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How to repair Microsoft® Outlook Express after corruption

Microsoft Outlook Express is the default e-mail client provided by Microsoft in all its operating systems. This application is very useful for sending and receiving e-mails. Outlook Express downloads the e-mails locally on the hard drive along with all its formatting and attachments so that you can read the mails even when you are not connected to the Internet. This is certainly a great application which is available for free but has several limitations. Microsoft Outlook Express cannot be configured for accessing Exchange e-mails and the maximum storage capacity for Outlook Express is 2GB. So if you have lots of mails with attachments and images then this size is likely to get exhausted very soon. But what happens when file size goes beyond 2GB? It might take long to open e-mails or not open them at all. Once this starts happening you should create a new inbox to not let further damage to occur and save you time and money in retrieving mails from a corrupted inbox. However if you find yourself in such situation then there are several ways by which you can save your precious mails. Let us see how.

Create a new inbox – Outlook Express created separate files for every folder in it. These files are called as DBX files and you will see separate files for separate folders like inbox.dbx, sent.dbx, drafts.dbx etc. To create a new inbox and retrieve emails from old one follow the following steps:

Step 1: Click on ‘Tools’ menu and then click on ‘Options’ in Outlook Express.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Maintenance’ tab on top and then click on the ‘Store Folder’ button.

Step 3: Select and copy the path given here and open this folder in Windows Explorer.

Step 4: Now please close Outlook Express completely.

Step 5: Now please rename the Inbox.Dbx file. It can be renamed as inboxold.dbx

Step 6: Move the inboxold.dbx file on to your desktop.

Step 7: Now open Outlook Express from the ‘Start’ Menu and it will automatically create a new inbox for itself.

Step 8: Go to File -> ‘Import’ option, and import the messages from your old inbox on the desktop and if there was not too much of damage then all your mails will get imported into this new inbox.

The size of the new inbox will again go up to 2 GB so once you get your mails back. Create a new folder and set it as default. Do not download further mails in the same oversized inbox to cause further damage.

Third Party Tools – if you search the Internet you will find many tools available for extracting corrupted e-mail messages from any dbx file. You can try with any of these and see if your problem gets fixed. If not then you need to go for some data recovery options.

How to Clear up Unnecessary Files on Your PC

The hard drive not only stores the operating system in it and makes the computer bootable, but also helps the computer to run fast by assigning some of its space for real time memory needs by the operating system and the processor. This is why you would have seen “Disk Full” messages when hard drive approaches its limits. Thus it is always good to keep hard drive space as free as possible, so that the free space can be used by the operating system or by other applications. In this post I will let you know how to keep the hard drive as clean as possible and keep it junk free. Before we go into the steps we must know what all is considered to be junk in Windows. Some folders or files types considered junk or useless in Windows are like the Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Installation Files, Temp Files, Compressed Old Files, Recycle Bin Files, Old System Restore Files, Prefetch Files, and Memory Dump Files. These files are automatically created during the operation of computer and they occupy a lot of space on the hard drive. These files are also the home for viruses and spyware and it is always a good practice to regularly delete them from the hard drive.

Let us see how to clean these junk files.

Step 1: Click on ‘Start’ Menu and then click on ‘Run’. If Run is not available in the Start Menu the press the ‘Windows’ key on the keyboard along with letter ‘R’.

Step 2: In the ‘Run’ box type and execute the command ‘CleanMgr.Exe’.

Step 3: Select the drive which you want to clean and click on ‘OK’. Now Windows will scan the specified drive for all the junk files and later will display the number of files available and the amount of recoverable space by the deletion of these files.

Step 4: Select the type of files you want to clear and then click on delete to clean them.

Step 5: Open the ‘Control Panel’ and then open the ‘Internet Options’.

Step 6: Click on the ‘Delete’ button under the ‘General’ tab.

Step 7: Now select the type of content you wish to clean. The maximum space is consumed by Temporary Internet Files so you should select this option. Other options can be left untouched because they are just for saved password, and history of the browser.

By following the steps given above you can free a lot of precious disk space for system use.

