You open Microsoft Outlook and get an error message saying "Outlook could not open the file containing the folders used to send and receive e-mail messages, create appointments, and open the address book. Please select from the options listed below." The options given are to create a new personal folders file or open an existing folders file. It might look as if your mailbox, appointments and address book are lost. They're not. Do not create a new personal folders file. Do not reinstall outlook.
Your .pst file (the file containing your data) may be corrupt or you may have exceeded its default 2Gb limit.
If the file is corrupt there is an Outlook repair program included with Windows which can fix the problem so you can access your email messages, appointments and address book again. The name of the file to run it is called scanpst.exe. If it doesn't start when you type it into start and run menu option use Windows Explorer to search for it. It may reside in c:\program files\common files\system\MAPI\1033. Remember you may need to include hidden files in your search.
When you start the program (scanpst.exe) it it will look like the screen shot below. You need to browse and select your personal folders file. This file is called outlook.pst. It is likely to reside in C:\Documents and Settings\Your user folder\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
Click start to run the utility. It will run through or a selection of eight phases. These include checking file consistency, looking for lost data and checking folders and items. Once it has run through the stages a screen shot like the one below will display.
Click ok once the program completes. You should now be able to open Microsoft Outlook and access your email messages, appointments and address book.
Why would anyone write a program that..........
Why would anyone write a program that would automatically restart your computer? A program so persistent that, when you click "Restart Later", you only get a moratorium of ten minutes before the message pops up again with the same determined prompt? Every ten minutes, as though it were taking orders from the atomic clock. The message gives you five minutes to act. This is less time than it takes to go to the toilet, make a coffee and return to your desk. In which time, the relentless program has shut your computer, ignoring your unsaved work, like the spreadsheet or letter you've been painfully composing.
It doesn't even take a trip to the toilet. You might be retrieving a file, or talking to someone or pacing the room on your mobile. Why would someone write a program that can restart you computer, and wipe your work, as you do that?
Before anyone says, "Well, you can change the settings", I already know that, and that's part of the problem. In an age of hot desking and shared computers you inherit the settings of previous users. Some, not unsurprisingly, might select the recommended setting, which will run this program.
For those that might not know how to change their setting click Start followed by Control Panel. Look for the icon below and double click.
Change the settings. My preferred setting as pictured below is to not download automatically. I like to decide what to install and run on my machine. I learned this after installing Service Pack 2, to discover afterwards my DVD drive didn't work anymore as there were no supported drivers.
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