Archive | Computer Repair

USB 3.0 Ports on Intel Sandy Bridge Motherboards and Operating System Installation

On the Intel Sandy Bridge motherboards including the Intel DH61BE motherboard I have noticed that keyboards and mice do not function when they are plugged into USB 3.0 ports when installing an operating system. The USB 3.0 ports are the blue USB ports. I also noticed while installing an operating system with these intel motherboards while the hard drive is plugged into a blue SATA port that the OS installation CD will not recognize that you have a hard drive present. If you have a USB keyboard and or USB mouse plugged into the USB 3.0 port which is the BLUE USB ports during the installation of an operating system, the keyboard and mouse will not function thus preventing you from installing an operating system. This is due to the fact that USB 3.0 functionality is being provided by a separate computer chip on the motherboard versus the legacy USB chip that is built in – integrated into the motherboard for the old school USB 2.0.

This means when installing an OS to ignore the blue USB and SATA ports on these intel motherboard and plug your hard drive and USB keyboard and mouse into the black ports. After you get the OS installed you can switch to using the USB 3.0 ports if you really want to but this isn’t necessary. Once the operating system is completely installed then the USB 3.0 ports will function.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, How To's, Motherboards0 Comments

How to use the Personal Folder Backup utility to automate the backup of .pst files

Your .pst file contains all the local Outlook folders, such as Calendar, Inbox, Tasks, Sent Items, Outbox, Deleted Items, and user-created folders. To automatically back up these folders, create a backup of your .pst file.

The Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool is an Outlook add-in that automates the backup process. The Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool works with Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, Outlook 2003, and Outlook 2007. To download the add-in, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

With the Personal Folders Backup add-in, you can choose which of your .pst files you want to back up and how frequently you want to back them up.

Each .pst file contains all your Outlook folders. This includes the Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts. You can have a single .pst file (usually called “Internet Folders” or “Personal Folders” in your Folder List), but you might also have an additional .pst file that you use for archiving (“Archive Folders”). The Personal Folders Backup add-in lets you back up any of these .pst files.

Note The Personal Folders Backup add-in backs up only .pst files. If you have a Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox, the server mailbox folders are backed up regularly by the server administrator.

To use the Personal Folders Backup add-in, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the File menu, click Backup.
  3. Click Options and select the .pst files that you want to back up.

To use the Personal Folders Backup add-in with Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the Ribbon, click Add-ins.
  3. Click Options and select the .pst files that you want to back up.

The Personal Folders Backup add-in can back up files to a disk. However, the add-in cannot spread the .pst file across multiple disks. When you change backup options, select a storage location that has sufficient free space to handle your whole .pst file.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to back up Microsoft OUTLOOK Personal Address Books

Your Personal Address Book might contain e-mail addresses and contact information that is not included in an Outlook Address Book or contact list. The Outlook Address Book can be kept either in an Exchange Server mailbox or in a .pst file. However, the Personal Address Book creates a separate file that is stored on your hard disk drive. To make sure that this address book is backed up, you must include any files that have the .pab extension in your backup process.

Follow these steps to locate your Personal Address Book file:

  1. If you are running Windows Vista: Click Start.If you are running Windows XP: Click Start, and then click Search.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, and then press ENTER or click Find Now.Note the location of the .pab file. Use My Computer or Windows Explorer to copy the .pab file to the same folder or storage medium that contains the backup of the .pst file.

You can use this backup to restore your Personal Address Book to your computer or transfer it to another computer. Follow these steps to restore the Personal Address Book:

  1. Close any messaging programs such as Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, or Windows Messaging.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and paste (or type) the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
    control panel

    Control Panel opens.

    Note If you see the Pick a category screen, click User Accounts.

  3. Double-click the Mail icon.
  4. Click Show Profiles.
  5. Click the appropriate profile, and then click Properties.
  6. Click Email Accounts.
  7. Click Add a New Directory or Address Book, and then click Next
  8. Click Additional Address Books, and then click Next.
  9. Click Personal Address Book, and then click Next.
  10. Type the path and the name of the Personal Address Book file that you want to restore, click Apply, and then click OK.
  11. Click Close, and click then OK.

