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Topic Title: Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem
Topic Summary: Problem been escalated to level III
Created On: 12/24/2020 10:14 PM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 12/24/2020 10:14 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - kkkwj - 12/25/2020 11:52 AM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 12/25/2020 05:51 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 12/25/2020 06:31 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 12/26/2020 12:19 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 12/26/2020 06:49 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Scribe - 12/25/2020 06:01 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 12/26/2020 11:59 AM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - ax - 12/26/2020 09:11 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/03/2021 11:15 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 01/04/2021 12:17 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - kkkwj - 12/26/2020 09:45 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - DigitalCyclist - 01/04/2021 01:05 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/04/2021 05:34 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 01/05/2021 12:06 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - bmac - 01/05/2021 10:58 AM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Lunis Orcutt - 01/05/2021 12:26 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/05/2021 07:44 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - bmac - 01/07/2021 01:29 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/05/2021 07:50 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Scribe - 01/05/2021 07:53 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - ax - 01/05/2021 08:02 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/05/2021 09:49 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Stephan Kuepper - 01/06/2021 03:33 AM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - Stuartzz - 01/08/2021 04:28 PM  
 Microsoft level 1 & 2 technicians unable to fix DPI related problem   - harpalus - 01/20/2021 11:49 PM  
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 12/24/2020 10:14 PM
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harpalus
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Microsoft technicians level 1 and level 2 have been unable to get Microsoft Word to work properly on my computer. Because the problem may be related to DPI 15.61 I'm posting information here. I'm writing this in WordPad. Basically put I'm starting to think that the DPI 15.61 add-in for Microsoft Outlook is totally incompatible with my Dell XPS computer.

 

1. Starting with approximately DPI 15.3 I began to have problems with freezes. If outlook was open and I was working in another application, the freezes would eventually occur, and the task manager which show that Outlook was using about 19 or 20% of my CPU. (I described such a freeze in the forum in September at https://www.knowbrainer.com/forums/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=4&threadid=34838&highlight_key=y&keyword1=15%2E3). If I closed Outlook, the task manager would still show that Outlook was using 19 or 20% or more of my CPU. I would have to go into the task manager and stop Outlook there.

 

2. DPI 15.61 did not fix the above problem for me. Outlook quite frequently would complain that the Dragon add-on was slowing it down by about 0.67 seconds as regards starting or closing. Outlook would suggest that the add-on should be disabled. I finally accepted that suggestion and worked for about a month with Outlook open and found that of course I could not do anything by voice with Outlook but that I could work and work and work with other applications without freezes while outlook was open.

 

3. Yesterday I uninstalled DPI 15.61 through the add remove feature of Windows, use the Nuance DragonRemovert to scrub any remaining remnants and reinstalled 15.61. I initially attempted to download 15.61 from the nuance site but was met with error after error from the nuance site. Fortunately I had a copy of the software on my drive, and I installed from that. DPI 15.61 appeared to be working fine.

 

4. I had Outlook open and was dictating a long overdue Christmas letter in Microsoft Word yesterday when something made me feel that Outlook had possibly received a message. I don't remember what made me feel that. At the same time a blue circle began revolving within Microsoft Word. I waited and waited but the blue circle kept revolving. It was impossible to do anything with Microsoft Word. I closed it and restarted and tried to save a new file that had a single letter and got the same blue circle.

 

5. Microsoft level I technician spent approximately two hours yesterday working on my computer remotely. She removed office, use the office removal tool to scrub it out, went into the registry and deleted things, look for remnants elsewhere and finally concluded she had removed everything. Reinstallation went fine but Microsoft Word stubbornly put up the blue circling circle when ever she tried to do anything with the program, save the file, look at options, etc. she then several times manually removed office and reinstalled without any success as regards fixing the problem.

 

6. Level 2 technician took control of my computer yesterday well after midnight. After more than an hour of trying to fix things he said he would resume work today. He did so and after repeatedly reinstalling office from the Internet, used the image of a DVD or CD that he had downloaded and that had all of the requisite files and installed from that. Other components of office work but Microsoft Word still does not. He tried various things such as disabling my normal graphics driver to check for software conflicts but could not find any. He downloaded Windows media creation tool, repaired Windows, gathered various log files and finally said that he did not know what was going on and was escalating to level 3 technicians who will contact me next week.

 

7. After I got back control of my computer, I had Outlook open and was manually working with another program. Suddenly I noticed that the task manager which was open in another monitor showed that Outlook was consuming about 20% of my CPU. Outlook had not apparently properly exited even though the window closed normally, and it was chewing up CPU.

 

8. During the time when the Outlook add-in was disabled, I did not have instances of Outlook chewing up CPU even when outlook was open while I worked in other programs with DPI 15.61. I'm getting very suspicious about the add-in for Outlook. However I notice now that Outlook no longer whines about the add-in slowing it down, but it's only been a short time since I regain control of the computer.

