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Outlook 2007 thrashing disc


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#1 Doctor Carl

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:44 PM

Greetings,

(Running Win7 x64, Outlook 2007, MSE and a bunch more)

It seems that FAR too often, I hear my hard drive being accessed....to the point I'd call it thrashing. But, it's probably some setting I have set, and some program (Win7? Outlook? Win Backup?) is just doing what I told it to do...regardless, I want it to STOP! (lol?)

I am not having performance issues since my RAM, CPU, Disc and MoBo combo seems to be handling this repetitious task handily. Still, it just seems to be happening too much...like every 10 or 15 minutes for 5 minutes of munch munch munch munch...(I have not timed it - just guessing)

I opened up the Resource Monitor and see that the Disc area reports that under the Image column, either "System" OR "OUTLOOK.EXE" are the most active.

(I am unfamiliar with the meaning or significance of the "PID"s)

I have run chkdsk /f on both of my data drives ("D" and "R"), and have run Outlook's Inbox Repair Tool. (scanpst I think it's called)

I have right-clicked every folder in Outlook and disabled archiving everywhere I could find - and did the same thing from the main menu's Tools>Options>Other>Auto Archive area .....and even after saying "no" to archiving, several of my archive folders (names I created like "Archive 003") STILL seem to be busy per the Resource Monitor information.

This is driving me crazy - like the death by 1000 cuts, or the water drop torture. It almost seems almost like a Windows backup thing? I'm afraid I am losing my mind and plead for a methodical, step-by-step plan to discover what's happening, and, of course, the solution.

I have booted into Safe Mode while physically disconnected from the router. Waited a bit. Started Outlook (OL)...watched files become active within Resource Monitor. Wondered why the archive folders that I created some time ago (ex: Archive 003, 004, 005, etc) were displayed at all. Made adjustments to Resource Monitor so I could see stuff (with Safe Mode Giant fount). Then it started...munch munch munch munch munch.

Noticed at first about 8 "OUTLOOK" files running, then 4, then 10 or 15? -then more...

One of the most active is always D:\program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst

Skipped over the Safe Mode with Networking test.

Re-started normally. All was calm. Started OL and several files appeared....4, then 8 (I think). Again I wonder why the "Archive 00X" folders I've made are active.

I believe there is a relationship between all the thrashing/extra activity and send/receive mail (<--set for every 10 minutes; executes when OL is started, too)

MANY entries go active after I hit send/receive (F9). Turned off Outlook's send/receive and all was quiet for a LONG time...maybe 15 minutes? Then, like the zombies...it came back: munch munch munch munch munch munch.

Indexing is turned off (no boxes checked) in Outlooks Search Options. I was hoping I could turn it off...but it's already off..........munch munch munch munch munch munch munch munch. Closed OL for some peace.

Ran Malwarebytes AntiMalware and it came up clean. I use MSE for real-time coverage.

Please see the attached images. I hope they can provide substantial clues.

Help!?!

TIA

drcarl


Posted Image

Posted Image


This is right after "send/receive" mail. Is this normal? I know the thrashing is not...

http://drcarl.smugmug.com/photos/i-C7Rq7fN/0/XL/i-C7Rq7fN-XL.png

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#2 Doctor Carl

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:41 AM

Here’s my update

I have run (and have logs where appropriate) the following
SuperAntiSpyware (SAS)
Rogue Killer
Malwarebytes Anti Malware
TDSSKiller
MGTools (including hijackthis)

SAS removed about 75 cookies. The software reports these as a potential, moderate threat. 5 of these had red icons that resemble a bio-hazard symbol. Things (the disc) seemed quieter after these were removed.

I am confident now that this thrashing only happens when Outlook is up an running. The munch and crunch sound start after perhaps 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity.

Resource Monitor reports (see attached) a couple of files as active. They are
System - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst
OUTLOOK.EXE - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst

I would like to know what is making Outlook work the four files highlighted in the attached screen grab so much....and how to stop it.

Even though this is probably some basic aspect of Outlook that I just don’t understand, I guess I’ll run Spybot – SearchAndDestroy. <--It found “Win32.downloader.bltu” in the root and removed it.

I hope someone can educate/guide me....