Note The Outlook Address Book is a service that the profile uses to make it easier to use a Contacts folder in a Mailbox, Personal Folder File, or Public Folder as an e-mail address book. The Outlook Address Book itself contains no data that has to be saved.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Backups, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer

You cannot share or synchronize .pst files between one computer and another computer. However, you can still transfer Outlook data from one computer to another computer.

You might also want to create a new, secondary .pst file that is intended for transferring data only. Save the data that you want to transfer in this new .pst file and omit any data that you do not want to transfer. If you need to make a secondary .pst file to store data for transfer between two different computers, or for backup purposes, use the following steps:

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Outlook Data File.
  2. Type a unique name for the new .pst file, for example, type Transfer.pst, and then click OK.
  3. Type a display name for the Personal Folders file, and then click OK.
  4. Close Outlook.

Follow these steps to copy an existing .pst file:

  1. Use the instructions in the “How to make a backup copy of a .pst file” section to make a backup copy of the .pst file that you want to transfer. Make sure that you copy the backup .pst file to a CD-ROM or other kind of removable media.
  2. Copy the backup .pst file from the removable media to the second computer.
  3. Follow the steps in the “How to import .pst file data into Outlook” section to import the .pst file data into Outlook on the second computer.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Backups, Email, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to import .pst file data into Microsoft Outlook

You can use the backup copy of your .pst file to restore your Outlook data if the original .pst file is damaged or lost. Everything that is saved in the .pst file is returned to Outlook.

Follow these steps to restore, or import, your data into Outlook: If the .pst file that you want to import is stored on a removable device, such as a floppy disk, a portable hard disk drive, a CD-ROM, a magnetic tape cassette, or any other storage medium, insert or connect the storage device, and then copy the .pst file to the hard disk drive of the computer.

When you copy the .pst file, make sure that the Read-Only attribute is not selected. If this attribute is selected, you might receive the following error message:

The specified device, file, or path could not be accessed.
It may have  been deleted, it may be in use,
you may be experiencing network problems,
or you may not have sufficient permission to access it.
Close  any application using this file and try again.
  1. If you receive this error message, clear the Read-Only attribute, and then copy the file again.
  2. Open Outlook.
  3. On the File menu, click Import And Export. If the command is not available, rest the pointer over the chevrons at the bottom of the menu, and then click Import and Export.
  4. Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  5. Click Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
  6. Type the path and the name of the .pst file that you want to import, and then click Next.
  7. Select the folder that you want to import. To import everything in the .pst file, select the top of the hierarchy.
  8. Click Finish.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to export Microsoft OUTLOOK .pst file data

If you want to back up only some of your Outlook data, you can create a new backup .pst file of only the data that you want to save. This is also known as exporting .pst file data. For example, you might want to use this section if you have important information in only some folders and you have other, less important items in much larger folders. You can export only the important folders or contacts and omit folders like Sent Mail.

Follow these steps to export a specific folder:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. On the File menu, click Import And Export. If the menu item is not available, hover your pointer over the chevrons at the bottom of the menu, and then click Import and Export.
  3. Click Export To File, and then click Next.
  4. Click Personal Folder File (.pst) , and then click Next.
  5. Click the folder that you want to export the .pst file to, and then click Next.
  6. Click Browse, and then select the location where you want the new .pst file to be saved.
  7. In the File Name box, , type the name that you want to use for the new .pst file, and then click OK.
  8. Click Finish.

Note Folder design properties include permissions, filters, description, forms, and views. If you export items from one .pst file to another, no folder design properties are maintained.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to back up .pst file data that is located on a Microsoft Exchange Server

To know how to back up your data if you use Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server, you have to know where the data is stored. The default delivery and storage location for Outlook data is the Exchange Server mailbox. The Exchange Server administrator usually handles backups of the mailboxes on the server. However, some Exchange Server administrators store Outlook data in a .pst file on your hard disk drive.