 

9. I will be posting some questions in separate threads because this one is so long. I will be asking people if they have successfully used a computer like mine, had problems with Outlook, etc.

 

10. At some time in the past before freezes became a major problem for people using DPI, I once or twice had to reinstall Windows because Microsoft Word stopped working properly and lower level technicians at Microsoft could not fix the problem. At that time there did not appear to be any relationship with the add-in for Outlook. The problems then were that for some reason Microsoft Word hung up while saving the file. Once that occurred, the program could no longer exit properly. In one instance a technician was able to manually remove office and reinstall it and get the program working. In other instances reinstalling Windows was necessary.

 

11. Neither of the Microsoft technicians who worked with my computer yesterday and today seem to think that there is a hardware problem but rather that there is some sort of a software issue. 

 

12. Any thoughts or suggestions will be much appreciated. I have been battling this problem for months. Manually working with Outlook has given me trigger fingers in both hands and other problems. I'm getting so desperate for a solution that I'm even starting to think about purchasing a different computer even though my current unit was purchased in July of last year and works perfectly with everything but Microsoft word and the DPI add-in for Outlook.


Dell XPS computer purchase July 2019

CPU:       Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00GHz- turbo mode up to 3.7 GHz

Cores / Threads: 8 / 8

Cache:          2048 KB L2 / 12288 KB L3

Physical Memory: 32573 GB Total / 25899 GB Available / 20 % Used

Operating System:     Microsoft Windows 10 Home

OS Platform:    Win32NT

OS Version:     6.2.9200.0

OS Language:    en-US

Nvidia GeForce RTX display adapter

Intel UHD graphics adapter (not used of course)

SpeechWare TwistMike

USB soundcard SpeechWare SpeechMatic MultiAdapter

DPI 15.60.200.016



-------------------------

GaryN



 12/25/2020 11:52 AM
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kkkwj
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Thanks for taking the time to post such a lengthy description of the problem. IMHO, the problem is very likely to be with the Dragon Outlook plugin. My recommendation is to stop using it. It sounds like there are at least two things going on:


First, Outlook has a huge amount of security and privacy "firewalls" and "behaviors" in it that scripts and plugins must anticipate and agree with. I do not think that the Dragon Outlook plugin does a good job of this.


Second, I think the Dragon Office plugins use COM technology, which can be tricky because it can be easy to generate memory leaks. In the case of Outlook, if some exception arises concerning privacy or security in the Dragon software exits out of a routine somewhere, it is probably leaking memory. One of the hallmarks of memory leaks is orphan processes consuming CPU on your task manager.


My recommendation is that you stop using that plugin. Rename it and disable it in every way that you can, because it will keep coming back if you do not go a good job of disabling it.


I imagine one day that I will write a plugin for Outlook myself, but I have so much to do that it will probably be years before that happens. :-) In the meantime, I write all of my important emails in word and then cut-and-paste them into Outlook. Dragon and Outlook have never really gotten along well together, IMHO. I do think it is possible because the Zoot software guy seems to have interfaced with Outlook quite well. I have read about his software but had never tried it out because it is too far away from my work patterns.

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 12/25/2020 05:51 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Considering how much time Microsoft spent on your computer and how much trouble you are having with Word and Outlook, we suspect your problem is hardware. Not specifically your computer but something like your computer's power supply, RAM etc. We recommend having your computer bench tested. Considering that Dragon uses considerable more RAM and computer resources, it may simply be the straw that breaks the camel's back. This would also explain why your computer works fine when Dragon isn't running.



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 12/25/2020 06:31 PM
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harpalus
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I agree with Scribe. I was surprised to receive another phone call from the Microsoft level II technician. He said that the level III technicians wanted him to download more logs from my computer. Microsoft people seem to feel that it is a software problem.

I noticed today that the DPI 15.61 add-in for Outlook was not present. That made sense because office was removed and reinstalled and removed and reinstalled several times by technicians. Suspect if I wanted it back I would have to reinstall DPI.

The big surprise for me and for the technician who took control of the computer today is that when Outlook is open it takes about three or 4% of the CPU as shown in the task manager. However, when the Outlook window is closed, the amount of CPU usage shoots up to 19 or 20% and stays there. Outlook never exits and keeps doing something that takes about 1/5 of the CPU.


A computer that I purchased in 2013 had problems with freezes when I was working with DPI. It went into semi retirement after I purchased my current computer in July 2019. I do use the 2013 computer several times a week with DPI 15.60.200.016. Not going to upgrade to 15.61 since everything works fine on the 2013 computer.


The big difference between usage of the 2013 computer and the 2019 unit, is that the 2013 computer no longer ever has Outlook opened. Problems with the 2013 computer vanished once Outlook was no longer used on it.