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#3 The_Outkast

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:44 PM

As a test, turn off system restore on your D: drive to see if it stops working so hard.

Right click Computer -> Properties -> System Protection (link in upper left corner) -> Select the D: Dive -> Configure -> "Turn off system protection" -> OK

#4 Doctor Carl

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:34 PM

Thank you for considering this.

Test performed. Results: it still thrashed starting exactly 5 minutes and 22.83 seconds after I started OL.

System - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst
OUTLOOK.EXE - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst
OUTLOOK.EXE - D:\$LogFile (NTFS Volume Log)

I wish I knew what these files are doing. SOMEthing must be telling them to run.

Is there anything in OL (or anywhere) that can be set to perform some action after 5 minutes of inactivity? (maybe it takes OL 22.93 seconds to get fully started?)


Do the PID numbers give us any clues?

On another suggestion, I performed a physical test of the D: drive with with Partition Wizard's "surface test" which found "no errors."


Some of my reading mentions something about OL faltering? when folders get too big. The old limit in 2002, or 2003 or before was something like 2GB (or was that MB? - lol). My "Outlook.pst" is at 8GB now, and includes mail from 2010 which could (and probably should) certainly be stored in some other folder. This size thing MIGHT be the culprit? In order to create another Archive, I would want to find someone who really knows OL (so that I can develop a precision step-by-step game plan). I dunno, maybe it's as simple as creating an "Archive 006" folder and moving a year-and-a-half's mail over to it. I like to be comforted with expert guidance because in the past I've messed things up that SEEMED simple and like a like a good idea.

.....gotta love the internet - help is out there somewhere!.....



Here is a little more information about my setup...in case it's at all relevant or, in case there's a clue lurking here

DRIVES:

C: SSD - only 80 GB, but it's fast. I run the OS and a few others there. I try to keep most software on....
D: a 1 TB drive -programs and data. Then there is ....
R: another 1 TB drive. Where Windows 7 backup lives. My system was ~supposed~ to be configured as RAID 1 but the frickin company failed do it. Now too late, it's kinda hard to make it a RAID 1 now (I'd have to wipe EVERYTHING), so I let Windows put a massive backup on there (776 GB used), though not enough for an (what's it called?) --a System Image or something.
None are partitioned.
All are individual physical drives.


SECURITY:

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and the Windows 7 Firewall. I do system-wide scans perhaps weekly. More frequent than that I clean things up with CCleaner which I (today) reinstalled ~without~ the perhaps too robust CCleaner Enhancer (I wonder what I wrecked with that). I run Malwarebytes anti-malware and anti-spyware programs at my whim. Same (onna whim) for defragging D: (no defrag for C:, the SSD). I am completely updated, though usually my updating lags behind The Crowd by a couple of weeks (so that they can find out what is broken by the updates and MS can fix it).

Still hurting....I think I'll let it thrash to see if it ever finishes

TIA

#5 The_Outkast

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:58 AM

Have you always used Outlook 2007 on this pc? Or was it upgraded from Outlook 2003 (or older)? An 8 GB pst file is pretty large and could very well be causing your drive to work harder than it needs to. Let's check a couple of things:

1. First let's see if you pst file is in ANSI format or Unicode format. To do so, in Outlook:
-Choose File-> Data File Management…
-Double click on the pst-file you want to check. (check them all
-Look at the "Format:" field;
-If it says “Personal Folders File” or “Outlook Data File”, it means that you are in UNICODE format.
-If it says “Personal Folders File (97 – 2002)” or “Outlook Data File (97-2002)”, it means you are in ANSI format.

If you have any files, you should update these to the UNICODE format.

2. Archive your older mail.
-Instructions on how to do this can be found here http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/create-a-new-data-file-and-move-or-copy-items-to-it-HP003082356.aspx
-I would save the new data file in D:\Program Files\Outlook\Archives since that is where your other archives are located

3. Configure MSE to exclude the folders containing your pst files for realtime scans.
-Open MSE
-Click the Settings tab
-Select "Excluded files and locations"
-Click Browse and select D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders, then Click Ok
-Repeat the same steps for D:\Program Files\Outlook\Archives
-Click the Add button, then click the Save Changes button

You may want to see if disk usage decreases after archiving, but before configuring MSE just to see if it improves.

