Errors Opening ViewMail for Outlook

Paul Smith
Senior Engineer I

Under certain circumstances, when opening Outlook on a Windows computer, ViewMail may throw the following error:

Cisco ViewMail encountered one or more errors.  ViewMail functionality is not available for the following Outlook email accounts(s): [sic]

(Gives the name of the account, probably “Microsoft Exchange Server”)

To send a log file to your system administrator for troubleshooting, from the Help menu, select Cisco ViewMail for Outlook, then Email Log Files.

This error arises because ViewMail logins are case sensitive when it comes to the username.  When ViewMail is installed, and Outlook is opened, an initialization wizard is run that creates a hash which includes the username (including the domain name).  The username in that hash is compared to the credentials provided in every subsequent login.  If the cached credentials don’t match the current login, ViewMail will not work and will post the above warning.  The moral of the story is to make users log in the way they will always log in before installing ViewMail.  They should then continue to login that way.

The suggestion is to log in using all lowercase usernames because logging into a computer and then into a network using the Cisco VPN client will ALWAYS pass a lower case username even when upper case letters are typed.

If things get messed up there are three workarounds.  Realize that workaround number 1 is Cisco sanctioned, but numbers 2 and 3 aren’t so much.  Also realize that numbers 2 and 3 require an engineer to play with the registry of the computer which can cause very icky things to happen if done incorrectly.  By “icky” I mean that things stop working, like, forever.  Therefore, proceed with caution.

1)    Uninstall ViewMail.  Restart the computer.  Let the user log in the way he or she wants to be.  Reinstall ViewMail.  Rerun the VMO Initialization Wizard.

2)    Make sure the user is logged in the way he or she wants to be.  Make sure Outlook is closed (but that the wizard was run).  Go to the Registry, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Cisco Systems, and delete the ViewMail for Outlook key as well as all of its subkeys.  Reopen Outlook.  The Initialization Wizard should pop up.  Once the wizard is rerun, ViewMail will continue to work using the current username.

3)    EXTRA CARE HERE: Cisco says the following workaround may affect the ability of VMO to do single sign-on.  We didn’t see it, but the guy we worked with did!  If you’re still game to try it, go to the Registry, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Cisco Systems > ViewMail for Outlook > Profiles > (username of the person) > Servers > Microsoft Exchange Server.  Look for the value named “PasswordEnc”.  This is the value that holds the hash.  Delete this value.  From that point on it won’t matter what case is used, the person will be able to log in.  This will continue to work unless the Initialization Wizard is run manually, at which point the hash will be recreated.  EXTRA WARNING: Cisco says this could affect the ability of VMO to do single sign-on, although that was not our experience.

Update: The word was that Cisco’s new version of ViewMail wouldn’t be case sensitive.  However, version 8.6.7 came out on 6/12/2012, we tested it, and it sufferes from the same issue.

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