If the problems on the 2013 computer had been hardware, they would not have vanished once use of Outlook stopped.



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GaryN

 12/26/2020 12:19 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Originally posted by: harpalus I noticed today that the DPI 15.61 add-in for Outlook was not present. That made sense because office was removed and reinstalled and removed and reinstalled several times by technicians. Suspect if I wanted it back I would have to reinstall DPI. The big surprise for me and for the technician who took control of the computer today is that when Outlook is open it takes about three or 4% of the CPU as shown in the task manager. However, when the Outlook window is closed, the amount of CPU usage shoots up to 19 or 20% and stays there. Outlook never exits and keeps doing something that takes about 1/5 of the CPU. A computer that I purchased in 2013 had problems with freezes when I was working with DPI. It went into semi retirement after I purchased my current computer in July 2019. I do use the 2013 computer several times a week with DPI 15.60.200.016. Not going to upgrade to 15.61 since everything works fine on the 2013 computer. The big difference between usage of the 2013 computer and the 2019 unit, is that the 2013 computer no longer ever has Outlook opened. Problems with the 2013 computer vanished once Outlook was no longer used on it. If the problems on the 2013 computer had been hardware, they would not have vanished once use of Outlook stopped.

 



You shouldn't have to reinstall Dragon to reenable the NatSpeak Outlook Add-in unless you have deleted the Dragon add-in. Dragon should automatically reinstall the add-in when you launch Outlook.

 

There is a good chance that your freezing issue was caused by the combination of Outlook and Dragon Ver. 15.3. Nuance worked on the freezing headache for several years. Freezing was their #1 obstacle. Of course we agree that Outlook plays a major role in the freezing problem. This is supposed to be fixed in Ver. 15.6 but of course we know that Nuance didn't completely nail it.

 

As far as sticking with DPI 15.60 is concerned, we recommend against it. Ver. 15.6 is a prerelease that simply wasn't quite finished. The only notable differences are a MouseGrid fix, Microsoft certification, the ability to open desktop shortcuts and the ability to install Ver. 15.61 over Ver. 15.60 (without having to uninstall). In our opinion, there is simply no reason not to install Ver. 15.61.

 



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 12/26/2020 06:49 PM
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harpalus
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Composed in WordPad.


Lunis, many thanks for your thoughts. I do think the combination of Outlook and DPI 15.3 caused the freezes. However, for me DPI 15.61 was no better – before the current malfunction problems, if Outlook was open while I was dictating into a different program. Freezes would occur when Outlook was open. Now of course as mentioned below Outlook will not go away unless I killer through the task manager.



I don't really have a workaround because to get things done efficiently I need to be able to use a computer that can run three 27 inch monitors simultaneously so that I can have several files open to view information in them. When I reinstalled DPI 15.61 there were no error messages. However the problems with Microsoft Word not working began shortly afterwards. At this point there seemed to be no DPI add-in for Outlook. Don't know if it was ever installed or if all the things various technicians have been doing killed it. Add-in does not show up in Outlook is something that could be activated. Even if it did show up, outlook had major problems before Microsoft Word began malfunctioning.



Yesterday on Christmas day the Microsoft level II technician called and worked on the computer for several hours while I watched and entered authorizations for him to resume control after every reboot. He was unable to download all of the log files wanted by level III technicians. 



Today a level III technician worked several hours, did many things, but in the end was unable to fix the problems of Microsoft Word being unusable despite umpteen removals and reinstallation's of Microsoft 365 and was puzzled that he could not download all the log files necessary for analysis.



He wanted to refer the problems to a Windows Development team but said that that team would take several days before they began working on the problem. Disrupting my life at odd hours to sit by the computer for hours while technicians work is a stress and results in missed meals and other problems. I've told the technician that I'm not willing to wait days more before another higher level team takes over. I'm thinking about just wiping out windows and starting again. Technicians have gone into the registry several times, worked on individual sections of Windows, etc. there are absolutely no problems running programs other than Microsoft Word and Outlook. Despite all the work by technicians outlook when open takes just a small amount of CPU but when the Outlook window is closed, the amount of CPU skyrockets to 20% approximately. Outlook will not quit unless it is killed through the task manager.



I'm not even sure if I really have an intact copy of DPI 15.61. My copy was downloaded from the Nuance site soon after that version became available. However, before removing DPI and reinstalling it I tried to download a fresh copy from Nuance and was met with error after error that seemed to be coming from that site but who knows. The Russian hack may have disabled or made unreliable various sites.



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GaryN



 12/25/2020 06:01 PM
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Scribe
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I'm sorry, but I think a hardware problem is exceedingly unlikely. The use of Outlook in conjunction with Dragon has caused problems with Microsoft Word for years. The one failsafe solution, if you can call it a solution, is to close Microsoft Word before you open Outlook; then finish and close Outlook before reopening Microsoft Word.

