Outlook 2007 slow to launch – outcmd.dat

by Andre Vaux

Andre is Managing Director at claireLOGIC – a business which delivers IT and Communications services to businesses in the UK.

Last week we saw an annoying problem with an Outlook 2007 client connected to POP accounts. Outlook would take around 60 seconds to open and take equally as long opening the first item you clicked on. In Task Manager you would also see the Outlook Lifeboat (OffLB.exe) rearing its head.

We tried all the usual stuff of disabling add-ons, swapping PST files, excluding PST from A/V scanning etc. but the problem remained. However Outlook would run fine in Safe mode.

Using the excellent SysInternals Process Monitor we monitored what was being accessed during Outlook launch and tracked down the problem – it was the outcmd.dat file which had grown to over 15Mb and must have contained errors. Deleting this file and re-launching Outlook instantly fixed the error.

We were surprised that we’d never seen this issue in the last 10 years.

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