Monday, November 14, 2005

Of Windows and Outlook Express

A friend of mine was in a quandary. Windows had crashed – as it is wont to do at unexpected times for inexplicable reasons – and he was afraid he’d lost his entire address book and, of course, all the messages in his inbox and sent folders. Not to mention the messages he’d saved in separate folders, depending on their relevance.

Fortunately, his hardware guy had saved his earlier Windows data.

The question now was, how to retrieve that data?

Outlook Express was useless in trying to locate the relevant files. In true Windows fashion, it presumed that wherever it decided to store data was the one and only true folder to contain that data.

So I searched the net to find programs that would help me find his data and save it in a format he could use. Here’s what I found:

Most programs are the paid kind, where “shareware” downloads do nothing more that tell you where the data is but refuse to extract it for you. That’s about as useful as a street sign telling you that you’re on the wrong street. Just think, how useful can a street sign that reads “Wrong Street” be?

So I dug a bit deeper and found this:
Cool software to read old Outlook files

Now, that was getting somewhere!

I downloaded the setup program, ran it, installed the software and voila! It allowed me to open the old Outlook Express folders and read each and every message, with the option to select text, copy it and paste it into Word or even Notepad.

More on this in a day or two


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