Computer Guide

Backing up mail

by George Skarbek - 22nd July 2008

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Backing up mail

I have Windows XP Pro, and when I back up via accessories/system tools/back up - Wizard asks if I want to back up “my documents, desk top, favourites, desk top and cookies". I, and surely everyone else, want to back up Outlook Express or Outlook - why is this not included?  How can I include it? The other option is to back everything up. That overloaded my 4 GB memory stick!
B van Rooyen

For reasons that I have not understood, Microsoft has not included mail for Outlook Express or Outlook under My Documents and has put the Outlook Express address book in yet another folder, not with the mail. Backing up everything will overload a 16 GB USB drive even if you have almost no data, as it will include all of Windows and the useless files such as the swapfile, temporary Internet files and other junk files that never need backing up.

In your backup you have to manually add the .PST file that contains all your mail, contacts, appointments etc. This is located in the directory: C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook there you may have a file called Archive.PST that contains old mail. Depending how important old mail is to you, you may wish to back this up as well.

Outlook Express users will need to locate the .DBX file to backup up the mail and the .WAB which is in yet another folder to backup the address book. Typically they are in C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{532A0C1E-F9D4-4B50-B208-3BE15A23589F}\Microsoft\Outlook Express and C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book respectively.


Running old programs in Vista

Q: I have a windows program Encarta Interactive World Atlas 2000 Installation & Resources Green Disc and Atlas itself. Alan Simpson's VISTA Bible Compatibility writes Click on Start - All Programs - Accessories - Program Compatibilities Wizard. The highlighted is not shown on my version of Vista Home Premium 32 Bit.
Should I upgrade?

A:No you should not upgrade as it will make no difference as what version of operating system you are using.

There are two ways to get around this problem. One way is to run that program in a Compatibility Mode. The way to set it is to open Windows Explorer and then to right-click on your program, select Properties and then you can select the compatibility operating system such as Windows 98. In testing I have managed to run a 20 year old DOS game in Vista.

Another solution is to download the free Microsoft program, Virtual PC, and install whatever Microsoft operating system your program needs and then run your program there. Virtual PC is not that hard to use for anyone who has a bit of computer knowledge. It runs on Vista Business or Ultimate.


Combining images

Q: I have an article of 3 pages that I want to copy to my computer. I scan page 1, create a .jpg file, and repeat this with the other 2 pages. That gives me 3 separate .jpg files.
How can I incorporate these into 1 file, so that I can read the article continuously?
A picture show would not do, as you cannot easily move forward and backward and hold any image long enough. I have seen maps in large .jpg files that you can move
left, right, up and down, so there must be a way,

A: The best way for this type of task is to use an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program that is often bundled with a scanner. The advantages of using the OCR program are that the resultant file is stored as a Word document meaning that is will be a small fraction of the size of the resultant photo that displays the text and naturally all pages will be in the one file.

If your scanner did not come with any OCR software then you have to combine the three images into the one picture. This requires some software that allows you to create a new blank image and then to paste three images into that image. When creating the blank, make the size greater than the three images to give you some slack in arranging and moving the pictures. For example, if your scanned image is 3,000 x 2,000 pixels, make the blank 3,500 x 6,500 if you wish to paste the images horizontally or 9,500 x 2,500 for a vertical arrangement. The free program Gimp from can do this. You can make an image which is composed from several others by loading the images using "Open as Layers" then move and re-size as required.

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here