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January 15, 2007

Nokia PC Suite not working with Outlook - "Failed to open Outlook"

I've recently got a new phone... I've mentioned this on another post... anyways... seeing as it has Bluetooth I thought it would be nice to have it synchronise with my Outlook account at work.

Well it didn't go according to plan - when it came to telling PC Suite which folders I wanted to select using the "Select Folders" clicking the button didn't do anything. I thought this could be something to do with using Exchange at work and the calendar and stuff being kept on the server instead of locally... so I tried setting it up on the laptop (which had worked straight away with local files) and it also worked fine... and updated the stuff to the Exchange server fine... the plot thicked.

I looked at the version of PC Suite I was using on the laptop and it was an older version... "ah-ha" I thought... I've got it... so I downgraded on the work PC...

Now I get the error "Failed to open Outlook" when I click on "Select Folders" - which isn't very nice - or helpful... what frustrated me more that there's loads of people on Google looking for the solution and no answers - or well any that worked for me...

So... after much trial and error and guess work... here might be the solution - it worked for me... it appears that the synchonisation program uses MAPI to talk to Outlook. This uses the DLL mapi32.dll, which lives in Windows\System32

Although it should go without saying - you follow these instructions at your own risk!

FIrst, it would probably be an idea to see if it is the MAPI file that is at fault... ('cause if it's not I can't be of help!)

  1. Find the file in C:\Windows\System32
  2. Right click on it and select "Properties"
  3. Select the "Version" tab on the window that opens up.
  4. It should say "Extended MAPI 1.0 for Windows NT" or something very similar - maybe a different version number and be made my Microsoft - look under the "Company" option. On my work machine it was down as being the "Mozilla Thunderbird MAPI Dll".

So, if you've now found that the MAPI file isn't the Microsoft one, it's time to fix this... if it is the Microsoft file then I'm afraid I can't really help you - sorry.

So, how to put the Microsoft one back...

  1. Rename the file from mapi32.dll to something else... like mapi32.dll.old.
  2. Click on Start and go to "Run..." (or press the Windows key and the R button together)
  3. enter fixmapi into the box and press OK.

Hopefully the the fixmapi program will try and replace the MAPI file that had been altered by (probably) another mail client.

Try setting up the options again in PC Sync... hopefully the Select Folders button will work for you now.

If it doesn't work... you could try running Outlook and selecting "Detect And Repair" from the Help menu... this should also (I hope) replace the MAPI file... however doing a "Detect and Repair" without removing the mapi32.dll file will probably not work - it didn't work for me... make sure you rename/move it as above.

Clearly... if you use the MAPI stuff from the other software that installed the DLL then there's a very big chance that this will stop working when you change the DLL file... you might want to think about this :-) There's a chance that moving the rouge file into the folder that, lets say the thunderbird.exe is in might work - as when you run Thunderbird it should look in it's local folder for the DLL before looking in the System wide System32 - this is speculation on my part... as I've not tried it - I don't use anything at work that would want to use MAPI in Thunderbird.

So, yeah, there we go - I hope it helps and saves all the time wasting I went through trying to get it to work - let me know in the comments!

Posted by Ed at January 15, 2007 11:20 PM | Geek |