Equisys technical notes

Technical guidance, explanations and fixes for our products

PRB: Zetafax form produces error message and does not load



ID: ZTN1126

This Zetafax technical note applies to:

  • Zetafax and later
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 and later


When attempting to open a received fax or other Zetafax form in Outlook, you receive the error message 'The custom form could not be opened.' and the item is opened with a regular Outlook form instead.


The Outlook form cache has become corrupted making it impossible for Outlook to display the cached copy of the relevant form.


You will need to clear the Outlook form cache to resolve this issue. This process is dependant on the version of Outlook you have installed. Follow the instructions in the relevant section below to clear the form cache:

Microsoft Outlook 2000 SR-1/SR-1a

SR-1/1a includes a new button to clear the Outlook forms cache. This button is used when you are experiencing a problem with a custom Outlook form.

Once Outlook SR-1/SR-1a is installed, you can use the following steps to clear the Outlook forms cache:

  1. On the 'Tools' menu, click 'Options', and then click the 'Other' tab.
  2. Click 'Advanced Options'.
  3. On the 'Advanced Options' box, click 'Custom Forms'.
  4. On the 'Custom Forms' box, click 'Manage Forms'.
  5. On the 'Forms Manager' box, click 'Clear Cache'.

This button performs the following actions:

  • Destroys the current cache object in memory.
  • Deletes the current FRMCACHE.DAT file.
  • Deletes subdirectories containing any prior cached forms.
  • Creates a new cache (for default Outlook forms only).

Microsoft recommend downloading SR-1/1a from their website to resolve form cache issues and thus provide no information on regenerating the form cache on previous versions of Outlook 2000.

Microsoft Outlook 98

To properly regenerate the Outlook forms cache, it is necessary to first delete the existing forms cache and then reinstall the Outlook support components.

To remove all forms cache files from your computer, follow these steps:

WARNING: In the following steps, do not delete the folder named \Configs.

  1. On the 'Windows' taskbar, click 'Start', point to 'Programs', and then click 'Windows Explorer'.
  2. In 'Windows Explorer', navigate to the \Windows\Forms folder on your hard drive. This folder may also be at one of two locations depending on operating system:

\Documents and Settings\%user%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms

\WINNT\Profiles\%user%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Forms

where '%user%' is the name of the NT logon name for the user experiencing this problem.

  1. In the \Forms folder, delete each sub-folder with the exception of the \Configs folder. Also delete the FRMCACHE.DAT file and any other files in the \Forms folder.

Microsoft also recommend reinstalling the Outlook support components to complete this process.

To reinstall the support files, follow these steps:

  1. On the 'Start' menu, click 'Settings' and then click 'Control Panel'.
  2. Double-click 'Add/Remove Programs' and then click 'Microsoft Outlook 98'. Click 'Add/remove'.
  3. In Outlook 98 Active Setup Maintenance, click 'Add New Components'. In Add New Components, click 'Install from CD or Install from Web'.
  4. In Outlook 98 Active Setup, click 'Yes' when prompted that Active Setup will determine which components are installed.
  5. In Mail Components, click either 'Internet Only E-mail Service' or 'Corporate or Workgroup E-mail Service'. You will be prompted to reinstall the existing component. Click 'Yes'.


This has been identified by Equisys as a problem with the software versions given above.


Information in this document has been compiled with the aid of various Microsoft articles. Further information relating to the Outlook form cache can be obtained by searching for the following articles on the Microsoft web site:

How the form cache works.

Custom form produces error message and does not load.

How to troubleshoot the Outlook forms cache.

How to clear the Outlook forms cache.

New button available for clearing the forms cache.

Last updated: 12 March 2001 (GC/DH)

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