office 2013 will continue to work, but they are wiping their hands of any future issues that may occur with Office 2013 connecting to O365 cloud services.

        The original statement was released by the message center back in September 2019 but the message was just reissued because it was “prematurely removed”. I don’t know when but it seems a bit of a co-incidence this would be re-released the day after all the Outlook drama.

        message

        Red Ruffnsore

        Attachments:
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2281182
        andydhollander
        AskWoody Plus

        The way Microsoft is behaving/communicating on this feels like something bad is going on.
        I reached out to our TAM today and all he could tell was that he does not have more information either from the engineers and that there will be a PIR over the next 5 business days.

        So how can you already know you will need 5 business days to do a PIR? Someone obviously fixed the issue ‘magically’ so in order to fix it, you usually need to know what change(s) broke it. It almost looks like Microsoft is sitting on a huge 0-day vulnerability they tried to patch yesterday server-side and broke a ton of recent Current Channel builds by doing that, had to roll back the change and are now buying themselves a few days time to patch it after all before being able to share further details that would publicly expose the vulnerability.

        But that’s my gut feeling 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2281206
          Mr. Natural
          AskWoody Plus

          Gee whiz. This can’t be related to all this twitter nonsense, could it?

          “Uh Bill, sorry to bug you but we had to reset your password.”

          Red Ruffnsore

      • #2281184
        dph853
        AskWoody Plus

        My outlook Click to run v13001.20266 failed to start. Of course I panicked and went into windows app settings and did a quick office repair. That brought outlook back to life, thankfully.

      • #2281235
        PerthMike
        AskWoody Plus

        And this is once again why we are not moving to the cloud anytime soon but sticking with our on-premise, tested-before-patched, Exchange server.

        We’ve even ensured that mobile users connect to our Exchange via their phone’s native email app (Apple mail, Samsung mail, etc.), NOT the Outlook app, because that hooks into the cloud-Outlook rather than our actual working on-site instance.

        No matter where you go, there you are.

      • #2281331
        DooDahMan
        AskWoody Plus

        The BleepingComputer article fixed my standalone Outlook 2016 of which I am very grateful. I have daily and weekly backups of my PST, contacts, rules, etc. but not of the Outlook profile itself. There are four email accounts configured in the profile so it would take a while to get everything rebuilt if the profile became corrupted. Can the profile be backed up and, if so, how can it be restored if Outlook can’t launch?

        • #2281337
          cyberSAR
          AskWoody Plus

          Export this registry key. You’ll have to enter passwords for each account but all settings are restored.

          HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281437
        RTEsysadmin
        AskWoody Plus

        I have questions.

        1) Did this affect only users with accounts hosted on Microsoft servers?

        2) If someone has no accounts hosted on Microsoft servers, why would a problem on Microsoft’s servers affect a standalone installation?

        3) Does Outlook send telemetry to Microsoft, and, if so, what? Do they know when I’m using others’ email servers? What do they know about my email?

        Group K(ill me now)
      • #2281487
        lmacri
        AskWoody Plus

        3) Does Outlook send telemetry to Microsoft, and, if so, what? Do they know when I’m using others’ email servers? What do they know about my email?

        Hi RTEsysadmin:

        I can’t answer your first two questions (those details might become clearer once Microsoft has released their promised post-incident report about the 15-Jul-2020 Outlook crashes), but in my MS Outlook 2019 CR2 I can go to File | Office Account | Account Privacy and click the Manage Settings button to review my privacy settings as shown in the attached image. Each section has a Read More link that takes you to a support article with the usual cryptic legalese but you might find some helpful information there. One of those linked articles, Diagnostic Data in Office, describes the difference between required and optional data collection and notes that “Diagnostic data may contain “personal data” as defined by Article 4 of the European GDPR, but it does not contain your name, your email address, or any content from your files.“.

        ————-
        64-bit Win 10 Pro v1909 build 18363.900 * MS Office Home and Business 2019 C2R v2006 Build 13001.20384

        • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by woody.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2281495
        r1ma
        AskWoody Plus

        As I mentioned before, on July 16, I did a clean install of Win 10 1909, reinstalled Office 365, and noticed Outlook works again the next day.

        Anyway, wanted to post an update and I will also stick with Win 1909.

         

      • #2283950
        anonymous
        Guest

        Could it be that Outlook does a Phone Home on every start to verify that its licence is still valid? If the license server has an error this could prevent Outlook from starting. Maybe someone can sniff the network traffic Outlook sends out.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2289251
        Biiljoy
        AskWoody Lounger

        ^ You would have to have the keys and encryption scheme they use it’s not plain text.  I had telemetry blocked through the firewall by ip and did not experience this problem and used outlook on the day and time in question with no ill effects.  Phone home is indeed the right term.  There was an article where some reporter wanted to know how much her internet of things in the house were phoning home and she made a middle box that recorded hits to dns and which device they came from, and chromecasts were chatting 24/7.  It’s not unreasonable to think microsoft applications on a computer, from software they charge a fortune for, isn’t doing the same thing.  I have no proof but like I said I block the telemetry haha.

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