Each of us has had issues with Outlook OneDrive or other Office 365 themes in the past. Microsoft has provided some time ago a new tool, which they have named SaRA.
In this article, I’d like to talk a bit more about this very helpful tool.
SaRA stays for Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365 and is a diagnostic tool, which helps us to fix issues and collect data for analysing our issue.
For what we can use SaRA?
The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SaRA) uses advanced diagnostics to report known problems and details about your Microsoft Outlook configuration. Reported problems are linked to public-facing documentation (usually a Microsoft Knowledge Base article) for possible fixes. If you’re a Helpdesk professional, you can review customer reports that are generated in HTML format.
Fix problems with Office 365 SaRA
When you start the wizard, first you must sign in with your Office 365 account. SaRA then will display various troubleshooting sections. That means, that you first have to choose in which area you need help.
After general selection, the following pages with further options for the problem will appear. So, you have to click through the issues until the problem can not be narrowed down.
As part of the wizard, you can also specify whether the problem is with the current computer, or whether you have problems with the connection on another computer. If the problem computer is the current computer, SaRA scans the PC, and can also display, for example, the installed browsers. This can be used for example, to resolve connectivity issues with Outlook Web App from Office 365.
SaRA actively helps with problem solving
Once you have provided all the information, SaRA may request further action, such as registration or a specific selection. Then the tool tests the connection to Office 365, tries to fix the problem actively, or gives you clues as to what the error might be. This allows users to fix a problem themselves, or at least give administrators options to narrow down the problem.
SaRA also helps with teamwork issues, such as mailbox sharing issues. Since this topic is not very easy, users often do not come to the solution, but will receive appropriate advice from SaRA. To do this, select the option Outlook / I’m having issue with delegate permissions or one of the other options. Then enter the e-mail address of the users involved. Then SaRA looks for configuration or permission issues.
Office 365 SaRA not only provides guidance on how to fix the problem after choosing the problem but can also fix the problem itself on the PC. If you still have to take action yourself, Office 365 SaRA displays the individual steps as well as links to help and instructions.
Microsoft says that SaRA needs the following system requirements:
The following operating systems are supported:
- Windows 10
- Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
- Windows 7
The Outlook program in any of the following Office versions can be scanned:
- Microsoft Office 365 (2016 or 2013, 32-bit or 64-bit)
- Microsoft Office 2016 (32-bit or 64-bit; Click-to-Run or MSI installations)
- Microsoft Office 2013 (32-bit or 64-bit; Click-to-Run or MSI installations)
- Microsoft Office 2010 (32-bit or 64-bit)
If you are running Windows 7 (any edition), you must also have .NET Framework 4.5 installed. Windows 8 and later versions of Windows include at least .NET Framework 4.5.
First of all, we need to download SaRA form the Microsoft Site, to find the right source we go to the following link: https://diagnostics.outlook.com/ and click on Download now.
Now we are downloading a .exe file which contains the software launcher. As soon this is started, the launcher starts the download:
In the next step we get asked, if we really want to install this application, to continue we hit Install
Now SaRA will be installed, the current version contains 23.1MB
When the progress is finished, we need to agree to the Terms of SaRA:
In the next window the setup is done, and we already see some of the options we can choose.
By clicking on See more we get also the other options we can use to troubleshoot.
NOTE: If you are working with a Microsoft supporter on a case, we need to check the small option in the left corner down which says: I am working with Microsoft support personnel on this issue.
As I have wrote earlier in this article we know now, for what we can use SaRA, here in this example we will analyse an Outlook client.
However, the way I choose for this example is the way I work with this tool normally.
We start by choosing the option Advanced diagnostics:
In the next step we choose Outlook:
Now we need to choose the option if we are currently on the affected computer. In our example we are on the affected computer and choose the option Yes. We also have the option to connect remotely to another computer.
Now the software is collecting the information, it is important that the Outlook is running at that moment, otherwise we will get an error. Collecting this information can take a while…
After some time, we will get a result with all issues SaRA has found on the computer. The cool thing is that SaRA also shows us in the most of the cases, how can we fix the issue. If we have a look about one of the examples, at this computer a registry key is missing.
If we follow the link in the notification message, we will get to the right TechNet article which explains us more about it and how to set the right key:
However, if we click next, we get small overview about the analyse. This we can send or not send to Microsoft.
At the very end we always have the option to review all results in a HTML file:
SaRA is not just made to fix Outlook issues for Office 365 or on-premises. It has also options for troubleshooting Dynamics, OneDrive and Skype for Business issues.
Honestly, I think SaRA one of the best tools Microsoft has provides us. However, it is important to get to know and understand the tool well. With proper use, it can save us some headaches. I definitely can recommend it.