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 12/26/2020 11:59 AM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Originally posted by: Scribe ...The one failsafe solution, if you can call it a solution, is to close Microsoft Word before you open Outlook; then finish and close Outlook before reopening Microsoft Word.


It's good that you have a workaround but we leave Dragon and Outlook running all the time. We frequently open and close Microsoft Word because it insists on bringing up other open documents when we open a document. While it is clear that Outlook struggles a bit with Dragon, or vice versa, we don't have any Outlook issues unless Dragon crashes. After relaunching Dragon, Outlook will function very well for a few minutes before crashing and relaunching itself. We are certainly not disagreeing with you but rather pointing out that most Word and Outlook 365 (2019) users are not experiencing anywhere near this much trouble. Dragon and Outlook additionally use far more resources and that's why we thought the issue might be your hardware but of course that was only a guess.



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 12/26/2020 09:11 PM
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ax
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Originally posted by: harpalus
Dell XPS computer purchase July 2019
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00GHz- turbo mode up to 3.7 GHz
...
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home
...
DPI 15.60.200.016


I feel for you and your tribulations. I think many of us have had intractable computer problems. My worst were years behind me (knock on something). But most recent was some fax modem queue issue (Yes fax. No don't ask. Just commiserate if you could), which sorted itself (sort of) after applying some voodoo fix I gleaned on Google.

I presume you have run the gamut of component testing especially pertaining to HDD and RAM.

After all that saga you have posted it would be very hard to have confidence in that computer of yours - in its current state, from hardware to software to its interface, i.e., drivers.

But don't throw it away of course given how new it is. If you haven't already, have you thought about reinstalling Windows with a generic copy from Microsoft instead of the "Dell Windows" with all of their drivers? And also along the line of "voodoo reasoning", if it is a machine on which even a small portion of your livelihood depend, do upgrade to WINDOWS PRO. Outlook (even without any add-in) is considered a semi-enterprise piece of software. And you also didn't tell us "which Outlook" you are using. At the very least eliminate this Pro vs Home distinction that you don't need.
 01/03/2021 11:15 PM
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harpalus
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Microsoft level 1-3 technicians could not solve problems, and I was told that the freezing of word and the Outlook problems – as listed in a separate topic – were known to Microsoft to very rarely occur. Technicians were frustrated that they could not download necessary log files for properly diagnosing what was going on. I reinstalled Windows 10 with a copy of Windows that was generated not by Dell but by using the media creation tool provided by Microsoft. 

I was utterly incorrect to think reinstalling Windows fixed anything regarding freezes when I try to use DPI 15.61 with Outlook and memory. After I totally reinstalled Windows 10, I had a few days in which I could use DPI 15.61 and Outlook together without problems. However, today things have gone back to Outlook and DPI 15.61 freezing when both are in memory. If I have Outlook open and am working in another program the CPU usage by Outlook will go up to approximately 20% once I close the Outlook window, and the the CPU usage by Dragon will go up to approximately 20%. If I leave the Outlook window open, CPU usage can also go up to 20% approximately by each program. Those usage numbers will not decrease. I am unable to use DPI 15.61 until I use the task manager to stop Outlook and then to stop DPI 15.61 and then turn off the computer and restart it and restart DPI 15.61 without Outlook being open.

Today after turning off the computer as above and restarting, the taskbar once I got into Windows had not only the normal Outlook icon but a very small Outlook icon with a red X through it. The Outlook window was not open. When I hovered my mouse over the small icon, a message popped up stating that another program was using Outlook and that I could fix that by starting Outlook and then exiting it. After a minute or so the strange small icon went away.

I went to the Dell support page today and ran the full approximately 40 minute stress test provided on the support page, with all of the external devices I use connected to my computer. Everything passed, with the test finding no problems whatsoever with hardware.

Apparently it is totally impossible to use DPI 15.61 and Outlook on my computer. I’ve used the Windows memory test to check memory, but that test reports no problems. At this point I’m thinking of resurrecting a Toshiba laptop that was purchased in 2013 and attempting to use DPI 15.61 and Outlook on it for handling my mail. While I was waiting for Microsoft level 1-3 technicians to hopefully solve the problem of Microsoft Word freezing by itself – only finally cured by reinstalling Windows – I updated the laptop as regards Windows software.

It would be so nice if Nuance rather than just raising prices, what actually helped with my problems. Microsoft certainly tried.



