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Exorcising Outlook

One of the things I had to do as part of the migration to my sexy new iMac was recreate my Outlook setup on the new machine as I had it on the dinosaur laptop I’ve been using. I’m sure this wouldn’t be too much of a mission for most people, but I have over 20 active email accounts, hundreds of rules to help me process and sort through the more than 2000 emails I get every day, a massive task list, and notes for Africa plus about 6Gigs of emails, organized into 60 different PST files.

Needless to say, I was NOT looking forward to setting this up all over again! So I had a hunt on the interwebs and found a really handy tool to backup Outlook from my old machine (compressing it at the same time) and then restore it again to exactly the same settings on my new machine. It’s called ABF Outlook Backup, sells for $39 and it works a treat. What should have taken me DAYS to do only took me a couple of hours.

Actually it would have taken much less time, but I ran into a snag.

I did something wrong in the restoration process and somehow managed to duplicate my mail profile. The end result was that I landed up with duplicate PST folders showing up in Outlook and I couldn’t get rid of them. Trying the “Close <pst name>” option did not work – it kept telling me that “an object could not be found”. I was getting extremely frustrated, I even tried uninstalling and reinstalling Office, but that did nothing. I was close to bashing my head on the table!!

Back to the interwebs again to find a solution …

And the news was not good. All sorts of scary stuff like going into the registry and mucking around in the deep, dark unknown. No thanks! And then I spotted something – a free little application called PSTGhostbuster. It was a lifesaver! I managed to get rid of those pesky ghost files very quickly and easily, no mess no fuss =)

So there you go – 2 very handy tools that you could need one day.