Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WINXP - WinXP to Win7 Migration

This is intended for those considering going from WinXP to Windows 7 (Win7).

First and foremost. Microsoft operator system release history should be taken into consideration. The initial release of their OS has always been buggy, and I'm talking about the official release not Beta or RC. Please consider NOT installing Win7 until AFTER Win7 SP1 appears in stores.

Here are some pages you should look at BEFORE buying or installing Win7:

  1. Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 (Step-by-Step Guide)
  2. Clean install with Windows 7 Upgrade media
  3. Windows 7 Forum

The introduction video in #1 is very informative. Ending with, WinXP to Win7 migration is NOT simple. For one thing, it requires reinstalling all your applications from scratch, so you need all the install CDs or downloads before you start. SEE UPDATE BELOW!

In my personal case, I will never be going to Win7 because of massive application and game reinstalls that would be required. AND I already know that many of my games are not Win7 compatible. Also, my WinXP system is very, very stable. I am one who does not just get the latest-and-"greatest" of anything, and from what I see in Win7 there is nothing there that I need (especially all that useless eye-candy).

UPDATE 4/8/2010

"Migration Kit for Windows 7" from O&O Software

Whether you're installing Windows 7 on your old computer, or are planning to buy a new one that already comes with Windows 7, you’ll quickly notice that something very important is missing: your personal data, settings, and programs that were available on your computer’s former operating system. You could, of course, transfer each of them one by one, and then reinstall them in a tedious process, but there is a much easier way: Migration Kit for Windows 7.

With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to transfer all your data and programs onto a new operating system or computer. This is not only easier and less time-consuming, it's also much more secure because as part of the Migration Kit for Windows 7, you’ll also be getting the multiple award-winning O&O DiskImage 4 Professional Edition. O&O DiskImage will create a complete image of your system prior to migration, so that your familiar IT environment will be available to you whenever you need it. Windows 7 is not included in the price.

I have not use this kit, but the ability to move programs as well as user settings is a VERY big deal. Note I use O&O DiskImage at home, It's outstanding software.

I have use the Win7 Easy Transfer in setting up a new Win7 DELL for a friend and found it works very well, with exceptions of course (like Win7 not having Outlook Express). The O&O Software's Migration Kit for Windows 7 would be practical in this case because the Win7 DELL included a software upgrade to Office 2007.

Friday, October 16, 2009

WINXP - Microsoft Office Outlook

As I've said before, I do not normally deal with non-utility applications in this Blog, but here's another exception.

Users of Microsoft Office Outlook, especially for business, have a concern in keeping emails when they are addressing official business. Even home users may have an interest in keeping emails from family, banks, doctors, etc.

The first step is consideration of using a good sub-folder system.

(click image for larger view)

The above example shows several added features as well as the defaults used when creating a new email account.

  • Under Personal Folders (Outlook.pst file) the folder FEDEX was added

  • A Rule was created to check all incoming email, if it is From fedex.com, route to FEDEX folder

The Archive folder (Archive.pst file) is normally created by default, note the qualifier "normally."

You do have a Default Archive Settings under Tools menu, Options, Other tab, [AutoArchive] where you set the generic (aka default) rule.

The Default Archive Settings can be changed/overridden by right-clicking a folder, selecting Properties, AutoArchive tab (example; set Inbox to Do not archive items in this folder).

You should use Custom Archive Settings for most folders, and have the emails archived/moved to a matching folder inside the Archive folder. Or to permanently delete contents after n-days (example; delete contents of the Sent Items folder every 10days).

Remember to ensure that ALL folders under the Archive folder are never archived.

Note the special archive folder Proj (Proj.pst file), this was created to save emails that apply to a project I work on. These emails are official business documents and must be kept for tracking purposes. I manually move project emails after reading them (using "Move to folder" icon on Outlook Toolbar).

If you are running a business, a suggestion (using Property Management as an example):
Property Management deals with Clients (their property) and likely Vendors (landscapers, painters, repair, etc.) .

In this case, consider having sub-folders under Inbox

  • Clients

    • And sub-folder (Inbox\Clients\client-name) for each client by name and/or property

  • Vendors

    • And sub-folder (Inbox\Vendors\vendor-name) for each vendor

Then create Rules to, check all incoming email, if it is From client or vendor email-address, route to the applicable Inbox sub-folder.

This way you can easily see which client or vendor you receive email from. In the above example, FEDEX is a vendor.


If your email is important, you should be backing-up your mailboxes, which are .pst files. Fortunately Microsoft has provided a (PSTBackup) add-in you can download and install, see the download-link in Using the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool.

CAUTION: You need to setup EACH .pst file you have via Backup [Options], see Using-article.

AFTER installing the Outlook PST Backup Tool (add-in) sometimes disappears from the File menu (listed as Backup).

Here's what to do:

  1. Open Add/Remove Programs and ensure that Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup is listed

  2. IF NOT listed, close Outlook and download & install

  3. Open Outlook, select Tools menu, Options

  4. Other tab, [Advanced Options], [COM Add-Ins] to open dialog

  5. [Add], [Browse] to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\ADDINS, select outbak.dll

  6. [OK] out of all dialogs, close Outlook & reopen

  7. In File menu, Backup should be listed