Graphic Arts IT Guy Q & A

ImageQ. I am having trouble with my email in Windows Vista. There is a message stuck in my Outbox that will not go away. I’ve called my ISP and they can offer no help. What can I do?

A. Welcome to “Windows Mail”, Microsoft’s replacement for Outlook Express (the free email program that came with previous versions of Windows). In Outlook Express, the email messages, contacts, and tasks are stored in a single database file, and you can usually run a built in utility to repair the database. In fact, Microsoft Outlook 2007, part of Office 2007, will automatically repair itself if something goes wrong.
The new Windows Mail stores each part of your email in a separate file, which may make repairs easier. The message stuck in your Outbox is a “phantom” email, which can be eliminated by removing the file and allowing Windows Mail to rebuild your Mail files. If you want to keep your other messages, copy them to a safe location (such as your desktop) and then import them into the repaired Windows Mail.

The Mail files are in your user folder. (Microsoft has also adopted a Unix-like folder structure.) Look in “\Users\yourname\Application Data\Microsoft\Web Mail\”, copy the “Web Mail” folder to your Desktop, and then remove all the files from the original location. When you start Windows Mail again, it will rebuild the contents of the “Web Mail” folder.

You can now go to File -> Import -> Messages and re-import your messages from the copy you stored on your Desktop.  You may have to start your machine in “Safe Mode” to be able to delete the files—you’ll know that “Safe Mode” is necessary if Windows tells you that the files are busy.

Q. I am new to Macintosh and I have a new MacBook. What software can I use to send and receive faxes?

A. If you have a Macintosh running Mac OS X, you don’t need any extra software. If you have an Intel Mac, you must purchase the Apple USB Modem for $59 CDN. With the USB modem attached, you can access your ISP via a dial up connection and send and receive faxes.

You will need to use a regular phone line to send and receive faxes. If you are in an office with a centralized digital phone system, you may be able to get an “ATA” which allows you to plug in a regular analog phone device.

You can find fax settings under “System Preferences -> Print & Fax” by selecting the “Faxing” tab. Check the box if you want to receive faxes, and enter your fax number. You then choose the number of rings to wait before your fax modem answers the incoming call.

You then have three options for handling faxes. You can save them to “Shared Faxes” (they will be stored  as PDFs in the “Faxes” folder under “/Users/Shared”),  send them to a printer of your choice, or have them sent as an email attachment. The final option may require the “Postfix Enabler” ($9.99 USD from, which enables the mail server built into every Macintosh to handle faxes. Apple doesn’t configure the “postfix” mail server so Postfix Enabler takes the guesswork out of the process.

To send a fax, with your modem and phone line attached, open the document you want to fax and choose “Print” from the file menu. Then choose “Fax PDF” from the PDF popup menu. Then enter the fax number or choose a contact from the Address Book, choose a fax cover page and press “Send”. You can also preview the fax before you send it.

Q. I recently moved my files over to a new PC but I’m having a problem with addressing email. In the past, when I started typing an address, it would automatically appear. On the new PC I have to go to the Address Book to get contacts and some addresses are missing, even though I have imported my email and contacts.

A. Most Microsoft email programs store email addresses in a cache file. Luckily for you, this file is not deleted when you exit your mail program. If you can go back to your old PC you will find the address cache in a file called “Outlook.NK2”. Look for this file in “\Documents and Settings\yourname\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.NK2”.

To get the old cache onto your new PC, first exit Outlook, locate the current “Outlook.NK2”, and rename it “Outlook.bak.NK2”. Then copy “Outlook.NK2” from your old PC and place it in the same folder. When you start Outlook again, it will use this old cache file. If you’re running Microsoft Outlook 2007, it may complain that it wasn’t shut down properly and automatically repair any problems.
Timothy Mitra
IT specialist (IT Guy)
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