Saturday, March 19, 2011

How can I repair my Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express Mailbox

Apparently, all versions of Windows and Microsoft Office ship with an Outlook .pst repair tool called scanpst.exe.

To find scanpst.exe on your system, use the Search command from the Start Bar.
Select the Run command on the Start bar and type in scanpst.exe (make sure Outlook and Outlook Express are not running when you do this).

Scanpst.exe will report if it can/has recovered files. Open Outlook/Outlook Express and rename the recovered files.

If your PST files were not recovered, run Scandisk and then run scanpst.exe again.

InfoHQ Tip: E-mail Backup; Preserving your E-mail with Eudora, Outlook Express, and Outlook
Sooner or later the time will come when you will need to backup your E-mail Inbox and Outbox folders. Whether you want to upgrade to a new computer system, reload Windows to a new directory or hard drive, or you want to preserve your E-mail from future disasters; knowing how to backup your E-mail is a must. First, let's look at how E-mail works before diving into the subject of backup.

How E-mail Works. Your Internet Service Provider (the company name on the other side of the "@" symbol, e.g.,, receives E-mail addressed to your server mail folder When you go online and check your mail, your ISP transfers the mail from your server mail folder to your computer. Your computer then stores the transferred mail in an Inbox folder on your computer. Unless you choose the E-mail program option of "leave a copy on the server", your mail is deleted from the server when it is transferred to your computer.

Once the E-mail is downloaded, it becomes your job to read it, save it, or trash it. We all know how to delete unwanted E-mail, but exactly how does one go about saving it?

Backing up the Good E-mail. In Eudora, Outlook Express, and Outlook, E-mails can be saved one at a time by selecting an E-mail and then choosing the "File/Save As" menu command. Also, you usually have the choice of saving an E-mail in an E-mail format or as a text file (E-mail format can only be read by the E-mail program, text files can be read by many different programs including word processors, data bases, and spreadsheets). All well and good, however, what happens when you want to save an entire Inbox, Outbox, or Mailbox?

In Eudora, the files In.mbx and Out.mbx located in C:\Eudora or C:\Program Files\Eudora need to be copied to a different directory for backup purposes. The easiest way to read them would require renaming your current In.mbx and Out.mbx and copying the old files back to the original directory (remember to rename the current files or you will write over them and destroy your current E-mail).

If you are using Outlook Express, backup is a little easier. To locate your Mailbox, select "Tools/Options/Maintenance/Store Folder". You will see the local path of your Mailbox displayed and the choices of "Change", "OK", or "Cancel". Don't select any of these choices, instead write down the file name (or if you're a Jeopardy player I guess you could remember it) and then select cancel.

Use "My Computer" on the Windows desktop to locate the Mailbox and to "copy" it to a different directory. Once you have copied the Mailbox I suggest you rename it to something descriptive by 'left clicking' on the copied file name and selecting "rename".

To use the backup Mailbox you would again select "Tools/Options/Maintenance/Store Folder" and this time you would choose the selection "Change". You would then choose the file that is your backup mailbox.

Make sure you write down the location of your current Mailbox so you can revert back to it once you are finished using the backup.

Backing up E-mail with Outlook, is the busy man's dream. Of the three E-mail programs mentioned in this article, only Outlook has a "Save to File" option. By selecting "File/Import and Export/Export to a file", not only is backup painless, but it also becomes very useful. You can export the file as an Access, Excel, Foxpro, dBase, or other comma delimited file. Or you can select the PST file file type if you just want to backup your mail without changing its format.

Again, no matter which file format you choose, name the file something relevant and save it where you can find it.

To read exported mail, use the Export and Import command and choose the appropriate import option.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Install Windows XP Using Bootable Pendrive ?

Why would anyone want to install Windows XP from a pen drive?

  1. Some Laptops like asus eeepc, acer aspire one, hp mini etc don’t have CD-drive
  2. May be their CD drive isn’t working properly like mine, or
  3. They don’t want to waste money on a CD
More over installation from a flash drive is faster compared to a CD.
Before we go on with the tutorial here’s what you’ll need
  1. USB flash drive, 1GB or larger
  2. 1 Windows XP installation disc
  3. Assorted files that I’ll describe as we go along.

Note: Your BIOS should support usb boot, some older computers may not support USB boot.
Preparing the flash drive
First up, we need to prepare the flash drive.
  1. Download and unzip this file, which should contain 2 folders: 1 titled Bootsect, and the other USB_prep8.
  2. Navigate to the USB_prep8 folder and click on usb_prep8.cmd. This will bring up a Windows console window.
  3. Press any key to continue and a PeToUSB window will open.
  4. Make sure your flash drive is selected, and click start to format your flash drive.
  5. When the format is complete, click OK, but do not close the PeToUSB window or the Windows Console.
  6. Open a new console window by typing “cmd” into the run box in the Windows Start Menu.
  7. Directed to the second folder – Bootsect folder (if you’re not used to DOS commands, you can type “dir” to list directories and files, type “cd foldername” to navigate to a folder name – called foldername in this example, and if there’s a long folder name you can save time by typing the “cd” and just the first few letters and then hitting the Tab key to fill in the rest of the name).
  8. Once you’re in the Bootsect folder, type “bootsect.exe /nt52 g:” if “g” is the letter assigned to your flash drive. If it’s E, then change the letter to e. If it’s Z, make it z. Get it?
  9. When this is done, you should see a message letting you know that the bootcode was updated, and you can close this console window (but not the other console window).
  10. Close the PeToUSb Window, but make sure not to close the remaining console window yet
  11. You should now see a list of 8 options in the console.
  12. Select one and find the drive with your Windows installation disc.
  13. Select 2 and pick a random drive letter (but not one that’s already on your PC, since this will be a virtual drive used for copying your files).
  14. Select 3 and enter the drive letter for your USB flash drive.
  15. Select 4 and follow the rest of the on-screen directions and you should be all set.
The process should take about 15-20 minutes. When it’s done, you should have a bootable USB stick that you can use to install Windows XP the same way you would if you had a CD/DVD drive.
A few notes here. First of all, there’s a chance you may get down to step 15 and the program will tell you that it can’t create the virtual drive. This may happen if you’ve already gone through the whole process and are trying to do it again to fix problems. The solution seems to be rebooting your computer and trying again. Or at least that’s what worked for me.

