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This is the error message that keeps poppung up:

Microsoft Office Outlook

Outlook failed to start correctly last time. Starting Outlook in safe mode will help you correct or isolate a startup problem in order to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode.

Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?

When I say "No", Outlook just crashes again, asking if it should send an error report to Microsoft and offers me the option to restart outlook again, which results in the Q asking if I want to start in safe mode again...

Anyway, I've send a few dozens of error reports to MS, hoping it annoys them as much as it annoys me. It does make me feel a little better but doesn't solve the problem.

So, how to solve this problem without re-installing Outlook?

What happened before? The computer I use is at work. On friday, I worked at home and used a remote desktop connection to access the system. Not being able to turn it off and also wanting to work a little in the weekend, the computer was on during the whole weekend. (I was logged off, though.) On Monday-morning, the administrators fixed a problem in the network (don't know what they fixed) which resulted in a very slow start-up and a hung system after 10 minutes. A cold reboot was done, without network cable since the network was down and I started everything again. (The reset button didn't work either.) All just works fine again, except for Outlook. So it seems it got corrupt because of the cold reboot.

We use Exchange for the mailboxes so those are stored online. I have a .PST file as archive on my local system.

share|improve this question
Did this just randomly start? – alex Sep 14 '09 at 9:33
After network problems and a cold reboot, since a simple reset didn't work. – Wim ten Brink Sep 14 '09 at 9:40
Maybe you can try the repair feature in Office 2003. Take a look at this Microsoft support article: – alex Sep 14 '09 at 9:43
Do you have any extensions/addons installed? – Snark Sep 14 '09 at 9:45
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Delete the outcmd.dat in your Microsoft > Outlook profile folder (under Application Data or AppData). That should do the trick.

share|improve this answer
Exactly what I discovered! :-) – Wim ten Brink Sep 14 '09 at 9:51
Glad to hear it. I had to help out a customer a month or so back, so it's still fresh in my mind. – user3463 Sep 14 '09 at 9:56
Well, I did discover it myself, after typing the addendum to my Q. A corrupt file meant I would have to just find it and fix it. Deleting files does fix things, sometimes. – Wim ten Brink Sep 14 '09 at 10:05

Well, a bit trial-and-error solved the problem...

I went to this folder: C:\Documents and Settings\*username*\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and just deleted all files. When I started Outlook again, it worked just fine. I don't know exactly why, but I assume one of the files had become corrupt.

The folder has four files: outcmd.dat, Outlook.NK2, Outlook.srs and Outlook.xml. And outcmd.dat becomes corrupt, sometimes. Since Outlook still looks the same as before the crash, I consider this fixed.

share|improve this answer
Never delete your .NK2 file, that stores ALL of your cached email addresses. Cached email addresses are what populates the "To" field when you start typing in an email address. – user237435 Jul 11 '13 at 16:37

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