Follow these steps to see where Outlook is currently storing your data:

In Outlook 2007:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Mail Setup tab, and then click E-mail Accounts.
  2. In the Account Settings window, click the Data Files tab.If the Name field contains the word “Mailbox” followed by an e-mail name, Outlook stores data in folders on the Exchange Server. Contact the Exchange Server administrator for more information about how backups are handled.If the field contains the words “Personal Folder” or the name of a set of personal folders or .pst files, Outlook stores new messages, contacts, appointments, and other data in a .pst file on your hard disk. To back up the data, go to the “How to make a backup copy of a .pst file” section.

In an earlier version of Outlook:

  1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.Note This option might be unavailable on some networks. The network administrator might have removed this option to protect the account information. If you do not see the Email Accounts option, contact the network administrator for help.
  2. Click View or Change Existing Email Accounts, and then click Next.
  3. Look at the Deliver new e-mail to the following location option. If the option contains the word “Mailbox” followed by an e-mail name, Outlook stores data in folders on the Exchange Server. Contact the Exchange Server administrator for more information about how backups are handled.If the field contains the words “Personal Folder” or the name of a set of personal folders or .pst files, Outlook stores new messages, contacts, appointments, and other data in a .pst file on your hard disk. To back up the data, go to the “How to make a backup copy of a .pst file” section.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Email, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

How to make a backup copy of an OUTLOOK .pst file

If you do not use Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook stores all its data in a .pst file. You can use the backup copy to restore your Outlook data if the original .pst file is damaged or lost. This article explains how to create a copy of your whole .pst file, with all the default items in the file.

Follow these steps to back up the whole .pst file:

  1. Close any messaging programs such as Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft Windows Messaging.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run. Copy and paste (or type) the following command in the Open box, and then press ENTER:
    control panel

    Control Panel opens.

    Note If you see the Pick a category screen, click User Accounts, and then go to step 3.

  3. Double-click the Mail icon.
  4. Click Show Profiles.
  5. Click the appropriate profile, and then click Properties.
  6. Click Data Files.
  7. Under Name, click the Personal Folders Service that you want to back up. By default, this service is called Personal Folders. However, it may be named something else.Note If you have more than one Personal Folders Service in your profile, you must back up each set of .pst files separately.If there are no entries called Personal Folders and you have not yet stored any information such as messages, contacts, or appointments in Outlook, you probably have not yet enabled the Personal Folders Service. Go to the “References” section for information about how to create a .pst file.

    If you have no Personal Folders Services in your profile and you can store information such as messages, contacts, or appointments in Outlook, your information is probably being stored in a mailbox on an Exchange Server. Try using the instructions in the “How to back up .pst file data that is located on a Microsoft Exchange Server” section.

  8. Click Settings, and then note the path and file name that appears.Note Because the .pst file contains all data that is stored in the MAPI folders that Outlook uses, the file can be very large. To reduce the size of the .pst file, click Compact Now in the Settings window.
  9. Close all the Properties windows.
  10. Use Windows Explorer or My Computer to copy the file that you noted in step 8. You can copy the file to another location on the hard disk drive or to any kind of removable storage media, such as a thumb drive, a CD-ROM, a portable hard disk drive, a magnetic tape cassette, or any other storage device.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Email, Exchange Server, How To's, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook0 Comments

4 steps to preventing server downtime

Eliminating potential single points of failure is a time-tested strategy for reducing the
risk of downtime and data loss. Typically, network administrators or computer consultants do this by introducing redundancy in the application delivery infrastructure, and automating the process of monitoring and
correcting faults to ensure rapid response to problems as they arise. Most leading
companies adopting best practices for protecting critical applications and data also
look at the potential for the failure of an entire site, establishing redundant systems at
an alternative site to protect against site-wise disasters.

STEP #1 – PROTECT AGAINST SERVER FAILURES WITH QUALITY….don’t be a cheapskate with your own business by using low quality CHEAPO server and network hardware. Use HIGH Quality hardware.

