Dealing with Lotus Notes Error “Unable to initialize VSE Engine”

Author: Charanjeet Kaur | Updated on August 14, 2020

IBM Lotus Notes email client has a widespread user base. It owes its popularity to the ease of use and efficiency it offers. However, like all email clients, there are quite a few errors associated with it which can affect its smooth working. More often than not, the reason behind these errors is either some sort of corruption in the Lotus Notes database or an internal setting going haywire. Though there are always manual methods to try and fix them, some errors are too stubborn to let go easily. This article will be focusing on one such error and the sure shot solution for it.

The error & its Causes

You may come face to face with this error as soon as you try to open your Lotus Notes email client. And frankly, it will frustrate you! Until and unless you fix the root cause of this error, it won’t budge and you won’t be able to access your data. You won’t even be able to open the Lotus Notes client to simply view your emails. So your best option would be to resolve it. But to do that, you first need to understand the reasons which could cause this error. Here they are at a glance:

  1. An incompatibility between Lotus Notes and Notes scanner (shipped with VirusScan Enterprise 8.0). 
  2. The presence of a crash file in the Lotus Notes database. This crash file actually causes duplicate Notes.ini files to be created causing the error.
  3. If the reason is indeed the incompatibility caused by VirusScan, you might want to upgrade its version and that will do the trick. If however, that does not work, it means the error is cause by a crash file within the Notes database. The following section describes the manual method to fix this issue.

    Manual Method to fix the error

    The manual method to fix the said error involves repairing the Notes.ini file. But before you make any changes to the Notes.ini, please take a backup of this file and store it in another folder on the system.

    Now, here’s how you can fix this file:

    1. Locate the file Notes.ini on your system. For this go to your computer’s C drive and find the Notes folder.

    2. Find the file with the name Notes.ini in it. A word of caution – There might be several files with the same name in this folder, the one which is the biggest in size is our target.

    3. Open the file located above in a text editor like Notepad.

    4. Now you need to disable or delete the two functionalities NCMenu and NCExtMgr from your system. 

    To merely disable them, place a semicolon in front of the following lines:



    Else, locate these files and delete them from the system.

    5. Save the Notes.ini and close it. 

    Now try starting your Lotus Notes.

    Drawbacks of the Manual Method

    The manual method is a good way to rectify this problem. However, there are a few drawbacks of this method:

    1. Even after trying this out, the problem might not be solved.

    2. This could seem difficult to some users.

    3. Manual methods always have a chance of human error.

    4. Since this method involves altering the Notes.ini file which contains the configuration settings for your Lotus Notes installation, any mistake could lead to other more complicated errors.

    Recommended Solution

    After going through the drawbacks of the manual method, we’re sure you might be double-minded as to whether or not you should try it out yourself. If you’re even a lit bit unsure, we recommend bypassing any hit and trials and opting for the sure shot solution in the form of professional recovery software. 

    Many great Lotus Notes Recovery software are available online which can help you recover you precious data after this or any other error makes it inaccessible. All you have to do is download, install and run them. Our suggestion would be to go with Stellar Repair for Lotus Notes. It does an amazing job of overcoming problems caused by corrupted database and repairs NSF files with ease. What’s more, it restores the data in your original Notes.ini file and allows saving it at any location you specify. The tool is competent enough to repair NSF file and recover emails, contacts, attachments, Java Applets, and OLE objects in it. It is compatible with Lotus Notes 6.x and 7.x on Windows 8, 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000, and NT (SP6) systems.

    Concluding Lines

    So the next time you encounter the “Unable to initialize VSE Engine” error or any Lotus Notes Error for that matter, avoid wasting time and troubling yourself by trying out manual methods which might not even work. Use a proficient Lotus Notes Recovery software like Stellar Repair for Lotus Notes and take a sigh of relief.

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