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GaryN

 01/04/2021 12:17 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Considering that very few Dragon end-users experience this problemc our best guess (which is nothing but a wild guess) is an incompatible utility which makes Dragon the catalyst but probably not the culprit. That's not to say that Ver. 15.61 doesn't have some problems with Outlook, because it does; just not to the extreme you are experiencing. This is not something that even Nuance Level III support can fix. We additionally suspect this isn't related to Dragon or Microsoft. We additionally suspect that you will not run into this problem on your other computer. We recommend closing any third-party utilities you can live without, to hopefully track down the culprit. Ditto for all other Outlook add-ins.

When mentioning that your CPU usage goes up to approximately 20%, you might also consider letting us know how much RAM you have. For example, Dragon is using .7% in our computer but can peak as high as 27% when we dictate a 15 word phrase. We are using 64 Gb of RAM. This would be 108% in 16 Gb of RAM but RAM doesn't work that way. The more RAM you have, the more RAM Windows will waste if it has enough headroom.

 

PS: When you reinstall Windows, it doesn't sound like you FDSKed. If nothing else works, you may have to resort to this extreme.



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 12/26/2020 09:45 PM
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kkkwj
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For what it is worth, I bought a $15 legal copy of Win10 Pro to install on my recent machine build. As I recollect, I found it on Amazon somewhere and thought for that price it was worth a try. The whole process was scary but worked flawlessly. Mind you, it probably won't do you any good since you've got a pile of files installed already. If you were inclined to upgrade, a Win10 Home->Pro upgrade would probably be much easier. The Windows upgrades have been excellent since Win7. I upgraded my win7 to win8 to Win10 all without problems on my old machine over a period of years.

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 01/04/2021 01:05 PM
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DigitalCyclist
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Which version of Outlook (or Office) are you running? I didn't see that anywhere in the description.

My personal sample size of 1 is seeing none of the problems you describe.
Running Windows 10 Pro with the subscription version of Office 365 installed locally along with DPG (rather than DPI) 15.61.

 01/04/2021 05:34 PM
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harpalus
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I have 32 GB of memory. Um, I'm not sure what FDSKed means. Outlook is part of my Microsoft 365 subscription. Unfortunately I don't think I have any nonessential programs on the computer. Probably will never buy another Dell computer because a 2013 purchased Dell computer had the same type of problems that I have described above. When I put that computer into semi retirement and used it for various things that never ever involved using Outlook, the problems went away, presumably because Windows had not been irretrievably damaged. My current computer was purchased in July 2019 from Dell and has the same problems that the 2013 Dell Computer had until I no longer used outlook on the 2013 unit.

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GaryN

 01/05/2021 12:06 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Originally posted by: harpalus...I'm not sure what FDSKed means...

 

FDSK is a fairly common term used for reformatting your hard drive and starting over from scratch.



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 01/05/2021 10:58 AM
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bmac
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I am also a heavy user of Microsoft office 365 with considerable dependence on Outlook and Excel with 15.61 always running. I continue to have performance issues including freeze ups, loss of recognition capability, and even one time when DNS simply dropped out of sight. If you notice my profile, I am not running a slouch system. But, unfortunately, I can't pinpoint where the problem is and I'm not sure I could tolerate in my daily routine to only run one Microsoft office app at a time.

So I was interested to see the suggestion about disabling the Outlook add-in. I tried that and along with the help of DragonCapture, I was able to dictate in Outlook email with the add-in disabled. I might try that for a while to see if the number of issues decreases any.

It will be interesting to see if the Microsoft III tech support can get any closer to what may be happening.

-------------------------

Bill
DPI 15.61, KB 2017, SpeechStart +, customized Desktop PC (AMD 12 core 9th gen Ryzen 9 3900x@3.8 GHz, 32 GB DDD4 SSD), Crucial 1 TB m.2 PCIe NVMe SSD HDD, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Philips SpeechMike Air 4000, Philips speech Mike 3500, SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMike, MS Office 365 Professional and Microsoft Surface Pro 2017, Windows 10, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB ram, i7

 01/05/2021 12:26 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Originally posted by: bmac ...I was interested to see the suggestion about disabling the Outlook add-in. I tried that and along with the help of DragonCapture, I was able to dictate in Outlook email with the add-in disabled...


Disabling the Outlook Dragon add-in is simple enough and will probably fix your Dragon stability but you will have 2 potential issues:


1. You will forfeit Dragon's Select-&-Say and Active Accessibility features.
2. You may or may not be able to dictate into Outlook without DragonCapture.

When we use Microsoft Edge's small Reply box, on this forum, we enjoy Dragon Select-&-Say capability but when we maximize the Reply field, which we need for longer replies, we lose Select-&-Say and the ability to dictate; other than through DragonCapture. We really miss Select-&-Say correcting/editing. It's a bit like trading in your gas guzzling V-8 for a fuel economic four-cylinder. You'll still get where you're going but not as quickly. At least not here in hillbilly land where not all roads are paved, include speed limits or even mapped.