Second, if you use NLite to shrink/slipstream/otherwise modify your Windows XP installation file, make sure you do not remove “manual installation files,” or your USB stick will be pretty much useless.
Once your usb drive is ready, go to your bios and set USB to first position in boot order. Now plug the usb and restart.

Make sure you back up your important documents and files, firefox bookmarks, and drivers if you lost your drivers cd.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Laptop Computer Repair

This page is all about basic Laptop computer repair tips. You will learn how to troubleshoot and fix minor laptop problems. If you are looking for an advance step-by-step Laptop repair and maintenance guide then I highly recommend Laptop Repair Online Video Course.

In Laptop computer repair one should pinpoint the accurate problem before taking any action. For example, when a laptop does not function you may rush to change its battery, but the problem may be a bad connection with the power cord. In the same manner a “dead” LCD screen may be a video adapter failure, a main board, burnt out backlight or a bad inverter.

Laptops parts are sensitive and expensive. Trial and error is not a very good solution with all laptop problems.

Some Laptop problems cannot be repaired or not worth repairing. If you can see blocks of dead pixels or a physical crack in the screen then you need to replace the laptop screen. Fixing these type of problems may be difficult or very costly.

Laptop user with a little bit of knowledge can fix common laptop computer problems, usually occurred due to regular usage. However, identifying the problem is crucial before repairing the laptop.

Repair laptop display problems

If there is complete display failure, first of all check the status of the power. If you were able to hear the fan of your laptop and now it isn’t, that means it’s a main board or power failure, not a video failure.

Another common practice in laptop computer repair is to connect a normal computer monitor with a standard VGA connector, if your laptop does not light up the external monitor means either the internal video adapter or the motherboard has failed. In case the external monitor is working then your laptop video subsystem has a problem and need to investigate further.

If there is a display problem in your laptop computer and the number of dead spots or columns or whole row increases slowly on the screen, it indicates that the assembly of actual LCD is bad. In the same way, if the screen flickers it is probably the failure of backlight or inverter.

Other common Laptop problems

Laptop computer problems can cause by internal disorders of the physical connectors. The common victims are network or modem ports, which may be detached within the case or the breaking of the power connector solder joint of the board. Such problems are very dangerous because here you need to open up the body of the notebook for soldering. Be careful to use a decent solder sucker for quick clean up.

Laptop problems are often caused by virus attacks. In this case they behave very strangely. One common symptom is the screen display goes off though the laptop is running. This can be due to graphic display driver files affected by virus or sometimes deleted by anti virus considering it to be a strange file. Re-starting the laptop in Safe Mode and re-installing the display drivers will repair this problem.

If you are not tech savvy, my personal advice is to hire a professional technician for Laptop computer repair unless it is software related problem. It is always better if you can contact s Laptop Repair Company authorized by the Laptop manufacturer.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Virus detection and removal

There may be several signs that a computer has a virus infection . It is often difficult to distinguish whether there is an hardware error or a software problem since viruses are  written to  avoid detection, and to damage your computer.

Some of  the common problems caused by computer viruses are:

1. Sudden system crashes and computer reboots automatically.
2. Application software crashes and random messages are displayed on the monitor.
3. Computer becomes very slow
4. Hard disk data gets corrupted and hard disk will not boot

How to fix it:

If there is a problem which could be caused either by a hardware malfunction or a virus , it is advisable to first run an antivirus program. It is cheaper and easier to solve a problem using free antivirus software.
Get a free antivirus program. Some of  the free antivirus programs available are:
1. Norton Anti Virus Special Edition 2005 from Symantec in Google Pack. Free updates for a period of six months
2. AVG Anti-virus free edition - change the default email scanning option as it slows the system down
3. Avast - can be installed for 60 days, before you register it for free

Download the anti virus software to your computer hard disk and install the software. Get the latest updates from the companies website.

Run the antivirus software, preferably in safe mode. If  any virus is detected, the antivirus software will first try to clean the infected file. If this is not possible, the software will quarantine the file.
To prevent computer virus problems in future
1. Install a firewall to protect your computer when you connect to the internet
2. Do not allow anyone to install software or copy any files to your computer without scanning the software /data with the latest updated anti virus software
3. Never open files with suspicious attachments, especially if they are from strangers. Always request files to be sent as a text attachment.
4. Avoid joining paid to read , adult , file sharing and other illegal websites,  the computers of visitors to these
websites usually get  infected with viruses and spy ware.

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