May 4, 2009

Backup Settings & Data before formatting your system (Part 1-MS-Outlook)

In the following series of posts I will share some tips and information on how to backup your settings and user-data before formatting your hard-drive and re-installing Windows.
 Part1: Microsoft Outlook

Account Settings & Passwords:
Use one of the most helpful tools ever: Mailpw from Nirsoft. this tool will show you all the usernames, passwords & servers  that are used by Outlook on each profile available. this info can also be saved to a text file for later. Note that some Anti-Viruses treat this tool as a password-cracker and needs to be disabled temporarily.
** Note that specific advanced server settings are not shown using this tool, and you need to check them manually before your format operation. such settings are: Use SSL, custom server ports, server authentication method, leave mail on server and more..

Outlook Mailbox (Personal Folders *.PST):
in the top menu goto  File > Data File Management > it lists all the PST files used in the profile. you can choose each one and click Settings to see it's location path and file name. copy the files only when Outlook is closed.
The default locations are:
2000/XP: c:\documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook
Vista: C:\Users\Yaron\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

AutoComplete Addresses (*.NK2): 
by copying the .NK2 file you can transfer all those autocomplete addresses that are usually not saved in the Contact list. after backing up the file, just drop it back to the same location and rename it to the same Outlook Profile name in your new installation.

The default locations are:
2000/XP: c:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\outlook
Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook
You can also use the NK2View tool to backup, restore, view and export all address to a text file.

Outlook Signatures (*.*):

The default locations are:
2000/XP: c:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\Signatures
Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

Office Templates (*.*):

The default locations are:
2000/XP: c:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\Templates
Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

Outlook Rules:
from inside outlook goto Tools menu > Rules and Alerts > Options > Export/Import Rules.
on Part2 I'll talk about some other Mail-Clients... stay tuned!

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