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Outlook with MDaemon Connector hanging, crashing, freezing

[Wyatt, Martin]
Martin Wyatt
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Martin Wyatt - 11:23am, Jun 14 2019

My users are ready to revolt and I'm dumbfounded, so I'm seeking suggestions or experiences you've had.

I have 400 users. Of those, 100 use Outlook 2013 with MDaemon Connector. A few months ago we migrated from Office 365 to MDaemon. Of course, Outlook worked flawlessly with Office 365, but even with new Outlook profiles and MD Connector we have problems with most of those users experiencing hanging/freezing of Outlook. Often during email creation, especially when an attachment has already been added, but other times when Outlook is sitting idle. The app just goes gray saying "Outlook not responding" and after several minutes it may recover, other times hangs indefinitely requiring us to End Task, and other times Outlook crashes and states it has crashed and will restart.

Occurs on Outlook 2013, 2016 and 2019.

It's odd because it's intermittent and inconsistent for each user. Sometimes one will experience it 10-12 times hanging/freezing/crashing during a single day and then smooth sailing for days. Others get the hanging/freezing/crashing once a day, but that's about it.

I've blocked realtime antivirus access to the Alt-N folder
I've uninstalled antivirus, only using Windows 10's Windows Defender
I've done Office repair
I've completely uninstalled, including cleansing to remove Office remnants, and reinstalled
I've tried different versions of Connector, including beta
I've changed MDC folders settings to Load PIM and IMAP synchronously
I've set Send/Receive to only check Inbox
I've set compact database on Outlook shutdown
I've removed all add-ins except Connector

None of this has helped.

Here are some stats about two Outlook clients that frequently freeze:
- His Local cache is 404,416 KB and Attachments folder = 10,415 items and 2.75GB in size
- My own Local Cache is 417,812 KB and Attachments folder = 466 items and 46 MB in size

The first one experiences hanging/freezing/crashing constantly, whereas I only get it once a day or overy other day.

Is the Attachments Folder item quantity and/or size a culprit?

I know you may be thinking "Wow you have too much email, that's why it's freezing!" I accept that for some of our users with 24,000 emails in their inbox. That's definitely too much email. But this is also happening to users with only a few hundred emails sprinkled throughout various Outlook folders. So the "too much email" excuse is anecdotal and not applicable in our situation. Consider this - one user that successfully housed 45GB of email in their Outlook OST file with Office 365 with no hanging/freezing/crashing is currently experiencing hanging/freezing/crashing with only 12GB of email.

In our case the Outlook OST database file appears a superior solution compared with MDaemon Connector. But OST is obviously not a solution for us, we're committed to MDaemon. And I love the product. But I also have many impatient Outlook users who need calendar integration. So I really do welcome other suggestions.

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Tony Burtovoy - Apr 8, 2021 8:50 am (#17 Total: 28)  

 

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Tony Burtovoy
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We see it here too, and also have seen it randomly over the years with several OC versions. Currently 100% patched MD latest, OC latest. Yesterday I even clean uninstalled Office, ran the office cleanup tool, ran the .NET repair tool and clean re-installed Office and all MS updates.. then re-installed OC connector and setup everything from scratch. Worked great for 24 hours until the user (with a particularly large calendar) experienced it again - with a very clean office/OC installation.

From all of my experience with this, it seems to be related to users with large calendars (calendar.mrk). ..and the lockup typically occurs when the user receives a meeting invitation that tries to then update something in the background (maybe an internet calendar or a read-receipt maybe? ..or possibly invitation tracking (updating who has receive/accepted the invite)............. or lockups occur when manually accepting a meeting invite (probably same background process is happening, trying to update something).

As one previous user said, it could very well be calendar events with large attachments.. or zoom meetings with HTTP locations... or something to do with update tracking.. but it's 100% related to calendars, meetings and users with large calendars.... and the receiving/sending of meeting invites. Thats why it seems random. Users with tiny calendars rarely see the issue in my workplace.

Alt-n: Please focus on whats going on behind the scenes when Outlook processes meeting invites automatically and what outlook is doing with meeting updates, meeting attachments, tracking and foreign calendars. Something happens in the background during these moments that has been imperfect for a long time.

-Tony

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  • Martin Wyatt (Apr 21, 2021 4:50 pm)


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    Tony Burtovoy - Apr 20, 2021 7:36 am (#18 Total: 28)  

     

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    Tony Burtovoy
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    My most recent Outlook setting that I am focusing on is 'Autosave'. I have seen some improved performance (significantly less freezes) when Autosave is turned off. I guess the theory would be that there might be some problem, on only some machines, with the Outlook Autosave process, either freezing the process, or, pausing it for longer than the user wants to wait and making it seem like a process 'hang'. Could be due to a genuine connector bug, or perhaps just Outlook not being fully patched maybe?

