Computer Guide

Copying contacts to Vista

by George Skarbek - 16 October 2007

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Copying contacts to Vista

Q: Can you please advise how I can copy my contacts in Outlook Express in Windows XP Home to Vista Home Premium?
A: The Outlook Express address book is kept in a .WAB (Windows Address Book) file usually called yourname.wab. You have to copy this file to the Vista computer and then import it into the Windows Mail program. The .wab file is usually stored in C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book and Vista can import it from a USB drive used to copy data across.


Capturing Streaming audio

Q: As a lover of "older" music, I was taken in by this email that I received recently referring me to:  Is there any way that I can separate the tracks and put them into a folder and burn them to disk so that I can play them in the car?

A: Yes, it is possible to capture the streaming audio and then burn a CD for use in the car but I am not sure about the legality. In fact there are very many programs that do this. If you open Google and enter the words capture streaming audio you will receive over a million hits and from there you will be able to select a multitude of programs. I tested two that had a trial version and both worked well. Their output when played was indistinguishable from the original.

Having created your MP3 collection, the next step is to be able to play that music in your car. If your car is relatively new it may incorporate a radio/CD player that has MP3 capability and even low cost cars such as Hyundai and Kia have these, but surprisingly some much more expensive cars do not. If you can play MP3 then you just burn a data CD with your collection and you should have about 12 hours music on one CD.

If you car radio does not support the MP3 format then you will need CD burning software that can convert the compressed MP3 format to the standard music format for CDs. Several programs that come bundled with the CD or DVD burners when you purchase the computer will have this capability. Nero is one such program. All that you need to do is to create a new music CD and drag the MP3 files over. Nero will automatically convert them for you. The only trap is to look at the options and ensure that you have selected No Multisession.  A multisession CD is one where you can add more files once the CD is burned and such a CD will work on the computer but probably not in the car.


Setting the default e-mail program

Q: Can you tell me how do I make Outlook Express my e-mail on my computer? It has Outlook and I wish to change it to Outlook Express so I can scan directly to my emails.

A: Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Internet Options and then click on the Programs tab and there under E-mail you can select your default mail reader.

System Restore questions

Q: Microsoft reserves 12% of hard disks for their System Restore which can be excessive with the large hard disks of today.  Some organisations recommend 100 MB as more than adequate for three month's storage of these files although point out it's hard to set it this low as the adjustments are in percentages etc. The question I would ask is does this minimum volume need to be allowed on each HDD if you have more than one, as I have four, do you need 100 MB or so on each disk or are the System Restore files all kept on the C drive?

A: Firstly, be aware that the store size is not a fixed reserved space on the disk and the maximum size (to the max values defined above) is limited at any time by the amount of free space available on disk. When the disk becomes very full, the system restore space is automatically cut back.

The operating system monitors file extensions but Microsoft has about 460 extensions it monitors and even I have not heard of many of these. The important fact to be aware of is that user created documents are not monitored and these include Word, Excel, PowerPoint files and all images such as JPG, MP3 music files etc. If, for backup purposes, you keep your data files on a separate drive or partition then you can turn off the system restore monitoring for that drive. Do this from Control Panel, System, System Restore tab etc.

For any readers who are interested as to what files are being monitored, see


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