We just bought a house that was built in 1941.
There are a few exterior outlets near the base of the house (for outdoor tools) that do not work. I have tested them with a multimeter and there is no power, and the circuit breaker appears fine.
I think the outlets are extremely old because they are not GFCI outlets and they are exterior, and I am told that GFCIs are code for all exterior (Water facing) outlets. So, likely they predate code.
When researching this problem I found the link: http://removeandreplace.com/2015/02/10/no-power-to-outlets-in-one-room-or-wall-how-to-troubleshoot/
This link mentions a concept of "burned outlets". I do notice that there is a brownish hue on the outlet (it is not obvious) and I attributed this to being old or rust as it is exterior.
So, is the best path forward to kill the mains and try to replace this with a new GFCI outlet? Do outlets really just stop working with no other circuit or wiring problems?