How to Reinstall Windows® Without Losing Your Data

With the passage of time, your computer may lose its stability and performance because of the endless number of programs, hardware, drivers, plug-ins etc., which we install intentionally or unintentionally. In such a situation we always want our computer to be the same as it was when you purchased it. Trust me it will take less than an hour to take your system back to its initial stage. Now you would wonder what will happen to your precious data and files which are there on your computer. Will they be all lost? The answer to both these questions is ‘No’. There are many ways and methods to reinstall, repair your operating system without losing any of your data files. In this post I will discuss the same. Though you will not lose your data in this case but it is always wise to backup the precious data before proceeding further. You can take a backup of important files which you cannot afford to lose on an external hard drive depending upon the size of data which you wish to back up.

Once you have the backup you can proceed with any of the below mentioned methods.

Step1:

Parallel Installation – This can be done if you have more than one partition on your existing hard drive. You can install a completely new copy of Windows on the new partition. This way you will be installing a new operating system, but you will lose all your installed applications and you would need to reinstall them again. Your data files, however, will stay intact at their original locations.

Step2:

Repair installation – Boot your computer using the operating system bootable disk and then when you get the options to Install or Repair, select ‘Repair’. This will restore all the operating system files and your data and all the installed applications will remain intact.

Step3:

Complete Re-Install – This is the best way, but would need little more expertise. Installation would be done using a bootable disk and in this post I am giving the steps for reinstalling Windows XP without losing the data.

Step 1: Boot your computer using the Windows XP disk.

Step 2: Start Recovery Console and rename the Documents & Settings folder. Exit out from the recovery console and reboot again from the disk to get the installation options.

Step 3: Select Install and make sure that you do the installation without formatting the selected drive.

This way you will reinstall the entire operating system and your data will stay intact in its original location which can then be accessed from the newly installed operating system.

Step 4:

System Recovery – Many computers offer a non-destructive mode of System Recovery in which the entire operating system and the applications are restored from the recovery partition but all the user files remain untouched. This is also one of the best ways to get your computer in its initial stage without losing any data. Recovery options an shortcuts are different for different computers so make sure that you search for the correct option on the Internet.

How Heat Affects Computers

Computers are electronic devices and just like other gadgets, they are bound to generate heat. A computer has some mechanical components as well which in turn dissipate considerable amount of heat. Mechanical devices like the hard drive, optical drive, and floppy drive get heated up in just a few minutes of their operation. All the other components like processor, mother board, input-output devices, memory cards, graphic cards, BIOS and all the other components consist of millions of transistors and flip flops which either manipulate the electronic signals or store them for some time. Heat is also generated by the oscillating circuitry of the motherboard. The digital pulses control the overall cycle of processing. Theoretically the semiconductors which are used in making these chips and other components change their behavior with change in temperature. If the temperature increases beyond the operational limits then you can face problems like slow performance, frequent lockups, blue screen errors, or complete device failure if not taken care. In this post I will discuss effects of heat on various components of a computer system.

Processor

A processor generates heat and that is the reason why we install heat sinks and a fan on it to maintain its temperature within the operational limits. Processor consists of millions of micro sized transistors made up of semi-conductors. These semi-conductors dissipate heat when current passes from within them. If you have ever opened a computer tower, you must know how hot the processor becomes after just a few minutes of working. It becomes so hot that without proper cooling it can literally burn itself and melt. Over-heated processor causes system lockups, and shutdowns. This is the reason why it is advised to run keep computer systems in a cool work place.

Memory and Graphics Card

Memory is another component which is in use almost all the times but not in an idle situation as during this time memory just holds the current and this does not cause the heat to dissipate. So not much care is required for cooling the memory modules because memory modules never generate too much heat, but a device which gets enough to destroy it without proper cooling is the graphics card. The operating system and applications available these days are very graphical and require lots of graphical processing and thus it makes the card very hot while operation. Graphics cards available these days have processors of their own and it tends to get hot while processing the graphic signals. Some of the graphic cards have their own cooling systems.

Most of the modern motherboards have heat sensors which communicate with the software installed in the operating system and takes necessary measures in keeping system cool. This could be done by either increasing the speed of the fan, or by intimating the user and shutting down the system. These sensors keep the user updated about the mechanical status of the CPU fan so that if it is faulty then it can be replaced before any further damage occurs.