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 01/05/2021 07:44 PM
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harpalus
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Bmac, thanks for your post. So few people have responded that they have freeze or other problems with DPI 15.61 that I was starting to think that I should try and buy a new computer to replace my Dell XPS 8300 desktop purchased in July 2019. The fact that you are having problems with freezing and stability convinces me that I am not the only one with problems and that scraping together the money to buy a new unit might just provide me with another computer that has problems. Many thanks for your post.

Lunis, thanks for the FDSK info. I went to a Microsoft site and used media creation tool to install the window 10 files on a flash drive. I then contacted the excellent Dell premium support and had a technician review with me the 2 choices offered when computer booted to flash drive. Choice 1 basically repair Windows. Choice 2 reinstall Windows and move all previous window installation and my data files to a folder entitled Windows.old. I selected choice 2. After the reinstallation was complete, I had to manually install the programs that I use and re-issue passwords and so forth. There was no choice that mentioned reformatting, presumably because my Windows drive is solid-state. Stress tests available at the Dell support site have been run and report no hardware problems.

Microsoft outlook has repeatedly put up messages stating that it wants to disable the Dragon add-in for Outlook because it slows down starting and stopping Outlook by approximately 0.68 seconds.

Microsoft technicians level III have passed the Outlook and Microsoft word problems off to the Microsoft Disability Desk. A level I technician today from that desk logged onto my computer and watched me dictate briefly into a new email in Outlook. She was very impressed with what could be done with DPI 15.61 and watched as I sorted mail into folders by voice, dictated a message and easily edited it. She observed that when I closed Outlook, the CPU usage by Outlook went upward from approximately 1-3% while the window was open to approximately 20%. The CPU usage by Dragon went up to approximately 20%, and Dragon experienced a freeze that lasted several minutes. After the several minutes Outlook finally vanished from memory and Dragon was again functional.

The technician had me do various operations. In summary, she concludes - as I have done previously - that when the add-on for Outlook enabled, I sometimes can work by voice with Outlook before problems occur. When the add-on is disabled, no problems occur, but I can't really use DPI 15.61 to dictate efficiently within Outlook.

The technician looked at a log file and said that she will be contacting Nuance to inform them that there is a problem with the add-in for Outlook.


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GaryN

 01/07/2021 01:29 PM
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bmac
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Microsoft outlook has repeatedly put up messages stating that it wants to disable the Dragon add-in for Outlook because it slows down starting and stopping Outlook by approximately 0.68 seconds.

this happens to me all of the time as well.

Many thanks for your detailed posts and all of your time on the phone with Microsoft support. And let's hope the big Microsoft stick swinging at Nuance will do something for all of us.

 



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Bill
DPI 15.61, KB 2017, SpeechStart +, customized Desktop PC (AMD 12 core 9th gen Ryzen 9 3900x@3.8 GHz, 32 GB DDD4 SSD), Crucial 1 TB m.2 PCIe NVMe SSD HDD, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Philips SpeechMike Air 4000, Philips speech Mike 3500, SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMike, MS Office 365 Professional and Microsoft Surface Pro 2017, Windows 10, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB ram, i7

 01/05/2021 07:50 PM
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harpalus
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As a separate message
transcript of long session with Microsoft technician Marilou. She was on the phone during the session that lasted approximately 1.5 hours. Support log doesn't provide any technical information because that was discussed verbally, but am posting log in case it is of any interest.

****&*&****
IF MORE PEOPLE HAVE STABILITY PROBLEMS WITH DPI 15.61, PLEASE LET ME KNOW SO THAT MICROSOFT CAN BE INFORMED THAT THE STABILITY PROBLEMS INVOLVE MORE THAN 2 PEOPLE.
****************

Microsoft technicians have spent many hours trying to fix things.
2:31 PM Connecting...
2:31 PM Connected. A support representative will be with you shortly.
2:31 PM Support session established with Marilou.
2:31 PM Marilou restarting application as Windows system service
2:31 PM Application running as Windows system service
2:31 PM Connecting...
2:31 PM Connected. A support representative will be with you shortly.
2:31 PM Support session established with Marilou.
2:31 PM You have granted Marilou permission to control your desktop. To revoke, click the red X on the toolbar or press Pause/Break on the keyboard.
2:31 PM Remote Control started by Marilou.
3:44 PM Marilou has stopped servicing requests. Please wait.
3:44 PM Remote Control by Marilou stopped.
3:45 PM Support session established with Marilou.
3:45 PM Remote Control started by Marilou.
4:01 PM Marilou has ended the session.
4:01 PM Remote Control by Marilou stopped.




