From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 4:49 PM


Subject: Outlook: Back-up, Fix-up, Clean-up


Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

September 2010

Our Topic

Outlook: Back-up, Fix-up, Clean-up


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Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

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Outlook: Back-up, Fix-up, Clean-up


Lime PeelI thought my Mouse was bleeding. It happens. They're only human. The wireless ones go farther when you throw them too. But not this time, nope, it was me. I had suffered a life threatening paper cut reading my email and was gushing gallons of blood onto my mouse with every click. Mommy! It hurts, make it stop.


Email, what a great invention, a way of life. From 8AM to 8:30 we used to sit with our coffee, pen in hand, feet on the desk, and listen to Voice Mail. Now, its email.


Taken for granted, email is there. Maybe you've got a work account and a personal account. "People" handle your needs concerning your work account and if you have a problem you can just dump it on them and go shoe shopping. Your personal account is probably with Yahoo or Gmail or Roadrunner or whomever your Internet Service Provider is. Not too much to worry about there either.


Email works like USPS mail in that it goes from you to your Post Office to the recipient's Post Office to the recipient. The way you read and write USPS mail is your own business. The way you read and write email is through an email handler. The handler is what you see when you login to email. Gmail's looks different than Yahoo's etc. They all do pretty much the same things; Create, Respond, Forward, Spell Check, store Contacts, allow Folders, and maybe even have a Calendar. So, its pretty much personal preference which you use.


Outlook is very popular. It sits right on your computer and your email is delivered to it. No going to a website or nothing! But now its your responsibility. Uh-oh, responsibility. Just like the USPS when mail is delivered to you it is yours. You can't stop the Postman and get another copy of that check she delivered last week. You had it, you lost it.


Outlook calls your email, Contacts, Calendar and Folders your Personal Folders and keeps them in a file called a PST. Microsoft has some little, simple, easy to use tools you can use to protect and repair your Outlook data. The two for today are Personal Folders Backup and the Inbox Repair Tool.


Personal Folders Backup (PFBACKUP) is free from Microsoft. Just Google PFBACKUP and download it from one of the search results. The one I like is entitled "Outlook 2007/2003/2002 Add-in: Personal Folders..." and points to a website with Microsoft and Download in the name. Once you have it downloaded just close Outlook and double click the PFBACKUP file you've downloaded to install it.


When you go back into Outlook you will have a new menu selection under File called Backup. This will let you set how often, and where, you want to backup your Personal Folders. If you set it to once a week, once a week when you exit Outlook it will ask if you want to backup. How easy is that? My cousin's son, Jeff Daniel Phillips, is a Geiko Caveman (Google yourself silly, he's the hot one.) on TV and even he can do it, probably.


The Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST) scans your Outlook PST file and fixes what it can. This can be a real lifesaver. SCANPST is right on your PC already so you don't even have to download it. Where it is is anybody's guess so Microsoft says use Search from the Start menu to find it and launch it from the results page. Also easy.


Outlook has limitations, and size is one of them, about 2GB but who really knows. When you go too far bad things can happen. Usually functions stop working. Like Delete & Send and Outlook will lock up your PC and make you reboot. That's when you may want SCANPST. Outlook has some things to help you avoid the need for SCANPST too.


In Tools\Options\Other you'll find two items of interest for keeping your PST from outgrowing its environment.


The first is a simple checkbox that says "Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting.". If you did actually delete something, exit Outlook, and at a future date think you want it back go to your Sent Items folder. Odds are if it had any value you responded to it and that will be in Sent Items.


The second is the AutoArchive button. In this section you can set all sorts of options for the disposition of your aging emails. You'll still have everything, just in the Archive folders instead of cluttering up your inbox. If you haven't noticed, or don't have Archive folders, they are available just downstream from all your other Outlook folders like Inbox and Sent Items. 


So there you have it; a way to back-up, a way to fix-up and a way to clean-up.


Back-up, fix-up, clean-up, it's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.


Thank you for reading,


Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!

CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.

CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the  use  of information technology.  We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.

CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.

We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.

Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being  the foundation of  Development.


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