Tips to Organize your computer

We buy a new computer; work on it for some time happily and eventually we realize that it is not working the way it used to work earlier. We notice that it has gone sluggish, it takes time to boot, it takes time to shutdown and it takes time to open files and applications. We call a local technician or visit a local service centre, pay them the hard earned money to get the missing speed back.

Wait! Why we should pay unnecessary money to someone when we ourselves can take good care of such minor problem. It is just about our working habits and the periodic care we take of our computer. In this post I will mention some ways to keep our computers running at their best, and deliver the optimum performance.

Keep it simple:

Applications and Operating System available these days are rich in graphics and thus consume lots of computer resources. If the Hardware of your computer is not complimenting the resource needs of the Software installed on it then it is a good approach to minimize the graphics and other Window layouts. This can be done from the System Properties window where we can set the computer work for the best performance. You can also apply the Classic style of Windows instead of the latest visually tempting looks.

Clean the Hard Drive:

By this I don’t mean cleaning the hard drive with a cloth and removing dust from it, but to clean the unwanted and unnecessary files from it. Hard Drive space is also one of the reasons for any computer to run slow. Hard Drive is the place from where all the data is read before any file can be opened or any application can be started. If your Hard Drive is fragmented and consists of lots of junk then it will always take a decent time in collating the data before opening the file or application. So make it a periodical habit of cleaning the hard drive for any junk. A tool called Disk Cleaner can be used for this purpose and this can be invoked by Start -> Run and typing CleanMgr.Exe

Monitor what is running:

Apart from the Hard Drive the other device which affects speed the most is the Random Access Memory (RAM). As we use the computer it is likely to receive infections from other files or from the Internet. These infections stay resident in the RAM and slow down the performance by occupying the useful space. This can be reduce or killed completely by running Virus, Spyware scans after updating the Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware applications.

Alter the Virtual Memory:

Virtual memory is the space on Hard Drive which is used as a part of RAM. This helps a lot while we multi-task because this ways the computer gets more Random Access Memory to write to and fro. By default Windows manages it on its own but if you want you can increase the Virtual Memory so that more space can be consumed. Do not increase it to any large size but only to 3 times the size of the RAM. So, if your RAM is of 1GB then the maximum Virtual Memory you can have will be 3 GB and a minimum would be 1.5 GB.

5 Good computing habits

Computers have become our daily need and we spend a lot of time sitting in front of it and working on it. We depend so much on computers that now it is hard to think of a world without computers. We use computers at work, at home, at schools and at every possible place in every possible manner. Since we work and rely so much on computers so will it not be good to keep your computer in a good shape all the times and make yourself familiar with the computer so that it easy for you to work on your computer.

You can maintain your PC by following these five best habits:

  1. Organize your data
    Data is all that we work upon on computers. What if you are looking for some important document but are not able to find out on your hard drive. Off course you can run a search on the Hard Drive but what if you don’t even remember the name of the document or if the document was named as document1, or document2. This situation would be really frustrating and to avoid such situation always organise your work well. If you use your computer at work and at home then it good to create two separate user accounts; one for office and another for home. While keeping and saving your data on the Hard Drive make separate folders based on the type of content you are saving and you can also create subfolders for the same.
  2. Keep Hard Drive Clean
    One should always perform a disk cleaning activity once in a month. This helps in cleaning all the junk on the hard drive and getting more and more space for useful information and data. You can personally look for files which you would not be needing and were created unnecessarily and can delete the same.
  3. Create Restore Points
    Restore points play an important role while troubleshooting computer problems. If your computer goes unstable and starts acting weird then you can use these restore points to get the computer back to the state when it was working fine. One should always create restore points before making crucial changes on your computer and otherwise at least one restore point per week.
  4. Keep OS and Office updated
    Microsoft constantly keeps gathering the user feedback and keeps on improving their software by releasing updates. It is quite possible that your operating system was crashing while working with your phone and the next update might fix the problem. So it is always advised and is wise to the software updated so you have all the necessary features and patches of the same.
  5. Scan for infections
    As we work and browse the internet it is quite possible that our computer gets infected by Viruses or Spywares. It is always good to keep the security software updated and scan the entire hard drive at least twice in month. This will reduce the risk of further damage which can be caused by the infection and will keep your data safe.
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