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Todd Volz

Outlook 2003 + ViewMail 8.5 can't open .msg file

We have recently upgraded to Unity Connection 8.5 su1 with Exchange 2003 single inbox.  With that upgrade we upgraded our ViewMail Outlook plugins to version 8.5.4(102) and have found that we are having issues opening e-mail message files stored on our file servers (Microsoft DFS).

Outlook version 2003 11.8325.8329 SP3

Windows XP SP3

File Server is Server 2003 with current patches.

For example:

We save an e-mail to our file server by dragging the message from outlook to a folder on the file server via mapped drive.

Later a user will open that file, the first time the file is opened it works.

However after the message is closed, the user can't open the same file again, Outlook gives an error of:

Can't open file: <Path> The file may not exist, you may not have permission to open it, or it may be open in another program.  Right-click the folder that contains the file, and then click Properties to check your permissions for the folder.

If another user tries to access the file on a nother computer they get the same error.  There does seem to be a timeout of about 10 minutes and the file is able to be opened again once.

As a work around the file can be copied to the local computer and the file can be opened and closed multiple times.

I have verified that this same problem occurs in VMO 8.5.3.  I have also verified that if Viewmail is uninstalled the problem goes away.  This was not a problem with the version of VMO that we used with Unity 4.0.

Has anyone had this issue and resolved it?  If so how?


Accepted Solutions
Bradford Magnani
Cisco Employee

VMO was not cleaning up COM handles.  Created new defect which is addressed by upgrading to VMO 8.5(6) 

CSCto26883    VMO 8.5(4) Prevents Emails From Being Opened If Moved From Inbox

View solution in original post

Bradford Magnani
Cisco Employee

Hi Todd,

Interesting discovery... I don't know the answer to this but I'm just curious if you've confirmed if it'll happen every time the file is located external to the Exchange inbox.  For example, if you move it to a flash drive, or some other non-local drive.  Does the same behavior occur?  Or are the symptoms only localized to moving it to another Layer 3 location?


I have to modify my previous statement a little...  I thought I was able to open the file multiple times if stored on my computer/desktop, however I can not replicate that now.  At this point I can not open a .msg file more than once in any location (file server, USB flash drive, C:\temp), except directly in Outlook from the Exchange server. I can however copy the file via the filesystem.

Can anyone else replicate this problem?

I replicated this with CUC 8.5(1) SU1, ViewMail 8.5(4)102, Exchange 2003, and Outlook 2003.

I left a VM for the 2003 user, played it via ViewMail, it worked, dragged the mail message to the desktop, double clicked it, it opened in Outlook, I did not have the ViewMail player available at this time, but I could play the attachement in WMP, closed it, tried to reopen it and got this error, I waited 5 minutes, tried again, same error, waited 10 minutes, tried again, same error.

Guys, I was able to reproduce the same behavior and also did a bit of research with development.  Here was the response:

VMO wasn’t designed for this scenario – CONNECTION/UNITY aren’t designed for this scenario.  Once a message is moved out of the Inbox, it’s no longer a voice mail message because it no longer exists in the voice mail box.

The error dialog popping up seems to be coming from Outlook, not from VMO, but it may be something VMO is doing that is causing the dialog box.  Ideally, that message would be more intuitive than what's being shown.

So, long story short, moving messages out of the inbox isn't supported nor was VMO designed to function this way.

Hope that helps clarify,


Sorry I just realized that there is a little ambiguity here.  I'm not actually talking about Unity connection  voicemails, these are just e-mails.  I haven't even tried to see what happens when I move a Unity Connection v-mail message out of my mailbox to the file system, let alone try and play it.

So for clarification:

While VMO 8.5.x is installed using Outlook 2003 when I open a .msg e-mail from any filesystem, close the opened e-mail and then try to re-open that filesystem e-mail message (.msg file) I get the aformentioned error.  The problem occurs for e-mail messages that have nothing to do with Unity Connection as they do not have a v-mail attachment and have not been passed through the Unity Connection server.  If VMO is uninstalled, the error no longer occurs.

Sorry for that bit of confusion I should have had that clear when I started.


I don't expect Unity to retain a record for messages moved out the inbox and on to the desktop, but three things:

  • The original message is still in the inbox; it does not get moved, but rather copied.  I am still able to play the original message via VMO.
  • I should still be able to open the e-mail and play the wav file via windows media player, or similar.  VMO should not be preventing this.
  • I too can replicate receiving a regular corporate e-mail, moving a copy on to the desktop, and only able to open one time.

With that, I would argue it's a defect, and not a design issue.

I realize I just hijacked this person's thread, and I'm sorry.  Was only trying to help.  I can, and probably will open an SR on this.



Thanks for the confirmation.  I was able to repro with an email as well, which looks a defect.  If you want, email me the TAC case # and I'll take ownership of it.



Excellent CS support! Thanks so much!

I don't see how to send you an e-mail.. 617260705

Got it.

Do we havea  defect ID for this yet?  Thanks.


Confirmed: Affects Outlook 2010 as well.

Todd Volz

ViewMail 8.5(6) resolved the problem for us.

Bradford Magnani
Cisco Employee

VMO was not cleaning up COM handles.  Created new defect which is addressed by upgrading to VMO 8.5(6) 

CSCto26883    VMO 8.5(4) Prevents Emails From Being Opened If Moved From Inbox

View solution in original post

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