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Really Bad Day in the Field

 
 
smackedass
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      09-11-2007

Actually, it does mention '95, '98, 2000 and ME, but does not mention XP.
Read:

__________________________________________________ _______________

How to back up Personal Address Books
Although contact information can be kept either in an Exchange Server
mailbox or in a .pst file, and is accessed through the Outlook Address Book,
the Personal Address Book creates a file that is stored on your hard disk
drive. To make sure that this address book is backed up, you must include
any files with the .pab extension in your backup process.

Use the following steps to locate your Personal Address Book file:
1. If you are running Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98: Click
Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.

If you are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows Millennium
Edition (Me): Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or
Folders.
2. Type *.pab, click My Computer in the Look In box, and then click Find
Now.

__________________________________________________ ________________

And given the fact that the folder structures within different operating
systems are slightly different, it certainly is possible that XP
manages.pst, .wab, and .pab files differently.

And, just for shits and giggles, I just went down in the dungeon and, on a
recently refurbished XP HE SP2 box, opened Outlook for the very first time,
and added two contacts. I then closed Outlook, and searched for *.pab
files--none. I searched for *.wab files (just in case)--none. Then I
searched for *.pst files and found one, right where I expected it.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out.

sa

 
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Adam Leinss
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      09-12-2007
Barry Watzman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:46e6d0ce$0$15385$(E-Mail Removed):

> Re: "Contacts are kept in the PST itself, the only way he could be
> right is if there was another PST file on his hard drive."
>
> That is not (or at least not necessarily) correct.
>
> "Contacts are kept in the PST itself" is the DEFAULT way of doing
> things, but it's NOT the ONLY way. Outlook also supports using a
> SEPARATE .PAB file, in fact that is the way that I handle my own
> contacts. And apparently that is what the individual in question
> was doing also. The .PAB file is a separate file and may not even
> be in the same folder as the .PST file.


Right. The Contacts folder and PAB are mutually exclusive. PABs are
left overs from Outlook 98. In fact, if you upgrade Outlook to Outlook
XP or newer, it will ask you if you want to import your PAB into the
Contacts folder.

If he's using Outlook 2003, he's likely not using a PAB. PABs, as far
as I know, can't be synced to mobile devices, etc. It is, however,
possible that you can have your Contacts folder pointing to another PST
file outside of your main one.

All of this sounds fishy anyways, because no sane ISP will allow you to
e-mail 5000 people at once (usually not even > 50 people at once). If
he's e-mailing that many people, then he should be using a mail list
service and not his PC.

Adam
--
Visit my PC Tech blog at www.leinss.com/blog
 
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Mister
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      09-12-2007
I was just about to ask what the advantage was of keeping a .pab over
storing them in a .pst and I found out there really isn't any, unless
you want to separate business contacts from personal contacts, etc.
Read to the end and you will find that the .pab file is no longer used
in Outlook 2007.

Taken from:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ou...922051033.aspx

Personal Address Books

Outlook also supports Personal Address Books (PAB). Like Contacts, a
Personal Address Book can store a contact's name, address, e-mail
address, phone, and other information. Outlook stores the Personal
Address Book in a file with a PAB file extension. The PAB is
completely separate from your other Outlook data stored in your PST
file (or in an Exchange Server store). You can add more than one PAB
to an Outlook profile.

So why include Personal Address Books in Outlook? The Personal Address
Book is a holdover from earlier versions of Outlook. A Personal
Address Book does not support Unicode characters, which are an
expanded set of characters that includes many more symbols and
language-specific characters than the original ASCII set of
characters. (The Contacts folder does support Unicode in Outlook
2003.) However, an entry in a Personal Address Book doesn't offer the
same breadth of information about the contact as an entry in Contacts.
So, Contacts in general is often a much better place to store
contacts.

Why use a Personal Address Book? One situation is when you want to
completely separate your personal contacts from your business contacts
(which you would store in Contacts). A better alternative is to create
a separate Contacts folder just for your personal contacts. To create
a new Contacts folder, open the existing Contacts folder. On the File
menu, point to New, and click Folder. Enter a name (use Personal
Contacts in this example) in the Name box and click OK. You should now
see a new folder named Personal Contacts under Contacts.

