Tips that may help you with personal-computer problems
The information offered here is not by a professional computer
technician, but it may nevertheless be of some use to you. It is
information that may be contained in some manuals somewhere, but most of
it I have
not been able to find on the Internet or elsewhere.
Inbox Repair Tool
If you came to this page because you have been looking everywhere
in vain trying to find Microsoft's Inbox Repair Tool, you came to the
right place. Contrary to what your so-far-futile search may have
led you to believe, there is an Inbox Repair Tool,
and it will most likely enable you to recover all
or a good portion of the e-mail data you lost access to because
either your PC crashed or Outlook seems to conspire to motivate you to
do something really stupid, like kill yourself or your PC.
How to Improve the Quality of Files Containing Scanned Text, Before
Conversion to ASCII Text
Often I receive JPG files of newspaper clippings that people send
to me. They often are time-consuming to handle or process. I'll
virtually never pass JPG or other graphics files on to anyone else,
for the simple reason that they use up time and money in proportion to
how many people receive them.
I don't like receiving them. We live in a rural area in which
any resident will most likely not have ADSL for as long as he is alive
(unless he subscribes to digital satellite Internet access that will
for quite a long time be unaffordable for the vast majority of
JPG or other graphics files therefore tie up telephone lines,
sometimes for a half hour or longer, when they are being downloaded. They
will steal just as much time from many other people I send them to.
However, if the information contained in them is worth passing on,
I'll attempt to convert the graphics files to text and pass on the
information in text format.
It is an indication of good will and courtesy not to forward text
in graphics form, and these
instructions will tell you what you must do to avoid doing that,
how to achieve the best possible results, to save yourself and others
time, and, most importantly, how to convert text that is in graphics
form into a useful word-processing document that you don't have to
re-type mostly from scratch.
Placing expressions to be indexed for search-engine optimization
in the first lines of text is a good start but not all that must be
done. The meta tags in the page code come into the picture as well.
Inbox Repair Tool
It had happened to me a few times that something with my e-mail
software didn't work right anymore. Over the years, that happened to
me with Eudora, then with an old version of Netscape Communicator, then
again with Eudora, then once more with a Beta Version of Netscape
Communicator (which, by the way, had the serious flaw that it performed
terribly in relation to finding e-mail messages that I was trying to find
through key-word searches).
I got fed up with it all because I just could not afford to dedicate a
major portion of my life to coping with nothing other than problems that
appeared to be caused by flaws in e-mail software. So I did
something really "radical". A couple of years ago I switched over to
MS Outlook. Until last week it looked as if my troubles were over.
But then something happened, a disaster of major proportions, the BIG
ONE. Not only could I not get MS Outlook to work anymore, I found
that when I had restored the software to operating condition my address
book and all of the e-mail messages and the folders they had been stored
in during the past two years were inaccessible.
You most likely had a similar experience, or you would probably not be
reading this page. Don't despair. There is hope and help.
It is just that Microsoft has made it virtually impossible to find it.
Nevertheless, even though you may by now have come to believe that the
existence of the Inbox Repair Tool is nothing more than a hoax or a rumour, it
does truly exist, it works, and you can gain access to it and make it work
for you. But I am getting ahead of myself.
The e-mail problem that hit me
On October 10, 2003, I was forced to send out this request for help:
Please help me out a little.
The night before last my PC locked up and forced me to shut off the
power without exiting properly. That was even though I had properly
exited all open programs as usual.
That had happened before, fortunately very seldom and always without
serious consequences. It seemed that ScanDisk always did a nice job of
repairing disk errors, although I can't see for the life of me how the
automatic repair jobs don't leave a growing accumulation of scars.
Unfortunately, yesterday's abnormal shutdown either caused or was a
consequence of a file from
Norton System Works to have become cross-linked with outlook.pst.
The consequence of that was that I could not even initiate Outlook.
All I got was a message that told me that the file was corrupted and
that I should run "Inbox Repair Tool" (no word anywhere where
to find Inbox Repair Tool), which I have no idea how to do,
but I will try to find a way to overcome that.
As of now I got Outlook back into operation, but outlook.pst is
corrupted. After a few hours of searching I found no menu option that
permits me to access "Inbox Repair Tool".
In the meantime, all of my Outlook folders are inaccessible,
including my address book....
Address Book Recovered
Thanks to all of you who responded to my request for help when my
address book and mail files covering the past two years vanished.
The response was overwhelming.
There were expressions of sympathy and even good advice that I might
be best off to kill myself (that was of course only stated in jest), but
I have good news. All of my files, my complete address book, and my
calendar (without which I would have been in deep you-know-what), are
restored to their customary pristine and not quite confidence-inspiring
Although there were a good number of practical suggestions and offers
for technical assistance, I had to pick one, try out one avenue, and
followed as a first try what Julian Fitzgerald pointed me to.
Incredibly, Julian knew where to find and how to gain access to the
MS Inbox Repair Tool. (It had taken him once upon a time a large number
of hours to search for it and to find it.)
