Scott Hanselman

When Bad Ideas become mainstream FAQ Entries

July 08, 2005 Comment on this post [8] Posted in Musings | Tools
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OMG. So, there's a known issue with Outlook 2003 and systems with more than one Gig of RAM. Apparently they are working on a fix. When using the MSN Desktop Search to index your outlook offline folder (OST) on a machine with more than a gig of RAM you may get the error "The .OST file is in accessible."

What's the recommended fix you ask? here's the direct quote from the MSN Toolbar FAQ.

To avoid this problem, you can remove memory so that your computer has 1GB of less of RAM, or you can disable memory above 1GB.

To disable memory:
    1. On the Start menu, click Run and then type cmd to open a command prompt window.
    2. Type cd c:\ to switch to your C drive.
    3. Type bootcfg /addsw /mm 1024 /ID 1.
    4. Restart your computer.

I am a little reticent to recommend that my Mom go running bootcfg and neutering her machine by disabling her second GIG of RAM.

Just for the record and to quote Egon, "I think that would be an extraordinarily Bad Idea." I'm surprised this kind of fairly low level and rather brute force suggestion made it into a the product FAQ for the MSN Toolbar/Search.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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July 08, 2005 1:40
Wow, that's horrible. Maybe they can tell us to repartition the hard drive to than 4 GB and load as many TSRs as possible into high-memory, too.

How exactly does one write an application that barfs with more than 1GB anyway?
July 08, 2005 4:41
That's ghetto!
July 08, 2005 4:45
There is a hotfix available:
July 08, 2005 7:33
Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. I'm told that my index file is corrupt and I must download and install the "latest version" at least once/wk. This requires at least one reboot -- that isn't optional. I used to be shocked when I'd come across things like this that would prevent a Microsoft app from being Windows XP Certified. No more.
July 08, 2005 11:19
Oh, but at least you get it to work. I've reinstalled the latest version 4-5 times. It indexes and everything looks great. THen I try to search, and ... nothing happens. Searching for things I *know* is there... nothing.
July 08, 2005 11:43
Hmm... that is a very bad solution... like if I hang reboot the machine...

For the sake of using an application, you need to sacrifice your valueble RAM?

July 13, 2005 19:43
Right, that's bad...OK...important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

BTW, I personally use X1 ( Never had a problem with it.
July 14, 2005 8:28
Don't cross the streams

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.