Bottom line: A second Contacts folder is usually a better choice than
a Personal Address Book. However, you can use a PAB to keep your
personal addresses completely separate from your other Outlook data,
if needed. >END<


And for all those Outlook 2007, which includes myself, a quote from
Microsoft TechNet site:

Office Outlook 2007 does not support .pab files. During configuration,
all contacts in the Personal Address Book are migrated to the default
Outlook Contacts folder.
Reason for change: Outlook Contacts provides more functionality than
..pab files. >END<





On Wed, 12 Sep 2007 00:07:08 -0400, Barry Watzman
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Re: "The Contacts folder and PAB are mutually exclusive."
>
>They are not mutually exclusive; you can (and I do) have both. And I'm
>using 2003, but have previously used 2000 and Office 97.
>
>
>Adam Leinss wrote:
>> Barry Watzman <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
>> news:46e6d0ce$0$15385$(E-Mail Removed):
>>
>>> Re: "Contacts are kept in the PST itself, the only way he could be
>>> right is if there was another PST file on his hard drive."
>>>
>>> That is not (or at least not necessarily) correct.
>>>
>>> "Contacts are kept in the PST itself" is the DEFAULT way of doing
>>> things, but it's NOT the ONLY way. Outlook also supports using a
>>> SEPARATE .PAB file, in fact that is the way that I handle my own
>>> contacts. And apparently that is what the individual in question
>>> was doing also. The .PAB file is a separate file and may not even
>>> be in the same folder as the .PST file.

>>
>> Right. The Contacts folder and PAB are mutually exclusive. PABs are
>> left overs from Outlook 98. In fact, if you upgrade Outlook to Outlook
>> XP or newer, it will ask you if you want to import your PAB into the
>> Contacts folder.
>>
>> If he's using Outlook 2003, he's likely not using a PAB. PABs, as far
>> as I know, can't be synced to mobile devices, etc. It is, however,
>> possible that you can have your Contacts folder pointing to another PST
>> file outside of your main one.
>>
>> All of this sounds fishy anyways, because no sane ISP will allow you to
>> e-mail 5000 people at once (usually not even > 50 people at once). If
>> he's e-mailing that many people, then he should be using a mail list
>> service and not his PC.
>>
>> Adam


 
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brill80917
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-23-2007
On Sep 8, 11:39 am, "smackedass" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> The worst thing that has happened to me since I've been working as a private
> tech/consultant has just happened to me. I lost what my customer claims is,
> conservatively, 5000 email addresses.
>
> He was diligent about backing up his My Documents folder. He uses Outlook
> 2003, but never backed up his email. Before I re-installed XP onto his
> hard drive, I backed up Outlook.pst (which was last modified that day, right
> before I picked his computer up) and Archive.pst. They were both located in
> the same path/folder where they usually are. I don't remember if I searched
> for all .pst files on the hard drive.
>
> After the re-install, I imported Outlook.pst, and the emails came through,
> but not the contact list. Needless to say, he's happy. I don't know what
> I could have done differently. To be sure, this guy is kind of a nitwit, he
> operates a successful business with one office in Florida, and one here on
> the Cape, but none of his network is password protected. He thought (until
> yesterday) that the best way to keep his data safe and private was to keep
> it on his own computer. I wanted to discuss this with his office manager,
> who works down in the FL office, to see if there were another .pst file on
> one of the network drives, but he claims that she is too busy to talk to me.
> I also offered to do a data recovery, at my own time and my own expense, on
> the hard drive in question, but he says that it's too late. He was just
> about to put out a huge marketing message via email, and now he has to
> figure out Plan B.
>
> He also uses another local PC technician that I would like to speak with,
> but for some reason, he does not want me to speak with him.
>
> Certainly I don't take things like this lightly. I'm giving him a full
> refund, and am assuring him that I will do whatever it takes to make matters
> as right as possible. But he just has written the matter off, and is
> insistent that somehow I dropped the ball, and thinks that further
> cooperation will only be a waste of his time.
>
> How much sleep would you lose over this? What could I have done
> differently, and should I offer to do anything else? To what extent do you
> folks analyze the integrity of user data while doing a routine job?
>
> Thanks,
>
> smackedass