HARDWARE AND COMPONENT REDUNDANCY
Unplanned downtime can be caused by a number of different events, including:
• Catastrophic server failures caused by memory, processor or motherboard
failures

Server component failures including power supplies, fans, internal disks,
disk controllers, host bus adapters and network adapters
Server core components include power supplies, fans, memory, CPUs and main logic
boards. Purchasing robust, name brand servers, performing recommended
preventative maintenance, and monitoring server errors for signs of future problems
can all help reduce the chances of automation downtime due to catastrophic server
failure.

You can reduce downtime caused by server component failures by adding
redundancy at the component level. Examples are: redundant power and cooling,
ECC memory, with the ability to correct single-bit memory errors, and combining
Ethernet cards with RAID.

STEP #2 – PROTECT AGAINST STORAGE FAILURES WITH
STORAGE DEVICE REDUNDANCY AND RAID

Storage protection relies on device redundancy combined with RAID storage
algorithms to protect data access and data integrity from hardware failures. There are
distinct issues for both local disk storage and for shared, network storage.

For local storage, it is quite easy to add extra disks configured with RAID protection.
A second disk controller is also required to prevent the controller itself from being a
single point of failure.

Access to shared storage relies on either a fibre channel or Ethernet storage network.
To assure uninterrupted access to shared storage, these networks must be designed
to eliminate all single points of failure. This requires redundancy of network paths,
network switches, and network connections to each storage array.

STEP #3 – PROTECT AGAINST NETWORK FAILURES WITH
REDUNDANT NETWORK PATHS, SWITCHES AND ROUTERS

The network infrastructure itself must be fault-tolerant, consisting of redundant
network paths, switches, routers and other network elements. Server connections can
also be duplicated to eliminate fail-overs caused by the failure of a single server or
network component.

Take care to ensure that the physical network hardware does not share common
components. For example, dual-ported network cards share common hardware logic,
and a single card failure can disable both ports. Full redundancy requires either two separate adapters or the combination of a built-in network port along with a separate network adapter.

STEP #4 – PROTECT AGAINST SITE FAILURES WITH DATA
REPLICATION TO ANOTHER SITE

The reasons for site failures can range from an air conditioning failure or leaking roof
that affects a single building, a power failure that affects a limited local area, or a
major hurricane that affects a large geographic area. Site disruptions can last
anywhere from a few hours to days or even weeks.

There are two methods for dealing with site disasters. One method is to tightly couple
redundant servers across high speed/low latency links, to provide zero data-loss and
zero downtime. The other method is to loosely couple redundant servers over
medium speed/higher latency/greater distance lines, to provide a disaster recovery
(DR) capability where a remote server can be restarted with a copy of the application
database missing only the last few updates. In the latter case, asynchronous data
replication is used to keep a backup copy of the data.
Combining data replication with error detection and fail over tools can help to get a
disaster recovery site up and running in minutes or hours, rather than days.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Backups, Data Storage, Hard Drives, Hardware, High Availability, How To's, RAID Levels, Servers0 Comments

SOURCES OF SERVER AND NETWORK DOWNTIME

Unplanned server and network downtime can be caused by a number of different events:

• Catastrophic server failures caused by memory, processor or motherboard
failures

• Server component failures including power supplies, fans, internal disks,
disk controllers, host bus adapters and network adapters

• Software failures of the operating system, middleware or application

• Site problems such as power failures, network disruptions, fire, flooding or
natural disasters

To protect critical applications from downtime, you need to take steps to protect
against each potential source of downtime.

Eliminating potential single points of failure is a time-tested technical strategy for reducing the
risk of downtime and data loss. Typically, network administrators do this by introducing redundancy in
the application delivery infrastructure, and automating the process of monitoring and
correcting faults to ensure rapid response to problems as they arise. Most leading
companies adopting best practices for protecting critical applications and data also
look at the potential for the failure of an entire site, establishing redundant systems at
an alternative site to protect against site-wide disasters.

Posted in Computer Repair, Computers, Data Backups, Data Recovery, Data Storage, Hard Drives, High Availability, Memory, Motherboards, Networking, Servers0 Comments

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