"The operation could not be completed because of dialog or database engine failure" error message if you use Outlook contacts for a mail merge

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Article ID: 320838 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q320838
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SYMPTOMS

If you use a Microsoft Outlook Contacts list that is stored in public folders as the data source for a mail merge, you may receive the following error message and the mail merge does not work:
The operation could not be completed because of dialog or database engine failure. Please try again later.

CAUSE

This behavior may occur if both of the following conditions are true:
  • You use contacts that are stored in a public Contacts folder as the data source for the mail merge.
  • You initiate the mail merge in another program such as Microsoft Word 2002 or Microsoft Publisher 2002.

WORKAROUND

To work around this behavior, initiate the mail merge in Outlook 2002. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Outlook 2002.
  2. In the Folder List, click the folder that contains the contacts that you want to use as the source for the mail merge.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  4. In the Mail Merge Contacts dialog box, specify the options that you want to configure the mail merge. To do so:
    1. Under Contacts, click the option that you want.
    2. Under Fields to merge, click the option that you want.
    3. Under Document file, do one of the following:
      • If you want to create a new document, click New document.
      • If you want to add merge fields to an existing document, click Existing document, click Browse, locate the document that you want, and then click OK.
    4. If you want to store the contact data in a merge file for future use, click to select the Permanent file check box under Contact data file, click Browse, specify a name and location where you want to save the file, and then click OK.
    5. Under Merge options, do the following:
      • In the Document type list, click the type of mail merge that you want.
      • In the Merge to list, click the option that you want to export the merged records.
    6. Click OK.
  5. Word starts.
  6. In the Word document, point to Letters and Mailings on the Tools menu, and then click Mail Merge Wizard. Follow the instructions in the Mail Merge wizard to complete the mail merge.

    For more information about how to use Microsoft Outlook contacts for a Word mail merge, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    294697 How to use Outlook contacts in a Word mail merge

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about about how to use Microsoft Outlook contacts for a mail merge, click Microsoft Outlook Help on the Help menu, type mail merge in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
For more information about how to start a mail merge in Outlook, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
287561 How to use the Mail Merge feature with contacts in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003
290408 Frequently asked questions about mail merge in Word 2002
294684 WD2002: How to Use Mail Merge to Create Mailing Labels
294685 How to use mail merge to create envelopes in Word 2002
294683 How to use mail merge to create form letters in Word 2002

Properties

Article ID: 320838 - Last Review: February 1, 2007 - Revision: 4.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition, when used with:
    • Microsoft Office Word 2003
    • Microsoft Word 2002
    • Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
    • Microsoft Publisher 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbbug kberrmsg kbnofix KB320838

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