Smacked

I just wanted to say I love your posts man! All of them. I learn more
from your posts and the responses to them than 100 sundry posts in
this quite lovely newsgroup. I think it's your honesty and writing
ability that makes them jump out at me. Keep 'em coming dude!

Bob Smith A+/former CCNA (3 year cert those bastards!)

 
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smackedass
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-23-2007

>
> Smacked
>
> I just wanted to say I love your posts man! All of them. I learn more
> from your posts and the responses to them than 100 sundry posts in
> this quite lovely newsgroup. I think it's your honesty and writing
> ability that makes them jump out at me. Keep 'em coming dude!
>
> Bob Smith A+/former CCNA (3 year cert those bastards!)



Thank you Bob. There will be a "revisit" post to augment this one, which
will include follow-up and un-included case facts.

If there's one thing that I'd LOVE to convey in this NG, is that, while, for
the people who are studying for the A+ (or any other IT exam) use this forum
for study and exam info, that's hardly the end of the road. Every once in a
while, somebody posts something like, "I wish that we'd stick to the test
stuff", and to them I'd say, the test will soon be over, and the real
challenges about to begin.

And enough of my penny-ante pontificating...

sa

 
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Patty
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-24-2007
On Sun, 23 Sep 2007 22:59:36 GMT, smackedass wrote:

>>
>> Smacked
>>
>> I just wanted to say I love your posts man! All of them. I learn more
>> from your posts and the responses to them than 100 sundry posts in
>> this quite lovely newsgroup. I think it's your honesty and writing
>> ability that makes them jump out at me. Keep 'em coming dude!
>>
>> Bob Smith A+/former CCNA (3 year cert those bastards!)

>
>
> Thank you Bob. There will be a "revisit" post to augment this one, which
> will include follow-up and un-included case facts.
>
> If there's one thing that I'd LOVE to convey in this NG, is that, while, for
> the people who are studying for the A+ (or any other IT exam) use this forum
> for study and exam info, that's hardly the end of the road. Every once in a
> while, somebody posts something like, "I wish that we'd stick to the test
> stuff", and to them I'd say, the test will soon be over, and the real
> challenges about to begin.
>
> And enough of my penny-ante pontificating...
>
> sa


I have found that all the studying and test taking is not as good a teacher
as is experience. Smackedass, all your experiences are very educational
for those of us who have not started working in the field yet. Keep your
experiences coming.

Always,

Patty
A+ 2006
 
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Dave Hardenbrook
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-03-2007
As someone else just starting out, I also like hearing your experiences.
The incident you relate in this thread reminds me of a couple of months
ago when a client's hard drive on her old Compaq died. I managed to
recover the data from her old system and transfer it to the new system
she bought, a Compag running Vista (I couldn't persuade her to get a
custom-built system). Lo and behold, not only did she hate Vista's
"black" GUI, but her old MS-Works files wouldn't open because the OEM
version of Works 2007 that comes with new Compaq/Vista machines are
missing the component to import from old versions of Works. The client
insisted on a partial refund on the grounds that, in her view, I should
have known this issue would arise, even though it's exactly the sort of
thing a systems tech (unless they know a lot about Windows OEM versions,
specifically Works) could not possibly have forseen.

The moral is that there will always be clients who will be determined to
find a reason to blame the tech, if things don't go entirely according
to their expectations, and won't want to let you rectify the situation
even if it's in your power to do so. Those aren't the sort of clients
you want to work with in future anyway.


Dave
 
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Tony
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-19-2007
You did not say why you had to wipe out the drive and re-install XP.