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GaryN

 01/05/2021 07:53 PM
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Scribe
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Gary, thank you for pursuing this with Microsoft, because it will benefit all of us if Microsoft can persuade Nuance to improve the add-in. I can testify that these problems go back many versions in Dragon, even if I have never had such extreme difficulties as you have experienced. For the moment, I wonder if Speech Productivity might be useful to you? From what I have been reading about it, you might be able to use it for dictation in Outlook after disabling the add-in. It seems to allow more editing than Dragon Capture, which might be what you need.



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 01/05/2021 08:02 PM
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ax
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Question Gary:

It sounds to me that you are using Outlook 365 Desktop App to primarily get things done by voice, no?  I don't think you are using just "Outlook 365" in a browser (which would be more keyboard intensive).

 

An offhand thought is that if you still have copies of old Office 2013 or 2016 lying around, dust these off and see if Outlook 2013/6 gives you the same headache, when configured to use Office 365 online.  These are still officially supported on the latest flavour of Win 10.

 

And make sure stuff like "cached exchange mode" remains unchecked ... basically everything as "simple" and default as they can be.

 

Best of luck and hope your problem gets sorted.

 

(In the meantime, some of my outgoing faxes are stuck in "Pending" for no apparent reason again ... It is what it is ¯\_(!!)_/¯ ... Yes there is eFax - now you see how they are driving us all to pay for "SaaS" and "Cloud".)



 01/05/2021 09:49 PM
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harpalus
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Many thanks scribe for the information.

I am using the desktop version of Microsoft 365. I have a license for Speech Productivity but I haven't attempted to reinstall speechproductivity because I want to keep things as simple as possible while trying to fix the ongoing problem with Outlook. After I reinstalled Windows, I briefly ran Knowbrainer but then stopped using it because of my desire to keep things as simple as possible.

I noticed that with the Outlook add-in disabled, I am still able to use voice to sort mail into folders that are contained within an archive pst file. At this stage I'm somewhat afraid of using Outlook for fear that somehow it might negatively interact with Windows even with the add-in disabled. I've got to think more about what to do. The session today with the Microsoft technician used up time I had allotted for getting Outlook and DPI up and running on an old Toshiba laptop. Still going to see if that approach is viable.



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GaryN

 01/06/2021 03:33 AM
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Stephan Kuepper
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FWIW, Microsoft and Nuance are playing carrot on a stick. Whenever Nuance updates their Office Add-ins, MS updates their apps. MS couldn't care less about any third-party add-ins; they simply leave it up to the third party to fix them. I can totally understand why Nuance is frustrated about their MS add-ins (and they are).

From a supporter's point of view, Dragon and MS Office can be a nightmare because it works 99.9% of the time, but when it doesn't, there seems to be no way to fix it, and nobody seems to know exactly what causes the issue. I have ongoing cases dating back to 2017. Therefore, while you might get lucky by pure chance, prepare a plan B if you rely on Dragon for your everyday work, because there probably won't be a solution.

The silly Outlook message about the Dragon Add-in slowing down Outlook for 0.003 seconds should be ignored as the nonsense it is. Do NOT EVER disable the add-in just because Outlook tells you so. On the contrary, put it in the list of items that are never disabled. That will at least stop the message from popping up. Do NOT EVER attempt to remove the Outlook add-in because you won't be able to add it back in. Disable it by all means if it helps, but NEVER remove it.

As to your Plan B, if you find that disabling the add-in helps, get used to the Dragon dictation box, or get any of the third-party utilities that Rob, RĂ¼diger and others advertise on this forum. Anyway, try to define what exactly you want, and choose the alternative means by which to reach it. The combined forum intelligence will suggest you any number of solutions, but it may be better to open a new thread for this.

Hope that helps, Stephan

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 01/08/2021 04:28 PM
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Stuartzz
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The Microsoft Outlook add-in made my life bad for years. It freezes my work computer badly.
This is my low-tech hack to composing Microsoft Outlook messages:
- have Microsoft Word pinned to be the first item in the taskbar
- have Microsoft Outlook add-in turned off
- as soon as I turn my computer on at the start of the day and turn on Dragon, I say "press windows key one" which opens word and means the leftmost item on my taskbar is a blank word document which I will use for dictating
- if I am in Outlook message and I want to dictate, I activate my following macro called "text edit"
Sub Main

SendDragonKeys "hbtrhrd"
Wait 0.1
SendDragonKeys "{ctrl+a}"
SendDragonKeys "{ctrl+c}"
SendSystemKeys "{win+1}"
Wait 0.1
SendSystemKeys "{ctrl+a}"
SendDragonKeys "{ctrl+v}"
Wait 0.5
SendDragonKeys "{ctrl+home}"
Wait 0.5
SendSystemKeys "{ctrl+h}"
SendDragonKeys "hbtrhrd"
SendDragonKeys "{alt+f}"
SendDragonKeys "{esc}"
SendDragonKeys "{del}"
SendDragonKeys "{esc}"

