Countdown to End-of-Support for Windows XP

Support for Windows XP ends

On April 8th 2014, Microsoft will end support for its decade-old Windows XP. This means, you will no longer receive security updates, fixes or online technical support for PCs still running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003. The security and privacy implications of this event could have significant impacts on your business, so if you’re running either of these products you should plan to take action soon.

As a precaution, we would recommend all our clients to consider upgrading to the latest supported operating systems such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Customers migrating to these platforms will benefit from enhanced security, broad device choice for a mobile workforce and higher user productivity.

Why upgrade now?

  1. No support: Microsoft support, including online and phone-based technical support, will end. As a result both Jaytag and any other IT support company will not be able to properly support Windows XP.
  2. Security Risks: Critical security updates will stop, making machines much more vulnerable to viruses. Hackers are waiting to take advantage of this insecurity. If your computer gets a virus your machine will not only not perform properly – it may shut down entirely. Moreover, you are at risk for losing files and having your personal and business information stolen. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.
  3. Compliance: Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements e.g. PCI compliance.
  4. Hardware Manufacturer support: PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting the above mentioned operating system. This will also mean that drivers required won’t be available anymore. E.g. a new HP printer won’t have drivers for the above operating system.
  5. Old technology: Windows XP was released 12 years ago, and was replaced by Windows 7 in 2009. It does not support HTML5 or the newest version of Internet Explorer nor does it support many modern hardware devices such as USB 3.0.

If you have any concerns regarding your systems, please do contact us to discuss the options that are available to you.

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DamianCountdown to End-of-Support for Windows XP

Repairing a corrupt PST personal folders file

I wrote previously about corrupt PST files. The first you may know about it may be an error message like this:

Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. Errors could have been detected in the file drive:Documents and SettingsuserLocal SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlookOutlook.pst. Quit all mail-enabled applications, and then use the Inbox Repair Tool.

Thankfully, Microsoft provide a PST repair tool for just this occurance:

  • On the Start menu, click Run.
  • In the Open box, type:
  • C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystemMapiLocaleIDscanpst.exe

Where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for your installation of Microsoft Office. For example, the LCID for English (United States) is 1033. For a list of LCIDs, see Microsoft Office Help.

  • Click OK.
  • In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, type the path and file name given in the error message above.
  • Note that you may not be able to use the Browse button to locate this file because it is located in a hidden folder.
  • To change the options for logging errors during the scan, click Options. If you choose Replace log or Append to log, the log file is saved to the same directory as the .pst file.
  • Click Start
  • When the file scan is completed, select the Make a backup of scanned file before repairing check box.
  • Click Repair

If the file is successfully repaired, you will see a Repair complete message. If the Inbox Repair Tool was unable to repair the file, you will need to use a backup of your file.

There are third party programs available which could also help:

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DamianRepairing a corrupt PST personal folders file

Backing up Microsoft Outlook PST files

Sometimes, you may find that you wish to move or backup the PST archive files you have created in Microsoft Outlook. In this walkthrough, we show you how to find these files so they may be copied, moved or backed up.

In this walkthrough, I’ve used Outlook 2003, however the process is similar for all versions of Outlook.

  • Open Microsoft Outlook
  • Right-Click on your ‘Personal Folders’ file (note, this may be called Archive or similar) and select Properties


  • Click the ‘Advanced’ button
  • The red highlighted area in the below image shows where the file is located on your computer.


Note this location down.

  • Close Microsoft Outlook.
  • Open Windows Explorer or ‘My Computer’ and browse to the location of the file that we noted above.
  • You should see a window similar to the below image:


  • Copy the ‘PST’ files (such as outlook.pst in the above image) to your preferred location. This may take some time if the file(s) are large.
  • Repeat the above for any additional PST files.

If you no longer wish to use the PST file in Outlook, right click the folder (in the Outlook folder list) and select ‘close’

WARNING! There are a couple of points to note. Firstly, that PST files are susceptable to corruption. In our experience, the larger the PST file, the more likely the corruption. It’s important therefore to make regular backups.

Secondly, PST files have size limits:

Outlook 97 to Outlook 2003
Starting with Microsoft Outlook 97 the Personal Storage file is encoded in a format with a maximum file size of 2 GB. If the file exceeds this size it will become corrupted. This format is supported by Microsoft Outlook 97, Outlook 98, Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, and Outlook 2003.

Outlook 2003 onward
From Outlook 2003 onward, the Personal Storage file is encoded in a new format. It allows a user-definable maximum file size up to 33TB that exceeds the previous limit of 2GB. This format is supported by Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. A file that is created in the personal folders format in Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is not compatible with earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook and cannot be opened by using those older versions.

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DamianBacking up Microsoft Outlook PST files