What people are saying about "ExtraOutlook":
Slava - "This tool is just AWESOME!!!! Thanks again..."
Erin - "That. Is. Pimp."
Greg - "Life just got alot better. Thanks heaps!"
Greg's Mom - "Do me Thor! Do me!"
As long as Outlook has been around, people have been trying to get two instances running at the same time. Not multiple profiles that you can load when starting Outlook, but two separate instances running concurrently, each with their own associated profile. After all, Outlook (even 2007) only lets you connect to a single Exchange server per profile... And that sucks.
What would be great is to have one instance connected up to your "business" Exchange Server, and another connected up to your "personal" Exchange Server (and of course, to other people's Exchange servers who don't you know have an account on their box
If you've tried to do this, you've found that no matter what you do, you can't run two (or more) Outlooks at the same time, even if you try renaming .exe's, using command-line profile specifications, or any other tricks.
However, while futzing around one day trying to get two Outlooks running, I had what I thought was a great idea -- I'd configure a separate profile for Outlook under a different user account, and then use "RunAs" to launch Outlook as that user, and all of my dreams would come true. Boy, was I excited.
Well, it didn't work. In fact, it didn't work so well that it scared me.
When Outlook was launched via "RunAs" (no matter whether I executed Outlook.exe in a secondary "RunAs" command prompt or directly from the the interactive session), what happened was that a separate instance of Outlook did indeed launch, but it displayed the "concurrent" user's folders and NOT those of the user used to RunAs - no matter how you launched it! If during this time you viewed Task Manager, you would find that even though you saw two differnt windows running, and though you could interact with them individually (meaning, you could open different sets of folders in each separately, but they were for the same user) you only saw one instance of the .exe running. The first thing I thought was "Voodoo!!" I then said to myself, "Self, even though you launched it in a completely different user context, it hopped out of that user's space and hijacked your concurrent logon's files! WTF?"
During last year's Microsoft Ninjitsu training at Black Hat Vegas, I brought it up to my class and we all concurred that voodoo was afoot - even some Microsoft guys (who shall remain nameless) thought so and told me to STFU and to contact MSRC before talking about it anymore since it looked like Outlook was actually crossing user context borders.
True to "responsible disclosure," I called upon the skillz of Jason Geffner, a "reverse engineer" I work with at NGSSoftware. Jason is one of those irritatingly smart people that can do anything, so I knew he'd help me out (Actually, we've got lots of people like that at NGS
. As it turns out, Outlook is doing nothing close to what I feared. Basically, the second instance sees that another Outlook window is running in the same interactive logon space, and when it starts, it just calls another popup in the previous Outlook space and then terminates itself (that's close enough, anyway). The good news is that there is no "user hopping" or "boundary crossing" here. A more detailed explanation of the actual technical process is available on Jason's site.
The really good news is that Jason was able to intercept the exit process and patch the FindWindowA call to a NULL value, which started a completely separate Outlook instance and allowed a different profile to be selected on load! W00t! So, without further adieu, we are proud to present you with our "ExtraOutlook" tool that allows you to launch as many Outlook instances as you want. All you have to do is configure the profiles you want, and then type: ExtraOutlook.exe "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" (after you download it, of course).
Attendees of past Microsoft Ninjitsu classes have been using it for some time now (as all attendees get special access to the Hammer of God Member's Site) and we've not heard of any catastrophic failures (you know, like having all mailbox data destroyed without any hope of recovery).
Of course, use it at your own risk, and all standard warnings and disclaimers apply. Go nuts.
Ver 1.0 - Rel 1/11/08 - Public Release
Ver 1.1 - Rel 1/12/08 - Fixed error on XP
ver 1.2 - Rel 2/09/08 - Added support for Outlook 2003
ver 1.3 - Rel 1/15/09 - Added support for command line options