    - Can anyone with problem machines confirm any improvement by turning off Autosave?

    - Especially making sure that Outlook is fully patched.

    - If you still have freezups, can you let me know if the user is using a signature?

    - If the user is using a signature, can you let me know if the signature has an inline image? Outlook Connector has had other issues over the years with inline images in other areas, so I want to make sure that inline images inside a signature are not a factor as well.

    [Last Editor: Tony Burtovoy, Apr 20, 2021 7:40 am. Total Edits: 2]

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  • Martin Wyatt (Apr 21, 2021 4:55 pm)


  • Martin Wyatt - Apr 21, 2021 4:42 pm (#19 Total: 28)  

     

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    Martin Wyatt
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    Replying to: Jared Charles (Apr 2, 2021 9:12 am)
    Hello Martin,I just wanted to confirm whether there is any difference in how hanging/crashing/freezing issue is occurring since it was...

    Forgive my lengthy reply, but it's necessary to address the many questions in your post.

    Overall the problem seems the same. Since 2019 I've observed much and added my findings to this thread. Back then I thought my only recourse was to delete the profile and create from scratch, but recently found that I could just delete the LocalCache.db file instead. This has reduced the resolution time. Re-attaching the Outlook auto-complete file is another PITA that results from deleting either the profile or LocalCache.db.

    Affected users sometimes only experience crashing, while others experience hanging/freezing. Any combination eventually leads to a corrupted profile.

    Here is how I've observed Outlook crashing:
    Outlook is open and simply goes away as if I closed it. Normally it re-opens by itself and presents the message "Outlook failed to start correctly last time" and asks to start in Safe Mode. Sometimes clicking no allows me to open Outlook and work normally for a while until it crashes or hangs/freezes, repeating this error message. One time or several times later will corrupt the profile and force me to delete profile (or the LocalCache.db) and begin again. After several unsuccessful attempts to open Outlook in Safe Mode, it asks if I want to start repair. The repair NEVER works to solve this problem.

    Here is how I've observed Outlook hanging (same as freezing):
    Outlook is open and simply hangs/freezes. Might be typing an email, or might have just opened Outlook and minimized to perform other tasks, or Outlook is just minimized like any other program - and Outlook just goes opaque/frosts over and Task Manager shows Outlook "Not Responding". I've waited up to 36 hours for it to unfreeze, but it never recovers, requiring a reboot or End Task.

    When the hanging/crashing/freezing occurs it eventually corrupts the profile (LocalCache.db) and Outlook will not start even in Safe Mode. It may just sits and spin at the "Loading profile" or cycle through the safe mode / repair dialogs.

    As I said before, my workaround solution to get the hanging/crashing/freezing to stop (or at least to be rare) is to manually go through that user's active inbox and move all messages with large attachments, which I now consider as 1MB or larger, to an attached PST file. Once I do this and purge the local MDaemon database it is all good. Until a few months pass and once again the user has lots of messages with large attachments. So they complain of hanging/crashing/freezing and I repeat the process.

    It's a huge time-suck with as many users as we have, let me tell you.

    I cannot tell if the problem occurs during a retrieval but a while back I realized that this hanging/crashing/freezing happened whether I used MDaemon Connector or just straight IMAP to the server. I found this on Google: "Reducing IMAP Message Fetch Latency Due to Large Attachments". Perhaps it is related. I wonder if the developers could increase the fetch size then this problem would go away.

    Some affected users have only the one MDaemon profile.
    Other affected users have one profile with two MDaemon email accounts.
    Other affected users have several profiles with single MDaemon email accounts

    Regardless of configuration all of them experience hanging/crashing/freezing.

    Yes, all have PST files open because that's the only to offload the messages with large attachments. But the problem occurs whether or not a PST is open/attached. In fact, if a Send/Receive occurs during an archiving process (manual or auto) it's a guaranteed hang/crash/freeze.

    As requested I will email an event viewer app log.

    Martin Wyatt - Apr 21, 2021 4:50 pm (#20 Total: 28)  

     

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    Martin Wyatt
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    Posts: 19
    Replying to: Tony Burtovoy (Apr 8, 2021 8:50 am)
    We see it here too, and also have seen it randomly over the years with several OC versions. Currently...

    I agree with you, I've set up brand new Windows 10 install from scratch, new Office 2019 install, most recent MDaemon Connector version, and within days the user will experience some form of hanging/crashing/freezing. I hadn't thought about calendars possibly causing the issue. Typically I do NOT archive calendar items because it wipes out the calendar history the users enjoy from their mobile device.

    Still yours sounds eerily similar to my experience when the account attempts to send/receive (or sync, whatever) and it chokes on something that the MDaemon Connector or IMAP is doing in the background.

    It would be sad for our users to also lose their calendar history in addition to their emails. I have it pretty tight as it is, forcing archival of anything older 6 weeks.



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