Once again I’m taking the time out this week to help my readers with any problems they’ve been experiencing.

I am writing to take up your offer of advice made in your column in the Herald Express. I have a problem with my PC and need to re format it, which means I will lose everything on it.
I can write all my documents etc to a CD and write those back on when the system is reformatted, no problem. The problem I have is with my Outlook Express, this contains files containing a huge amount of emails which are vital and I cannot afford to loose them, but I do not think I can write these to a disc, and if I could, can I then write them back onto the files on Outlook Express when I reload the program.

Can you help me out with this problem?
One other thought comes to mind, can I send the entire Outlook Express file to another user by email and they send it back to me when the system is reformatted and I then just start using it as I do now?
Thank you for your help.
Michael Pudney, via E-mail.

Backing up Outlook or Outlook Express is a relatively easy process if you know what you’re doing but explaining how to do it manually would unfortunately take up more space than I am allocated in the Herald Express. Instead, I have done a little research and found a program that will allow you to backup all of your emails, address book, settings, mail and news accounts, message rules, blocked senders lists and signatures to a single, compact, compressed backup file which can then be saved to CD or e-mailed to a friend for them to e-mail back to you when you’ve finished formatting.

Before I proceed, please remember that if you’re using Windows XP then it includes a helpful little utility called ‘Files and Settings transfer wizard’ which will backup any personal files and settings into a folder which can then be copied to a secure location without the need for any further software.

I am assuming in this instance that you do not have Windows XP in which case simply head to www.amicutilities.com/outlook-express-backup/ and download the evaluation version of this utility; this will give you a fully working copy for a period of 15 days completely free of charge and this should be sufficient to do the work that you require. As well as working for Outlook Express, this version also covers Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, Netscape Messenger and Netscape Mail, Opera, IncrediMail, Pegasus Mail, TheBat and PocoMail e-mail clients so it should certainly cover pretty much any of the e-mail programs that my readers could be using.

It is a tiny 1.3mg download although one thing that I did notice is that when downloading for some reason the file on their website is missing the .exe extension that all program files should have. This is easy to get around, when you click to download off their website just choose to save the file as email.exe and then run that file when the download is complete. The backup wizard will install automatically from this point and the process is so straight-forward from this point that anyone could do it.

When you come to restore simply re-download the program and choose the restore wizard and all your e-mail messages and settings should be restored back to exactly how they were.

This is certainly a very handy utility for anyone to get their hands on who requires any substantial work doing on their PC and wants to be sure that they have a full backup of all their e-mails and addresses. If you require to use the program beyond the 15 day evaluation you will be required to purchase the full version at $29.95 although the free version should suit most people.

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