Outlook 2003 - 2 Users Receiving messages that are garbled

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Outlook version
Email Account

I have 2 Windows 7 32 bit users, both using Outlook 2003 SP3 that have began to receive .PDF attachments that are garbled.

The attachment is actually removed from both users emails, the sender is the same (sent from India) and the (Email Provider is in India) and the message is displayed as a mangled mess.

Just this morning I received a report from another user that is running Windows XP SP3 with Outlook 2003 SP3 and he also stated he received a garbled message.

I have reset IE to default for both users which did not work.

I downgraded one user from IE9 to IE8, which also did not work.

Both Windows 7 users were BCC'd.

I can send both of them a .PDF file from inside our organization and they both receive it successfully and can read it as well.

When they receive external .PDF files, the messages are garbled text and the attachment is gone.


Thanks in advance.
After I finished the initial post it seems odd that both were actually BCC'd and encountered issues. I have requested that India send the emails directly rather than BCC for testing.
BCC *shouldn't* make a difference, but it might. What antivirus/antispam scanner do you use on the server? It's likely that the scan is corrupting the pdf. If you can whitelist list the Indian domain, that could solve it.
Thanks for the response. I am not certain what they are using on the server as it is hosted by the ISP in India. I can do some checking though. Thanks again.
Are you using anything on the computers? I think its either corrupting as the server receives it, otherwise mail you send to coworkers would be affected or it's getting corrupt on the senders side.
Thank you for the response. I checked with India and they stated that there is no AV scanning being performed, and that Iron Port is used for spam. I am positive something on the originators side is causing it however corporate is not in agreement with me.

I am not scanning anything as it arrives. The other obvious point blank issue is that both users began to experience the same problem within days of each other.
I used web mail to check the attachment and it was readable. Something must be corrupt. I created a new email profile but I am waiting to verify the report once it is sent...which will be Monday.
Since it is readable on the web, the problem is on your end. I'd try Outlook in Safe mode.

You can test it with the messages left on the server by creating a new profile in Outlook - don't delete the one you are using now, make a new one with this account. Make sure you set Outlook to leave mail on the server before you open the profile in Outlook.
Thanks for the response. I have been extremely busy in replying. I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but when I forward a PDF as an attachment, both recipients can read it. I did create a new profile and that did not help. The report was received and it was still garbled. I created an account on my laptop using OL2010 and received the report fine. I guess I will need to uninstall / re-install office 2003 on the users computer and go from there.
If you mentioned that its fine when you forward it, I missed it. That indicates the message header is corrupt and when you forward it, outlook rewrites the header, fixing the corruption. I've seen similar happen with files sent from a Mac - the attachment is not visible until you hit forward. The attachment always seems to be PDF, but I'm not sure if that is because its the most common format shared between mac and windows or if only pdf is affected.
Thanks for the reply. I did mention it in my original post. So, any idea on how to fix it? I will try an uninstall/reinstall today and see what happens.
I don't think uninstall/reinstall will fix it, but its worth a try. Does it work as expected (with newly arrived messages) if you use Safe mode?

If you leave mail on the server, you can make a new profile to test it with existing messages - make the profile using control panel, Mail then hold ctrl as you open Outlook and select the new profile.
Using a different computer I quickly setup the users POP3 account. I received the .PDF report from the server and it opened successfully and was perfectly readable. So now what. It is definitely something wrong on the original computer, but what.

I took the new .PST file that was created on the other computer, and copied it over to the users computer. The user was able to open the same .PDF file that I opened on the other computer. We will see what happens as the report won't get fired off again until tomorrow.
Is the second computer set up identical to the first? I think something is setting between the 'bad outlook' computer and mail server that Outlook doesn't like and it is causing problems.
Diane, thanks for assisting with this. Here is what I just tried. I logged into the users web mail which displays the .PDF properly. I forwarded the .PDF to the users email, and closed web mail. Using log me in, I connected to the computer and opened Outlook. I received the .PDF and opened it without any issues. What do you think?

I am perplexed with these email issues. First it was attachment issues, now .PDF issues.
This issue is cascading to other users now. Other .PDF reports are coming through garbled. It has got to be a server side issue.
I installed Outlook 2010 on a problem computer and the report was opened without issue.
That's interesting. It shouldn't make a difference when you use a pop account. Did you install 32 or 64bit Outlook?
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