Well is has been a long haul with many ups and down – but I can say as of today I am finally there.
Background – It is a sad story with a happy ending. As you all know the nirvana of a CRM system for the typical business user is to be able to access all your data right inside of Microsoft Outlook. This is one of the biggest selling points for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as it should be, but has also been prone to issues that aren’t easy to track down. My main problem has been when I have the CRM client loaded for Outlook I would get this sluggish response from Outlook. I could look at my CPU’s and see one of the cores spiking to 100% about every 15 to 20 seconds. When it spiked my Outlook would become unresponsive – very frustrating when you are typing an email or doing anything inside of Outlook. I could use the rest of my computer just fine – I’m working on a quad core with 8 gigs of ram so there was plenty of power for other apps, but I spend my day inside of Outlook. When I would sign out of the CRM client everything worked fine – except then I was banned to the web interface – not a big deal unless you want to tag an email to be tracked!
So here are some of the things I’ve tried over the past few months….
– Applied Rollup 4 – some good fixes but didn’t solve my problem
– Upgraded to Windows 7RC – great OS, but still had the same problem
– Applied Rollup 5 – I was really hopeful here, but no luck still sluggish
– Played with almost every setting available for the client – no luck but I learned alot more about the settings
– Had darn near every consultant look at my machine, heck I’m an executive in a company that just sell Dynamics CRM – we have the best and brightest people out there, but they were all stumped and I think were starting to avoid me worried I would drag them into my office and ask “hey can you make this work”
So what worked? It was really a very simple fix that I can’t say why it worked – but there are various speculations in the office. What we did was blow away my OST file and let Outlook rebuild from scratch. For those wondering what the heck an OST file is…it is an offline folder file that makes it possible to work offline. I’m sure it does a bunch more, but in a nutshell you have to have it – it in not like a spleen or something that you can get by without. Once I located mine it the depths of the files system it turned out to be a 5 gig monster. Our CIO speculated that it was probably very fragmented and this was causing me issues – who knows – I think something was corrupt in it.
So what were the steps – I will list here, but keep in mind killing your OST file has risks so I suggest the rename option in case you need the old one.
– Close Outlook and make sure it has fully shut down
– Then find it – mine was at c:UsersjimAppdataLocalMicrosoftOutlook
– Rename the existing Outlook.ost – I changed mine to outlookold.ost
– Open Outlook and wait………………
If your OST was big it will take a while to rebuild – something that is great to do overnight. Also keep in mind you should do this at non peak times on your network as it sucks down a bunch of data to rebuild from the Exchange server. When it rebuilds it will be smaller – mine went from 5.27 gigs down to 3 gigs.
Hope this helps someone out there – let me know if you have questions or successes!