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How to rerun setup on a Notes Client



A user is experiencing a problem using the Lotus Notes client. The problem appears to be specific to this user's machine -- other users are not experiencing the problem.

When troubleshooting a Notes client problem, one troubleshooting technique consists of rerunning the setup program to isolate and identify potential problems with the core configuration files:


  • names.nsf
  • desktop8.ndk
  • bookmark.nsf
  • cache.ndk

How do you rerun the setup?

Note: Starting in Notes 8.5.x, the desktop file is now called desktop8.ndk instead of desktop6.ndk.



Use the steps below to recreate the core configuration files. After you have rerun setup, you can add the original files back into the configuration one by one in an attempt to isolate the possible cause of the problem.

1. Move the following files out of the \data directory to a backup directory. (IMPORTANT: These files must be moved to a backup directory, not merely copied. If copies of the files remain in the \data directory, they will not be created anew when setup is run again)

  • names.nsf
  • desktop8.ndk
  • bookmark.nsf
  • cache.ndk


2. Copy the original notes.ini from the Notes program directory to the backup directory.

3. Delete all but the first three lines in the notes.ini in the Notes program directory and save it. The edited notes.ini should look like this:



  • [Notes]
    Directory=C:\program files\notes\data

4. Launch the Notes client to run the setup program again. Notes recreates each of the files listed above and re-populates the notes.ini file.

5. Add each of the original files back in one by one.

By adding the files back one at a time and testing for the issue after each addition, you can determine if damage to one of these files is causing the problem.

Note: If the problem appears to be with a damaged names.nsf, it might be possible to copy documents from the damaged names.nsf into the new names.nsf in an attempt to save the original documents.

Macintosh OS X:
The above procedure can be performed on Macintosh OS X with a few changes.



  • The Notes.ini file is called Notes Preferences and is located in /Users/<username>/Library/Preferences. This file can be simply deleted rather than modified as described above.


  • The Notes data directory, where the local data files reside, is located in /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data


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Related information

How to perform a clean reinstall of a Notes client
Using the Lotus Notes Install Cleanup Executable (NICE)

Document information

More support for: IBM Notes

Component: Install/Setup

Software version: 8.5, 9.0, 9.0.1

Operating system(s): OS X, Windows

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1245069

Modified date: 05 September 2018

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