Debugging persistent Outlook crashing – can only go so far…

I’ve been experiencing a persistent crash in Outlook for months now – often Outlook will crash when I Send an email.  I suspect it’s related to the fact that in the main Outlook form ( Mail/Inbox) the Reply, Reply All and Forward buttons and keyboard shortcuts are inactive.  [They work from the context menu of an individual message, or if I open a message and use the buttons from the Toolbar displayed above the message itself.  Yes, very weird.]  I suspect it’s a result of an unclean uninstall of the Getting Things Done add-in for Outlook – which I used to like, but which has been supplanted by the combination of MindManager and ResultsManager (at least this week).

In any case, I’ve captured multiple .DMP files, but when I try to debug them I get very sketchy results.  I used to think it was because I don’t have access to symbols for the add-ins that I’ve installed for Outlook – which is normally where these kinds of crashes come from.  However, I’ve disabled all the add-ins that are listed in Outlook > Tools > Options > Other > Advanced Options > “Add-in Manager” & “COM Add-Ins”, and I’m still getting the same kind of crashing behaviour.  I’m still getting spotty results, which tells me I don’t even have symbols for Outlook (to map the function offsets that are listed in the dump), and I’ve been beating my head against a wall trying to figure out how to get access to them.

I’m almost positive I’ve got the Microsoft Internet Symbol Server configured correctly, and yet I continue to get errors like this:

*** ERROR: Symbol file could not be found.  Defaulted to export symbols for OUTLLIB.DLL –
OUTLLIB!OlkGetUIlangID+0xd434:

I discovered that you can debug the loading operations with the !sym noisy command.  Once I enabled this, I saw this in my .reload output:

0:000> .reload
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
SYMSRV:  C:\symbols\OUTLLIB.DLL\4566283D749000\OUTLLIB.DLL not found
SYMSRV:  http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/OUTLLIB.DLL/4566283D749000/OUTLLIB.DLL not found
DBGENG:  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLLIB.DLL – Mapped image memory
SYMSRV:  C:\symbols\outllib.pdb\0EAE667B6A73417A9D7DC2E4C81382232\outllib.pdb not found
SYMSRV:  http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/outllib.pdb/0EAE667B6A73417A9D7DC2E4C81382232/outllib.pdb not found
DBGHELP: outllib.pdb – file not found
*** ERROR: Symbol file could not be found.  Defaulted to export symbols for OUTLLIB.DLL –
DBGHELP: OUTLLIB – export symbols

I wanted to double-check that it wasn’t just a lack of some specific version of OUTLLIB.DLL, so I browsed to http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/OUTLLIB.DLL/, and received a 404 error.  To make sure there wasn’t some subtle IIS configuration issue, I tested http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols/KERNEL32.DLL (a known good library), which gave me a 403 (Forbidden) error.

That tells me that Microsoft still hasn’t published Office symbols to the Internet – even while they’re trying to push application developers to use Office as a “platform” on which to build enterprise-class applications (VSTO, VSTA).  That’s a really noticeable gap, at least to me.

In any case, this is as good a debug output as I’m able to get:

FOLLOWUP_IP:
OUTLLIB!OlkGetUIlangID+d434
301b7b82 ff506c          call    dword ptr [eax+6Ch]

SYMBOL_STACK_INDEX:  0

FOLLOWUP_NAME:  MachineOwner

MODULE_NAME: OUTLLIB

IMAGE_NAME:  OUTLLIB.DLL

DEBUG_FLR_IMAGE_TIMESTAMP:  4566283d

FAULTING_THREAD:  000014d0

DEFAULT_BUCKET_ID:  NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE

PRIMARY_PROBLEM_CLASS:  NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE

BUGCHECK_STR:  APPLICATION_FAULT_NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE

SYMBOL_NAME:  OUTLLIB!OlkGetUIlangID+d434

FAILURE_BUCKET_ID:  APPLICATION_FAULT_NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE_OUTLLIB!OlkGetUIlangID+d434

BUCKET_ID:  APPLICATION_FAULT_NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE_OUTLLIB!OlkGetUIlangID+d434

Unfortunately, Google Groups and the web have nothing helpful to understand what “APPLICATION_FAULT_NULL_CLASS_PTR_DEREFERENCE” even means, let alone how to fix the problem it flags.

If I ever come up with a good answer to this, I’ll be sure to post it.  In the meantime, if anyone has any clues or hints for me on what I could do to narrow this down any further (e.g. any cool or powerful commands that I don’t know about – which probably includes anything beyond .symfix, .reload, k and !analyze -v.

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One thought on “Debugging persistent Outlook crashing – can only go so far…

  1. I often solve problems with help one nice tool.But last time program couldn't help me.And I entered in network and saw there-convert .ost file to .pst file.Application helped me very quickly and for free.Moreover soft demonstrated how it works with ost files in Outlook and belongs to ost to pst conversion software and can repair files with *.ost extension.

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