End Sub

- Then I create and edit content in Microsoft Word
- I ensure that the last window I was in, was the Microsoft Outlook message of interest, and that all of the content in that Microsoft Outlook message is still selected (you don't really have to do this step much)
- then I activate my macro called "text transfer"
Sub Main

SendDragonKeys"{ctrl+a}"
SendDragonKeys"{shift+left}"
SendDragonKeys"{ctrl+x}"
SendSystemKeys"{alt+tab}"
SendSystemKeys"{ctrl+v}"

End Sub

This approach also works for other non-Select-and-Say situations (e.g. Microsoft Edge), just like it works for the above-described non-Select-and-Say environment of a Microsoft Outlook message with the NaturallySpeaking Outlook add-in turned off. Apologies for that sentence :-)


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Stuartzz

 01/20/2021 11:49 PM
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harpalus
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It appears nothing will be done to fix the above problem. I lost day after day trying to obtain a fix. Microsoft level I technicians were unable to download from my computer essential files that would let them know what software items were in conflict. Level 2 and 3 technicians also could not get the necessary log files. Microsoft engineering bounced the problem over to a level I technician in the disability desk. She took remote control of my computer and observed the problems and said she would call Nuance. Subsequently she said that she could not get through the robotic system because it required pressing numbers to get to a technician. Like all of the other Microsoft technicians she is based in the Philippines. Her phone system does not allow her to press numbers during a call. She wanted to tie the call from the Philippines (which goes to Microsoft headquarters in the Seattle area) to my cell phone and have me press the numbers. For various reasons I was afraid that I would end up paying for the overseas call and suspected that the reason Microsoft did not provide her with the ability to navigate robotic phone systems is that she is expected to just work with Microsoft customers who need help with Microsoft products rather than try to work with other software firms.

I began using Outlook on my old Toshiba laptop. When I started, it had Windows 10 and version 15.3 of Dragon. That version initially worked with Outlook without any problems. However, one day when I tried to start Outlook on the Toshiba, I got a message stating that Microsoft was updating office. I was able to use Outlook subsequently that day. When I turned on the computer the next morning and tried to access Outlook using DPI 15.3, I immediately began getting freezes. I updated to version 15.61 and am using that without freezes on the Toshiba. However, it is a major inconvenience that have my email separate from my desktop that has materials I also want to refer to.

I’m starting to think that a potential catalyst for the problems might be the powerful graphics card that came with the computer, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060  6 GB GDDR6. Shortly after I began using the computer in July 2019 I noticed that its fans were running quite a bit. Something called Nvidia container was using approximately 20% of the CPU. That usage didn’t slow the computer down a bit but did result in the fans running a lot. Dell technicians tried reinstalling the graphics driver, but that did not fix the problem. Ultimately the technicians contacted Nvidia and got a driver that had not yet been released. That new driver fixed the problem. The new driver now appears to be automatically reloaded by Windows when Windows is reinstalled on the computer because of a conflict with Outlook that irreparably damages Office and Windows.

Before I switched to the Toshiba computer, I disconnected on my Dell computer the DPI add-in from Outlook – Outlook was repeatedly complaining that the add-in slowed down starting of Outlook by approximately 0.8 of the second. Without the add-in I was able to use DPI 15.61 and the script from Knowbrainer to sort mail into various folders. However, I soon found that even with the add-in disconnected, Outlook and DPI 15.61 were not compatible on my unit. When I would quit Outlook, a freeze would start that consisted of Outlook taking about 20% of my CPU and DPI taking another 20%. Quite often the freezes were so bad that I had no control over the computer and had to press the power button to turn it off – something that can potentially damage programs and make Windows unreliable.

 

If you are thinking about purchasing a new computer, you might want to consider avoiding the hardware combination for my current Dell desktop. (If I don’t try and use DPI while Outlook is open, things seem to work fairly well, but even using DPI with Microsoft Word while Outlook is open, can create a total freeze.) All of the Microsoft technicians who worked on my computer agreed that the problems are software related rather than hardware. I’ve run diagnostics on the Dell computer with the result of everything passing as okay.

 

Dell XPS computer purchased July 2019

CPU:       Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00GHz- turbo mode up to 4.7 GHz

Cores / Threads: 8 / 8

Cache:          2048 KB L2 / 12288 KB L3

Physical Memory: 32573 GB Total / 25899 GB Available / 20 % Used

512 GB SSD, 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD

Operating System:     Microsoft Windows 10 Home version 20H2

OS Platform:    Win32NT

OS Build 19042.685

OS Language:    en-US

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060  6 GB GDDR6 display adapter

Intel UHD graphics adapter (not used of course)

SpeechWare TwistMike

USB soundcard SpeechWare SpeechMatic MultiAdapter

DPI 15.61

Microsoft 365



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GaryN

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