Just in case you should have a problem like mine (and I know that
some people experienced potentially large disasters like that),
the instructions for MS Inbox Repair Tool are accessible on the Net.
I used the instructions. They were relatively easy to use, although
if anyone ever needs to do the same, he better make sure that he's got
perhaps more disk space available than he thinks is required to recover
the MS outlook.pst file. A back-up copy will be created, with quite
possibly a second one as well, and then there will be the new file that
will contain all of the recovered and restored data. I am talking about
Giga Bytes of free space. I came dangerously close to causing myself
another disaster. At one point only a little over 2MB of free space
remained on a disk drive that normally has around 3GB of free space. It
is odd but to be expected that MS Inbox Repair Tool says nothing about
the need for plenty of free disk space being required to complete the
The instructions for Inbox Repair Tool warn that some of the
recovered file folders may appear to be empty and that others may be
missing completely. That prediction turned out to be true. Inbox Repair
Tool also provided some tips on how to address or circumvent that, none
of which worked, in which case, so it said, not much more could be done
about the lost data.
I hanged my head low and was still relatively happy, because the
complete address book had obviously been recovered. However, when I then
used Outlook's file-import feature to add the recovered files and
folders to the new .pst file I had set up to put Outlook back into
operation, a miracle happened. All of the files I could consider to have
been recovered were imported in addition to all of the ones that seemed
to have vanished forever into the black hole of what some call Microcrap
and other endearing names. The .pst file had grown from about 716MB to
Inbox Repair Tool takes a terribly long time to go through the
recovery process, as it makes about eight passes through all of the
data. The subsequent file transfers to combine it all again into working
condition take quite a bit more time. However, it was all relatively
painless, and to boot, Ruth and I had the good sense not to stick around
to wait for the agonizingly slow process to complete. We just went to
visit her brother and his family for Thanksgiving dinner. When we came
back yesterday, the automated portion of the recovery process had
completed, and all that was left to do was a bit of housekeeping,
copying files to create back-ups, and to rename files and of course to
import process that had such marvelous and un-anticipated results.
So, now everything is back to normal.
Once more, many thanks for your help and technical assistance,
About suicide being a kind-hearted solution, maybe the following will
throw a bit more light on that.
Placing expressions to be indexed for search-engine optimization in the
first lines of text is a good start but not all that must be done. The meta
tags in the page code come into the picture as well.
If you examine your page code, you will find the meta tags between the
<head> and and </head> tags.
The expressions that you want to have emphasized (identified in the
following by the example, global warming, shown in brackets (exclude the
brackets, the parentheses and the text between the parentheses)) for
search-engine ranking should be contained in the following tags:
<meta name="keywords" content="[(should include the following string) global
<meta name="description" content="[(should include the following string)
<title>your page title [(should include the following string) global
That is not entirely or complete true anymore, but not all that long ago
that repetition of expressions of interest was of great and even primary
importance for search-engine optimization. It is not merely important to
make use of the advantage in ranking that provides, but some search engines
may even include parameters in their ranking algorithms that penalize the
ranking of a web page if it does not follow those and other considerations.
There is much more to it than just that. The best thing you can do is to
read a few articles on search-engine optimization.
Some people insist that such principles for search engine optimization
cannot be applied with blog applications That is not quite the way things
are with blogs. WordPress, for example, is quite well-aware of the
importance of search-engine optimization, especially the vital aspects such
as those described above. See:
Search Engine Optimization for WordPress, by WordPress.org
Life before the computer
An application was used in search of
A program was a radio- or TV show.
A cursor used profanity. (Today they
often trigger it with a simple click.)
A keyboard could be found on a piano, on
an accordion or on a type-writer (you can still see those in old
movies, usually the black and white ones).
Memory was something that one acquired
throughout life and began to lose with advancing age.
A CD was a cash deposit to a bank account.
If you had a 3.5" floppy, you hoped that
nobody would find out about it.
Compress was something you did to the
garbage, not something you did to a file.
If you unzipped in public, you would run
the risk of spending time in jail.
"Log on" involved putting wood on a
A hard drive was a long trip on rough or
A mouse pad was something a mouse called
A back-up sometimes involved a W.C. and
was a very messy, smelly situation. (Today, the lack of one often
causes the air to turn blue.)
To cut, you needed a knife or a pair of
One could not paste without glue.
A web was used by spiders to catch
When you caught a virus, it usually
meant hot toddies and maybe some Aspirin and time in bed.
I should have stuck to pad and paper and
the memory in my head. I hear that nobody was ever killed in a
computer crash, but if it ever happens to anybody, they often wish
they were dead.
Well, my PC has a new lease on life, and I put the sledge hammer out
of sight for now.
When I first began to work with computers, many years ago, I always
maintained that the advent of computers enabled people to cause massive
problems with no more effort than the mere push of a button.
I was wrong about that. People are no longer the required initiators. PCs,
especially the ones possessed by MS demons, do the job without any human
input at all.
The White Rose
Thoughts are Free
Posted 2003 10 15
2004 09 06 (minor edits)
2007 12 23 (reformated)
2011 12 31 (added search-engine