In need of some IT grade Outlook troubleshooting material...

bugzy3188bugzy3188 Member Posts: 213 ■■■□□□□□□□
I have a job interview coming up in a few days for a Help Desk position, the lady that I talked to today seemed adamant about my knowledge of resolving issues with Outlook. I told her I had experience which was a half truth, I have passed the 70-680, and studied the 70-685 for about 2 weeks now, so I think I got some knowledge on the subject. I know to check for name resolution issues by using nslookup, and check the IMAP, and POP ports using telnet, as well as other basic connectivity troubleshooting tactics, but I am not all that familiar with this program and would like to become more so. I have searched for troubleshooting Outlook guides on Google but keep coming up with simple user friendly guides (which I realize are useful and have every intention of looking at) but what I really need is some troubleshooting guides for administrators or IT professionals. This is just one of many things that I am sure will come up in the interview but I want to be prepared, this could potentially be my entry point in to the IT field. Any info or advice would be much obliged...
If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one


  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    As far as Outlook issues, are they looking for more technical "I can't connect to the exchange server" kinda stuff, or is it more "How do I set up a recurring appointment for a calendar?" That would be the first thing I would ask. If it is more technical, just verifying the server config, if they can send/receive from OWA, trying safe mode, etc. are all pretty standard things to try. Also knowing some of these Command-line switches for Outlook 2010 - Outlook - is pretty handy. the /resetnavpane has solved some quirky errors i've seen in the past.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I feel sorry for you if they are using IMAP and POP. But yes learn the command line switches.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    When all else fails recreate the mail profile. That should be your ace in the hole on a lot of the issues.

    Some other topics that are useful: Cache Mode, PST, Permissions, Calendars and Delegates, Rules, adding additional mailboxes, online and offline settings, recover deleted mail, repair from control panel/add remove program/repair office.

    Some simple ones that they could spring on you. I would make sure to have that done, it happens a lot.
  • bugzy3188bugzy3188 Member Posts: 213 ■■■□□□□□□□
    netsysllc wrote: »
    I feel sorry for you if they are using IMAP and POP. But yes learn the command line switches.
    I don't really know, I have no real world experience, kinda why I am trying to get in to Help Desk. So far I just have what I read in the books..
    If you havin frame problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    Tell them you have experience with MS Outlook 2003 - but 2007 is a little new and same for 2010. This way you can use the learning curve.

    So what do you need to know about Outlook anyway? well lets do a quick break down:

    Outlook is of course a email client - supports POP/IMAP for incoming mail - MS exchange is going to use IMAP.

    What is IMAP, well just know that it doesnt fetch mail like POP3 but rather a push/sync type of protocol

    Dont worry on the "how do you create an appointment" I mean seriously? tell em goto your calendar and create a new appointment. You cant remember the specifics but you're fine when using it.

    PST files are archive files stored on your hard drive - when they approach 2GB they start to corrupt.
    PST files take forever to load if large in size and if they're stored on a network share

    Cached exchange mode is good for laptop users who need to read their email offline - they use ost files store in the Outlook folder in the user profile directory - similar to offline files in windows when you connect to the exchange server they sync... now what is the problem we'll see?? well the Sh*** dont sync! so if things are stuck in the outbox and wont go away or their mailbox looks weird... take em out of cached mode...
    just a tip though some times you need to move things from the offline mailbox and put it in a pst and then take them out of cached and then move it back into the inbox depending on how badly they're out of sync or what the user did to their mailbox.... a lot of times you'll keep them in cached mode but just rename the ost file and re-open outlook this will rebuild the offline db

    When all else fails and nothing seems blatently obvious, rename and recreate the outlook profile.

    This should be enough to get through the interview, just reiterate how you're willing to learn anything you dont know.

  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    PST can be stored on a file server as well.

    I see you mentioned it in your second line. O well

    One other thing that is good to remember is the NK2 folder. When you recreate a profile you have to rename the NK2 folder to the same name as the new profile. You can make a copy of it and rename that copy.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    N2IT .. so I did.. i should've phrased "generally stored" on your HDD and well should be :) cuz we all know how those pst files like to get corrupted :)
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    I need to give you props though DR, 2 gb max. Make sure to split those nasty things up! There is a utility in system folder that supposely works. I got it to work a few times surprisingly on Win 7. The name alludes me right now.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    yeah I remember that util.. you know what works 50% of the time? the fixpst utility when they do go corrupt; another important thing that if the pst is HUGE fixpst takes forever and a day lol

    iirc the 97-2000 type of pst has the 2gb limit but the 2003 specific? i cant remember the exact term was 4gb.. but hell I dont trust it :) they just become slow and obnoxious and who wants to take calls on that? lol
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Almost as bad as those dang offline synchronization my documents folders in XP? Have you ever been in an environment where they have offline file caching enabled? I think those had a 2 GB max and people would run them up to 20 gbs.

    Those things took forever to fix. Copy all those files while the machine was offline, then get it back online and compare the folder. Finally blow the cache away, then drop the files back in and resynch. Good times lol
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    Luckily I've only worked in 1 environment with offline folders as the norm for My Documents and thankfully it did not get out of control. IIRC they had a gpo in place to limit the types of files that could be synced or by size but not sure, this was in 2006 lol..
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    I was thinking about 2006-2008 range lol
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    If you're looking for comprehensive training, both CBT Nuggets and offer training videos for Outlook, as do TrainSignal and VTC: -
    All of these links are for Outlook 2010, but I believe most of these vendors offer videos for 2003 and 2007 as well. If you're looking for reference material, I can recommend two books to look at: -
    Again, both of these cover Outlook 2010, but you can find their 2003 and 2007 counterparts if you search Amazon. The Step by Step book is geared towards non-technical folks who want to get up and running with Outlook, while the other is more of a technical reference and tutorial aimed at IT professionals.

    Outlook isn't all that difficult to work with once you get started. While having hands-on experience in a network that runs Exchange is the best way to make sure you're seeing all the bells and whistles in action, you can definitely get a lot out of just installing a trial-copy on your home computer and hooking it up to a Hotmail or Gmail account for lab-purposes.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    One quick thing to add: Be sure to determine it's a client side problem and if not then pass it off to your systems/exchange administrator. That's one of the best things I like to hear from applicants since it shows they're thinking about the problem on a higher level and know how to work in a team.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Akari you reminded me. Use OWA Web Outlook to determine if stuck items like task or meetings are client side or server side.
Sign In or Register to comment.