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Vista x32 box with Outlook 2007. Outlook is not running. Hasn't been fired up for several reboots. I stopped WMI service and Windows Search service. Machine is mostly quiet, and then servicehost.exe launches an instance and starts banging away at Outlook.ost file. I can't determine what is causing it.

I'm watching it in processmon, and trying to investigate it with preocessexplorer. Not having much luck at figuring out why the machine is so interested in that file. NOTHING is running that should be touching it.

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The OST file is a cache of what's "live" on the Exchange server and it's most-likely corrupted. You can either try running ScanOST.exe against it (c:\program files\microsoft office\office12\SCANOST.EXE) or try renaming outlook.ost to outlook.ost.old or something and then relauching Outlook. It will re-cache everything from the server into a new outlook.ost file.

It's very likely that even though the Windows Search Service is disabled, another process you have installed might be trying to index it. (Google Desktop or Xobni come to mind [though you may not have them installed.]) An anti-virus scanner might also be banging on the OST file too.

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Thanks. You're correct technically about all of the above. I ended up deleting the guy's OST file as well. Set it to headers only and let it retrieve. OST file was 6.5 gig with just headers in it. Seriously. So I set up an archive.pst and put all his stuff older than 6 months in it. That's not company policy but he can either keep all his mail in the server or have a functional mailbox - pick one. The original ost file was like 22 gig. I think that might be why windows could never get done messing with it. – Aszurom Jan 12 '10 at 12:41

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