November 2010 (1)
I recently has a user who found that email messages from specific people would cause her Outlook 2010 to crash 100% of the time. Most peoples emails were perfectly fine and others were not.
There were lots of entries in the Windows Event Log like the following
I read up online and found this article http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/outlook/thread/178bce4f-707e-42ac-8743-ac41b7a4e046/ where a lot of people where having a similar problem.
There were lot of opinions given there and they did nothing to help me fix the problem directly.
I ended up opening a case with Microsoft and together over a period of a week we diagnosed the problem.
The problem was – A Corrupt Font
I found a few posts online which referred to Helvetica Font (above link and also other places) being corrupt and causing problems with Outlook.
But in my case it was an Arial Narrow font.
* I have suggested that Microsoft Write a tool to test all fonts for corruption – who knows what will happen.
One of the responses from Microsoft was
Based on my research I found that the affected emails which you sent to me is in Helvetica font. Looks like the issue is specific to Helvetica font.
This problem may occur if your document contains Type 1 fonts, such as Helvetica and TimesNewRomanPS.
To resolve this problem, please follow the action below.
Determine which offending Type 1 font is being applied to your document, and then remove the offending Type 1 Font Substitutions entry from the registry. To do this, follow these steps:
Collapse this imageExpand this image
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.
314960 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314960/ ) How to install or remove a font in Windows
For more detailed information, please refer to http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-US;2119612
** IMPORTANT ** The Microsoft response above did not fix the problem but more investigation showed that Arial fonts were the issue
This problem was on a Windows 7 machine (and mine was as well) so I decided to copy the Arial fonts from the bad machine to my machine. After this “I” got the problem as well!!! (I made a backup of the fonts first!)
The Fix (for me anyway) - Copy my good Arial Fonts to the bad computer
In order to resolve this I needed to copy the good fonts from my machine to a temp directory on my machine and then copy them to a temp folder on the bad machine and then copy the font from the temp folder to the Fonts applet.
Normally using the Fonts applet you can not copy fonts to anywhere else, but by opening a CMD prompt you can make copies of them.
So on the good computer open a CMD prompt and change directory to c:\windows\fonts
You can now copy the good fonts to another folder on the local machine such as c:\temp
You now need to copy the fonts from the c:\temp folder to a folder on the bad computer – again c:\temp
Then on the bad computer open the Fonts applet (you can just type fonts and hit enter at the search programs and files area in the start menu)
Now with that window open you can drag the fonts from c:\temp to the fonts window and you will be prompted to overwrite any existing fonts (if copying more than one font you can let it overwrite all fonts)
Now by the time I got around to checking these fonts we had sent 100’s of megabytes of debug logs to Microsoft, removed all add-ons, started in safe mode, rebooted heaps of times and generally spent a lot of time on the problem.
I had been in contact with Microsoft on the phone and via email and a week or more time had passed with the user not being able to open emails from specific users.
I would assume you could copy all fonts from a known good machine to the bad computer. If you copy all fonts you may never know what font was corrupt, but there is a good chance that in less than 5 minutes you will have a working Outlook again.