More Exchange and Outlook Madness

I’m working on a followup to my memory management article and a writeup on a MAPI deleted profile bug I ran across recently, but this takes precedence.

Exchange and Outlook on the same machine is bad. In my last post I waved my hands about some scenarios which could lead to a crash. I got a dump today which illustrates one. The issue originally manifested as heap corruption in MFCMAPI while opening a message store. We enabled pageheap on the process to see what was corrupting the heap. Here’s the stack we got:

0:000> kL ChildEBP RetAddr
0012f2bc 77fb44fb NTDLL!RtlpDphIsNormalHeapBlock+0x86

0012f4d0 35525bda NTDLL!RtlFreeHeap+0x85
0012f4e0 35525b6e MSMAPI32!LH_ExtHeapFree+0x19
0012f50c 62a5248b MSMAPI32!MAPIFreeBuffer+0x64
0012f778 62a530dd emsmdb32!HrSetupOffline+0x144
0012f834 62cd1755 emsmdb32!RMSP_Logon+0x2c4
0012f894 62cd1478 mapi32!HrIntDoOneClientLogon+0x8a
0012f8b0 62cd0f25 mapi32!HrIntClientStoreLogon+0x47
0012f920 62cd1422 mapi32!HrCommonOpenStore+0x3c3
0012f9a0 004310b6 mapi32!SESSOBJ_OpenMsgStore+0x56
0012f9d0 004321c7 MFCMapi!CallOpenMsgStore+0x66

I’ve trimmed the stack a little to get to the heart of the issue. We’re corrupting the heap when we call RtlFreeHeap. Notice that mapi32 and msmapi32 both appear on this stack. Here’s the versions of both (again, output is trimmed):

0:000> lmvm mapi32
Image path: C:WINNTsystem32mapi32.dll
Timestamp: Sat Jun 12 00:17:32 2004 (40CA83DC)
File version: 6.0.6603.0
ProductName: Microsoft Exchange
0:000> lmvm MSMAPI32
Image path: C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapi1033MSMAPI32.DLL
Timestamp: Tue Dec 16 20:39:51 2003 (3FDFB3E7)
File version: 10.0.6515.0
ProductName: MAPI32

So what’s the problem? We have two competing versions of MAPI loaded into the same process!

Emsmdb32.dll made a call to GetProps to get some properties on a profile. The resulting LPSPropTagArray was allocated using Exchange’s MAPI32.dll. Later, Emsmdb32.dll calls MAPIFreeBuffer to clean up this memory. Somehow, Outlook’s MSMAPI32.dll ended up handling this call. Since Outlook’s MSMAPI32.dll doesn’t know anything about the heaps created by Exchange’s MAPI32.dll, we end up corrupting the heap during this free. Without pageheap enabled, this corruption is silent, and doesn’t rear it’s ugly head until later on when we try allocating some memory against the corrupted heap.

After removing Outlook from the box, this problem went away.

Comments (8)

  1. hey, stephen —

    you might have already gotten beaten down on this, but …

    when you include such a long <pre> block in your blog, it totally trashes the agg view for everything else. just an fyi; i’m not really sure how to avoid it. perhaps only aggregating the summary?

    feel free to not approve this on the mod; i really don’t think it needs to be public.



  2. Removed <PRE></PRE> blocks.

    Anyone who can to explain to me how to format code in a blog, please speak up. My first attempt (using <PRE></PRE>) was a failure. I seriously can’t believe I have to edit each individual line to apply proper formatting so I must be missing something obvious. Is there some sort of code tag I should be using?

  3. Realizing that this is an older topic, I’ve had a recent desire to add Outlook 2003 to a Small Business Server 2003 for the sole purpose of managing a shared Business Contact Manager database.  There would be no Exchange account added to this Outlook instance.  So, in that case, do you think there are any conflicts?

  4. Stephen Griffin says:


    Outlook and Exchange installed on the same machine are not supported. It doesn’t matter what else you try to throw into the equation.

  5. huandao says:

    HI Stephen,

    I have Outlook installed and connect to an Exhange Server that is not reside in the same box. I have an application that use MAPI to get contacts from Contact Folder. If I config Outlook not to use Cached Exchange Mode (in E-mail Account Setting), everything is fine. Problem is when I try to config Outlook to use Cached Exchange Mode. My application can perform the search in Contact Folder and get all the contacts, and after awhile it would crash. I trace the crash in it was in Emsmdb32.dll. I don’t know why it wouldn’t crash right away.

    I searched the web so far and did not find any answer to this question. I also read your article about having exchange server and outlook in the same machine, but this case there is no exchange server in the box I’m using Outlook and my application.


    Huan Dao

  6. Stephen Griffin says:

    Huan ,

    You might try turning on pageheap (use gflags.exe) to see if you can track this to heap corruption. Ultimately though, you may need to open a case with support so they can look at your dump.


  7. Tc says:


  8. Stephen Griffin says:

    What is "this" which you just found, and what replacement file are you referring to?