Windows is't a traffic cop for your PC; it's a mob with communication problems

Windows 8 won't fix a problem that can brick your laptop even if you do everything right

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Normally I wouldn't bother you with my idiot PC problems. You almost certainly have to deal with more than enough of those from your own end users, relatives, friends and (if you play around with as much software and odd experiments as I do to research something you're looking into) your own personal machine.

Routine updates break Win7 middleware connections in ways that are hard to identify

For the last few weeks, my version of Outlook 2007, which was remarkably stable and no more irritating than it ever is for six months or more, started crashing unpredictably, throwing off error messages that said only that it had crashed (thanks!) and that the problem was that it couldn't talk to the module NTDLL.DLL or, sometimes the .NET Framework.

Well, NTDLL.DLL is one of, if not the only, mechanism apps can use to send commands and requests to the core part of the operating system itself. It's the gatekeeper that makes Windows 7 more stable than previous versions of Windows because it rejects obviously stupid requests from applications rather than taking them to heart and suffering itself, rather than letting the apps suffer on their own (Mark that as a life lesson, by the way. As soon as I can get a binary readout of the NTDLL.DLL's version of "talk to the hand" I'm putting it on a T-shirt and wearing it every day. Or maybe a tattoo.")

The reason I thought this was worth bringing up is that Microsoft has been answering questions about this particularly problem – which has affected, variously, Outlook, SQL Server, connections to Exchange servers and various other applications – since 2007.

The good thing about dealing with the same problem for four years without fixing it is that you build up a good case file of solutions.

Earlier answers were just advice on reconfiguring Outlook or Windows to avoid the conflict – though the ones users reported had actually worked were things like turning off the "Ding" sound on reminders about appointments, or telling versions of Outlook that didn't connect to Exchange servers to not automatically try to generate views that are specific to Exchange.

If it were rocket science we'd never have gotten to the moon

There was a solid period through late '07 and '08 when the advice was to uninstall everything, one at a time, starting with add-ins before moving on to Office, the .NET Framework, Windows modules and all the recent updates, using a special tool built for the purpose, then, eventually, your clothing and sanity.

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