Also, to answer your question, PID stands for Process ID. The PID will change for a program depending on how many programs have been accessed by the pc. For your issue, they don't really matter.

When I open Outlook 2007 on my Windows 7 64-bit pc, I only have 1 Outlook.exe process running. Can you post a screen shot of what
add-ins you have in Outlook? These are found in Tools->Trust Center->Add-ins

#6 Doctor Carl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:07 AM

Have you always used Outlook 2007 on this pc?
---------------- it's always been 2007 (never 2003)

1. ANSI or Unicode format
---------------- All are in UNICODE

2. Archive your older mail.
---------------- tomorrow; it's too late for me to do more. Thanks for the links.

3. Configure MSE to exclude the folders containing your pst files for realtime scans.
---------------- done. love your complete, clear, logical instructions. I hope I can sometimes be as clear for others.


You may want to see if disk usage decreases after archiving, but before configuring MSE just to see if it improves.
---------------- oops... already did the MSE thing...I might undo the new setting(s) and do that little test tomorrow

...screen shot (below) of what add-ins you have in Outlook? These are found in Tools->Trust Center->Add-ins
---------------- attached - (I like the Outlook Duplicate Items Remover. I am not sure if I ever even use any of the others. I wonder what the Windows Search Email Indexer is and if it's the cause of all this)

Thank you so much for your thoughtful consideration.

~drcarl

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#7 The_Outkast

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:08 AM

Disabling the Search Email Indexer is an easy task. While in the Add-Ins window:
-Select COM Add-ins in the drop down box at the bottom
-Click Go
-Uncheck the Windows Search Email Indexer
-Click OK

This wont take affect until Outlook is closed and reopened. Have your resource monitor open and wait until all Outlook.exe processes have stopped before you open Outlook again.

If this does make a difference, the root cause could still be a large pst file since the Indexer scans all of your PST files when Outlook starts.

#8 Doctor Carl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:42 PM

My bad. Many .pst folders were in the ANSI format. Today I made a new UNICODE folder and am collecting all the old files I want to keep, and configuring the auto-archive to send old stuff (archives) there. 20 GB default size limit is pretty big! I've killed Window's Indexing service and will kill OL's. Updates later. Thanks.

Edited by Doctor Carl, 30 October 2012 - 11:46 PM.


#9 Doctor Carl

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:06 AM

I should mention that although it's always been OL 2007 on this machine, some of my older files were created back on 1998 - just on a different machine.

Today I re-enabled a 500 MB PageFile for the C: drive (SSD) and a system managed one (probably around 6 GB) on the R: drive. I have, I believe, given the system (and the disc) a lot of work to do today so it'd difficult to know what's not normal. I suppose the work is why SOME kind of indexing is running (according to the Resource Monitor) even though I have turned-off the Windows Search service, Indexing, and (will later) Outlook's Search Email Indexer.

OK, today I also read the instructions more carefully and made a UNICODE folder, called it Consolidated Archives, and moved my old Archives (#002,003,004,005) into it. I deleted a great deal during that process. Took all day.

I made sure that MSE has excluded the active Outlook.pst folder as well as all the Archives I've created and collected.

The total file size for the Outlook.pst went UP from over 8.1 GB to around 13 GB. ??? I am now "compacting" it. Shall I turn that Consolidated Archive 8.2 GB folder off, "close" or otherwise disable it under my All Mail Items area? Is there something else I should do to decrease to total size of the .pst?


If I set AutoArchive to save items into the new Consolidated Archives folder, will that Archiving process still run even if I have the folder turned off?

Note to self: If I want to view the Consolidated Archives sometime in the future, and if it has been "closed" (right-click on folder name) I will have to import the .pst, and be willing to wait for it to load - perhaps 20+ minutes.

With Outlook's Indexing still on, these two and sometime three files are munching and crunching away - (no improvement yet):

(1) OUTLOOK.EXE - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst
(2) OUTLOOK.EXE - D:\$LogFile (NTFS Volume Log)
(3) System - D:\Program Files\Outlook\Active Outlook Folders\Outlook.pst

I just turned off OL's Search Email Indexer.