True, you could do an Outlook backup and include all folders and subfolders but the latest pst in
the hidden folder (docs and settings\usre\app date\etc) should contain that very same info since
that is where Outlook is getting it from (unless someone moved the file). If you saved the latest
Outlook.pst, which was modified that day, why are the contacts missing? Something's fishy.

ANyway, I would not have given him a full refund. You performed a service and you recovered all of
his email messages and archives. How do you know he really had the contacts there? If his attitude
is how you described it, then I would be glad to get rid of him.

In the future, have a spare drvie and clone the original. Then do what you want to the repair
computer. Or, sometimes I install XP on the new drive along with all of the drivers and apps, then,
bring the data back in. When it all is perfect, I Ghost that to the original drive. This way I know
that I am retrieving data from the original drive and all should be there.

If you need to keep him, I would clone his current drive to a new one. Take his and do a search for
deleted files (using something like Get Back Data) and only look for PST. When you find them, use
Outlook to import them in one at a time and maybe you will find the pot o gold. He probably wont go
for it. He sounds like he already made up his mind not to use you anymore, probably at the bad
mouthing of the next technician who is probably asking him what kind of computer guy was he using?

I say, let him go and glad. Good luck.

Tony


On Sat, 08 Sep 2007 15:39:46 GMT, "smackedass" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>The worst thing that has happened to me since I've been working as a private
>tech/consultant has just happened to me. I lost what my customer claims is,
>conservatively, 5000 email addresses.
>
>He was diligent about backing up his My Documents folder. He uses Outlook
>2003, but never backed up his email. Before I re-installed XP onto his
>hard drive, I backed up Outlook.pst (which was last modified that day, right
>before I picked his computer up) and Archive.pst. They were both located in
>the same path/folder where they usually are. I don't remember if I searched
>for all .pst files on the hard drive.
>
>After the re-install, I imported Outlook.pst, and the emails came through,
>but not the contact list. Needless to say, he's happy. I don't know what
>I could have done differently. To be sure, this guy is kind of a nitwit, he
>operates a successful business with one office in Florida, and one here on
>the Cape, but none of his network is password protected. He thought (until
>yesterday) that the best way to keep his data safe and private was to keep
>it on his own computer. I wanted to discuss this with his office manager,
>who works down in the FL office, to see if there were another .pst file on
>one of the network drives, but he claims that she is too busy to talk to me.
>I also offered to do a data recovery, at my own time and my own expense, on
>the hard drive in question, but he says that it's too late. He was just
>about to put out a huge marketing message via email, and now he has to
>figure out Plan B.
>
>He also uses another local PC technician that I would like to speak with,
>but for some reason, he does not want me to speak with him.
>
>Certainly I don't take things like this lightly. I'm giving him a full
>refund, and am assuring him that I will do whatever it takes to make matters
>as right as possible. But he just has written the matter off, and is
>insistent that somehow I dropped the ball, and thinks that further
>cooperation will only be a waste of his time.
>
>How much sleep would you lose over this? What could I have done
>differently, and should I offer to do anything else? To what extent do you
>folks analyze the integrity of user data while doing a routine job?
>
>Thanks,
>
>smackedass


 
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smackedass
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-24-2007

"Tony" <(E-Mail Removed) > wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> You did not say why you had to wipe out the drive and re-install XP.


He had entirely too many bad things going on; spyware that wouldn't leave
(granted, he had no idea how to get rid of it), error messages that kept
re-appearing, and, not the least, an expired version of Norton Anti-Virus.
Even after I did the routine cleanup/spyware removal, etc.

>
> True, you could do an Outlook backup and include all folders and
> subfolders but the latest pst in
> the hidden folder (docs and settings\usre\app date\etc) should contain
> that very same info since
> that is where Outlook is getting it from (unless someone moved the file).
> If you saved the latest
> Outlook.pst, which was modified that day, why are the contacts missing?
> Something's fishy.


