Microsoft has released a handy troubleshooting tool kit that will sure save some headache for people who provide tech support, either professionally, or to family and friends or take care of their own machines. The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool (OCAT) provides a mean to analyze your Microsoft Office Outlook profile for common configurations issues that may cause problems in Outlook.
The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool provides a detailed report of your current Outlook profile. This report includes many parameters about your profile, and it highlights any known problems that are found in your profile. For any problems that are listed in the report, you are provided a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article that describes a possible fix for the problem. If you are a Help Desk professional, you can also export the report to an XML file. Then, the report can be viewed in the Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool on another client computer where the tool is installed.
Once installed, launch OCAT and start a scan. If Outlook is not running OCAT will ask you to, otherwise, you can choose the ‘offline scan’. The time required for a scan depends on the complexity of the profile being analyzed, for example, how many accounts, mailboxes, and archive mailboxes are opened, the version of Outlook that’s installed (hot fixes, service packs, and so on), and the health of the system registry. Once the scan completes, OCAT will display a configuration report. The report generated is divided into two sections – Informational (reports that are useful to know) and Issues (things that require your attention). Any issues it finds are highlighted with an alert icon.
OCAT can find issues with unpatched vulnerabilities/fixes, identify non-standard registry settings and detect other unusual behavior such as too large mail folder.
After you’ve finished reviewing the data, you can export it in XML format to forward it to a support engineer for further analysis. However, OCAT is only able to print reports if you run it on a Windows XP or Windows 2003 client. This is an acknowledged issue that the authors say will be fixed soon.
You’ll need to have .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 installed on a PC before OCAT can be installed. Supported platforms include Windows XP SP3, Vista SP2, and Windows 7. OCAT does not support Outlook 2003.
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