NEWS!!! Now an amazing thing happened. 13-14 minutes with OL running and NO thrashing! I re-enabled Search Email Indexer, killed OL, waited for all OL processes to end, started OL, waited a little over 5 minutes and guess who came to dinner??? The Thrasher and the two, now three files (1,2 & 3) above!

I believed we had a ~major~ clue. (<--premature excitement)

I again disabled the OL Indexer add-on, restarted OL and the wonderful sounds of silence again embraced my soul.

So, I wondered, is the Indexer broken? Should I let it try to index forever to get 'done'? I thought the Indexer in OL was one of the things that made 2007 so awesome?!? Is there something else I should do with the "archives"?

I was going to say "am all ears and filled with thanks", but, um, with OL open (and Indexer off), I opened Word to spell-check thhis note and the munching came back. Maybe it's an Office thing. Sheesh. I SO just want to do the right thing and for it to work.

I'll keep at it....hoping I'm not making a total mess of things.

~drcarl

PS - I found this online:

Now on to some things we can do to reduce some on the unnecessary writes to the SSD. Windows 7 has the most event logs that I have seen of any OS. If you are having issues, then I would not change the logging options. If not, then we can stop a lot of writes that frankly, only an engineer would need (we leave the basic event logs alone).
Go to start/admin tools and select performance monitor. Expand data collector sets. Click on Startup Event Trace Sessions.
With the exception of the following NECESSARY logs (Application, Security, System, Security Essentials) we can stop them from starting. To do so, right click on each one that has a status of Enabled (except the ones mentioned above) and select Properties. Click the Trace Session tab. Unselect Enabled. Click Ok. Repeat for the others (including readyboot).
After your next boot, you will have a lot less writes going to the SSD that are not needed.


Being the curious and currently troubleshooting type, with no intentions of changing anything, I followed this trail to Startup Event Trace Sessions and see that NONE of the four necessary files are visible where they said it would be. Are they gone? Need I unhide them somehow? Is this significant?

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#10 Doctor Carl

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

I think it’s SOLVED - maybe OL was shrinking (compacting) the database’s “white space” because I deleted extremely bloated folder and/or contents such as “Deleted” --and a bunch more duplicates? Maybe the thrashing is a normal function of database size management!!! Test and see...

Somewhere on this site I read that the database for OL does not immediately change size when files are deleted, or added. There’s something like 20%? of elbow room, or white space for increased OL performance. When the size of (number of) files are drastically reduced (or increased) the “compacting” which can be performed manually (as I did) happens automatically.

I strongly suspect that’s the culprit and now have to run tests by adding, one at a time, the OL add-ins, and Windows Indexing (which I turned off). [added ODIR dupe finder and email search indexer – all is well]

Essentially, I cleaned and compacted both files. Tested. No unusual disk work. Done. Solved. I think.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts.

I hope I don’t see you soon! lol

(You know I’ll be back if it starts again)

Best,

~drcarl

------------------Recent Notes, for completeness----------------------

November 13th UPDATE: I thought I had it licked...Problem remains. Thrashing. I have one main question: Why oh why is it thrashing? (Or, how can I make it stop?)

Here’s what I’ve done.

I “changed” the Office installation to not have Outlook. Closed everything . I removed duplicates and made copies of my main and archives folders as .pst files. “Outlook 5.pst” as and the archive I created called “Collected Archives 050”. I placed these on my D: drive where I want them, reinstalled Outlook, and did the routine to add these two data files (from D:) with the main one set as “default”. After a restart, I deleted the association to the previously default files on C:

Everything looked great and ran fast.

Main files went to 557,521 KB after compacting from 7,634,499 KB (after deleting duplicates and trash).

The archive went to 5,672,273 from 13,523,209 KB after the same steps.

Ran Malwarebytes AntiMalware and SuperAnti-Spyware. They found some threatening cookies and removed them.

Windows Indexing (in Windows) is off again (disabled the service) as is the Windows Search Email Indexer (in Outlook). In fact all Outlook add-ins are disabled.

Edited by Doctor Carl, 15 November 2012 - 10:38 PM.


#11 Doctor Carl

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:21 AM

made archives. re-installed OL. installed pst, contacts and other needed files like the calender. compacted everything. allowed OL to be indexed. solved. thanks.




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