I have been meaning to follow up on my original post; forgive me I haven't.
But, suffice to say, I HAVE been able to recover approx. 285 email addresses
from his .pst folder. Long story short, when I brought him back his
newly-reformatted re-installed HD, he couldn't find his version of Office
2003, which he had been using. But he DID find an Office 2000 disk, from
which we did instll Office; Outlook apparently did not read the .pst file
correctly, and I believe that this caused the problem. Anyway, since then,
like I said, I was able to find about 285 email addresses, (through Outlook
2003) which I may now import into his address book. But the guy is
difficult to read, and in addition, told me that his contact list contained
"five thousand, conservatively, email addresses", which I am reluctant to
believe. So now, the issue isn't only if I was able to recover 6 or 7 email
addresses, but whether it was 285 or 5000. Wish me luck.
>
> ANyway, I would not have given him a full refund. You performed a service
> and you recovered all of
> his email messages and archives. How do you know he really had the
> contacts there? If his attitude
> is how you described it, then I would be glad to get rid of him.


This boils down to matters of faith. Personally, I don't believe that he
had 5000 email addresses. If I was able to locate 285 in one fell swoop,
beyond the first 6 that I found, I don't imagine that he has 4,715 stashed
in some obscurely located .pab file. This is what I'm up against now.

>
> In the future, have a spare drvie and clone the original. Then do what you
> want to the repair
> computer. Or, sometimes I install XP on the new drive along with all of
> the drivers and apps, then,
> bring the data back in. When it all is perfect, I Ghost that to the
> original drive. This way I know
> that I am retrieving data from the original drive and all should be there.


That's all good and fine, but it's not really in my economic scheme, or
logistical scheme, to obtain and maintain all of these hard drives, when I'm
charging $65 per hour. My situation to deal with, I guess.

>
> If you need to keep him, I would clone his current drive to a new one.
> Take his and do a search for
> deleted files (using something like Get Back Data) and only look for PST.


I believe it's also a .pab that I may be looking for, also, according to
advice from some of the previous posts. I know about Get Back Data, have
used it, am an advocate of it, but I don't think it would satisfy him.

When you find them, use
> Outlook to import them in one at a time and maybe you will find the pot o
> gold. He probably wont go
> for it. He sounds like he already made up his mind not to use you anymore,
> probably at the bad
> mouthing of the next technician who is probably asking him what kind of
> computer guy was he using?


That's another thing. I asked him to give me the phone# of his usual (guy
was out of town or something) tech, and he told me, "his number is in my
bag, which is in my car, which is out of town" or some such ****. Doing
research the next day, the guy's contact info (he is also his Web Master)
was RIGHT ON HIS OWN WEB SITE. So then I was thinking, why doesn't he want
me to talk to him?
>
> I say, let him go and glad. Good luck.


>
> Tony


Yeah, I guess, only we're co-members of a networking group. I have to
afford a little bit of expedience that I normally would not, with any other
pain in the ass client.

Thanks for the response.

smackedass


 
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Tony
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-24-2007
>> In the future, have a spare drvie and clone the original. Then do what you
>> want to the repair
>> computer. Or, sometimes I install XP on the new drive along with all of
>> the drivers and apps, then,
>> bring the data back in. When it all is perfect, I Ghost that to the
>> original drive. This way I know
>> that I am retrieving data from the original drive and all should be there.

>
>That's all good and fine, but it's not really in my economic scheme, or
>logistical scheme, to obtain and maintain all of these hard drives, when I'm
>charging $65 per hour. My situation to deal with, I guess.


I didnt mean to store everyone's hard drive somewhere. I meant to have one hard drive and before you
start wiping and re-installing, ghost it. After you wipe, install and bring the data back in, let
the customer use it for a day or so to see if anything is missing. I do this occasionally and no one
ever told me that something was missing. However, if it was, you would have the ghosted drive to
search for the missing files. Once all is good, wipe your drive and use it for the next guy. I did
it twice today and it went fine.

BTW, $65/hr is too cheap. I do $100/hr for businesses and $85/hr for end users. And I still get
yelled at by my peers that I charge too little! Good luck with this guy.

Tony


>

 
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