Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:34 AM
I've been using Outlook 2003 on Win XP Pro for roughly a year with no problems. Over the last couple of months, I've seen a problem happen occasionally and now it's happening regularly. When I type a new email message or reply to an existing one, my CPU usage goes to 99% (based on the Windows Task Manager) for outlook.exe and remains there for anywhere from 5 seconds to a minute. It eventually returns to normal, but then as soon as I start typing again in the email it jumps back up. It's not specific to a particular message, happens on a regular basis for all sorts of emails. When I close Outlook and then restart it, sometimes I'm able to use it and sometimes not.
Googling found some listings for this happening on Outlook Express but rarely Outlook. I've tried removing all add-ins and even ran it in safe mode (via Run -> outlook /safe), it still happened. Tried to remove as many other background programs as possible (I run an apache server off my machine for testing web development work, so I turned that all off). I've done the basics of running AdAware and Spybot (which I do on a regular basis anyways), Windows XP has all of its updates, virus checker is current, firewall in place etc etc. I've turned indexing off. I can watch Task Manager and it will show System Idle at 95%-99%. Then I start typing in the email and outlook.exe immediately jumps to 99%.
Computer should be ok on specs I'd think, a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with 1 gig RAM and 10 gigs of free space. The .pst files are at most 400 meg. I tried creating a new profile in Outlook and had the same problem soon thereafter.
My gut feel is that it's a program incompatibility rather than a virus, but at this point I've tried just about everything I know how to. I have McAfee Security Center running, I've tried to shut that down to see if it's causing it but I've not been able to figure out how to shut it down completely (even tried stopping the mcshield.exe process and that didn't seem to stop it). Should I go the hijackthis log route?