"Could not complete the operation" error message when you create a new task or appointment in Outlook 2002

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Article ID: 320842 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you use Outlook, you may experience any one of the following symptoms:
  • When you try to create a new task or appointment, you receive an error message that is similar to the following error message:
    Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid.
  • When you try to exit Outlook, you receive an error message.
  • When you open a message in a new window, the menu bar and toolbars are missing.

CAUSE

This problem may occur if the profile or data files that Outlook uses are corrupted.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, follow these steps in the order in which they are presented.

Part 1: Create a New Profile

  1. NOTE: Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  3. If you are not in Classic view, click Switch to Classic View, and then click Mail.
  4. Click Show Profiles.
  5. Click to select the Prompt for a profile to be used check box.
  6. Click Add.
  7. In the Profile Name box, type a descriptive name for the new profile, and then click OK.
  8. Click Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.
  9. Click the appropriate server type for your new e-mail account, and then click Next.
  10. Follow the on-screen instructions, and then click Finish.

    NOTE: Make sure that you specify a new Personal Folders file (.pst file), and do not use the existing file.
  11. Click OK.
NOTE: Because you do not use the old .pst file while you are troubleshooting, you will not see any of your old .pst folders or files.

Part 2: Rename the Outlook Data Files

Outlook automatically replaces the Extend.dat, Outcmd.dat, and Frmcache.dat data files if they are missing. To rename the data files and then test to see if the problem is resolved, follow the steps that are appropriate for your operating system.

NOTE: Outcmd.dat stores any custom changes that you make to your toolbar buttons. If the problem is resolved after you rename this file, you must make the custom toolbar button changes again.

Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

  1. Quit all Microsoft Office programs.
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  3. In the Named box, type extend.dat, outcmd.dat, frmcache.dat.
  4. In the Look in list, click your local hard disk.
  5. Click Find Now to search for the files.

    The default locations for these files are in the following folders
    drive:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    drive:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\FORMS
    where drive is the drive on which Windows is installed.

    NOTE: If you use profiles, these files may be located in your Profiles folder.
  6. For each file that appears in the Find dialog box, right-click the file, click Rename, type a new name for the file (for example, type outcmd.old), and then press ENTER.
  7. Close the Find dialog box.
  8. Start Outlook.
  9. When you are prompted, click the new profile.
  10. Create a new task or appointment to see whether the problem is resolved.

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) or Microsoft Windows 2000

  1. Quit all Office programs.
  2. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  3. In the Search for files or folders named box, type Extend.dat, outcmd.dat, frmcache.dat.
  4. In the Look in list, click your local hard disk.
  5. Click Search Now to search for the files.

    The default locations for these files are in the following folders
    drive:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    drive:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\FORMS
    where drive is the drive on which Windows is installed.

    NOTE: If you use profiles, these files may be located in your Profiles folder.
  6. For each file that appears in the Search Results dialog box, right-click the file, click Rename, type a new name for the file (for example, type outcmd.old), and then press ENTER.
  7. Close the Search Results dialog box.
  8. Start Outlook.
  9. When you are prompted, click the new profile.
  10. Create a new task or appointment to see whether the problem is resolved.

Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Quit all programs.
  2. Click Start, and then click Search.
  3. Click All files and folders.
  4. In the All or part of the file name box, type extend.dat, outcmd.dat, frmcache.dat.
  5. In the Look in box, click Local Hard Drives.
  6. Click More advanced options.
  7. Click to select the Search hidden files and folders check box.
  8. Click Search to search for the files.

    The default locations for these files are in the following folders
    drive:\Windows
    drive:\Windows\Forms
    drive:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    where drive is the drive on which Windows is installed.

    NOTE: If you use profiles, these files may be located in your Profiles folder.
  9. For each file that appears in the Search Results dialog box, right-click the file, click Rename, type a new name for the file (for example, type extend.old), and then press ENTER.
  10. Close the Search Results dialog box.
  11. Start Outlook.
  12. When you are prompted, click the new profile.
  13. Create a new task or appointment to see whether the problem is resolved.

MORE INFORMATION

If the problem is resolved and you use a .pst file in the new and old profiles, change the new profile to use the old .pst file, or import the contents of the old .pst file into the new .pst file. For more information about how to create a new set of .pst files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
287456 How to work with personal folders files
For more information about other causes for this error, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
197036 Error message: Could not complete the operation
For more information about how to create profiles in Outlook 2002, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
287072 How to create a new e-mail profile for Outlook

Properties

Article ID: 320842 - Last Review: February 7, 2006 - Revision: 2.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb KB320842

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