Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Add or remove holidays in your Calendar

Microsoft Outlook is the email client included with the Microsoft Office suite. It is designed to operate as an independent personal information manager, as an Internet mail client, or in conjunction with the Microsoft Exchange Server for group scheduling, email, and task management. It manages email, calendars, contacts, tasks, to-do lists, and documents or files on the hard drive. Outlook helps you communicate through email, phone support, and group scheduling capabilities. Outlook also helps you share information by means of public folders, forms, and Internet connectivity.

Outlook juggles scheduling, group ware, personal information (contacts, tasks), email, and documents all in one place, and allows you to create and view information using a consistent interface.

You can find information easily with Windows shortcuts, which let you navigate to any private, public, or file system folders. Outlook Journal helps you find a document based on creation date and name.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 includes country/region holidays through the end of 2007. To add holidays for calendar years 2008 through 2012.

Add or remove holidays

Do one of the following:

Add holidays

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click Calendar Options.
2. Under Calendar options, click Add Holidays.
3. Select the check box next to each country/region whose holidays you want to add to your Calendar, and then click OK. Your own country/region is automatically selected.

Remove holidays

1. In Calendar, on the View menu, point to Arrange By, point to Current View, and then click Events.
2. Select the holidays you want to remove. To select multiple rows, press the CTRL key and click subsequent rows.
3. Click Delete Button image on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Unblock Attachments

Believe it or not but some people are actually creating and sending messages with attachments that will do your computer no good. Yes, you are correct; VIRUSES! There are a lot of file types in which a virus can reside. The most known are executables (programs) and scripts (automated processes). A filename consists out of 2 parts; a name and an extension. The extension is the part of the filename after the dot. For instance the filename document.doc. Document is the name part and doc is the extension part. The last part decides how the file opens. In our example a doc file will open with Microsoft Word.

At the moment there is a limited (but not a definite) list of file extensions that are known to be potential viruses. Outlook takes no changes and blocks these files whether or not it contains a virus because Outlook is not a virus scanner and therefore cannot determine whether the file is save or not. This is actually a good thing; even unknown viruses will be blocked this way! The downside of this is that occasionally you could receive a file that you know is clean but still can’t access. For instance; you receive a little (Flash) game or other program by e-mail.

Click here for the latest list of file types that are blocked by Outlook

Before I tell you how you can still access those attachments you must realize that you are creating a security risk on your computer this way. A good practise is to send these files in a compressed (for instance zip or rar) format. This enables you to scan the file before unpacking and it will also take less inbox space and upload/download time!

Enabling to receive blocked attachments involves changing the registry. I strongly recommend to only edit the registry when you actually receive an attachment and there is no other way in getting that file again in a saver way (in compressed format) and you know for sure that the file is clean. Also change back the registry directly after you saved the attachment. It probably sounds paranoid but you’ll be hitting yourself if you get infected because you “opened the door and invited the virus” yourself.

Alright, here goes;

1. Make sure Outlook is closed.
2. Open your registry editor by opening the Run command and type regedit (regedt32 for Windows 2000)
3. Locate the following key
Outlook 2000 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Outlook\Security]
Outlook 2002 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Security]
Outlook 2003 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Security]
Outlook 2007 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Security]
4. Go to Edit-> New-> String Value and name the value Level1Remove (case sensitive!)
5. Double-click on the newly created value and enter the extension including the “dot” that you want to open in Outlook. For instance .exe
If you need to enter more than one extension you’ll have to type separate them by a semicolon like this; .exe;.bat;.url
6. Press OK on the input box and close the registry editor
7. When you open Outlook the attachments which hold those extensions aren’t blocked by Outlook anymore.

To let Outlook block those extensions again follow the instructions again but instead of creating the Level1Remove value delete it.

If you are not comfortable with manually editing the registry or prefer easier access to block/unblock attachments you can also use OutlookTools (free).

Again; change back the registry directly after you saved the attachment or you’ll leave a door open for viruses!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recover Deleted Messages

Exchange server users may be able to recover deleted items using Deleted Items recovery, if the administrator
has it enabled. If it's not enabled, they cannot recover items deleted from Exchange mailboxes.

How Outlook's Deleted Items folder works

A PST is a database. Items are records within the database and there is an index that points to each item. When you empty the Deleted Items folder, Outlook doesn't actually delete the items, it just deletes the items' listings from the index. The item is still in the PST, but unrecoverable because Outlook has no idea where it is without the pointer in the index. The space the item takes up is called "whitespace".

When you Compact a PST, the item is finally removed permanently and the whitespace is recovered, often shrinking the PST by many megabytes. Once the PST has 20% "whitespace", Outlook begins compacting the PST. If the Deleted Items folder contained a lot of messages, Outlook may begin compacting the PST immediately and the items will be deleted forever within a few minutes.

To recover the items which are no longer in the index you need to force Outlook to rebuild the index by causing corruption. You can cause corruption by using a Hex editor to delete some characters from the beginning of the PST file. If you delete the wrong ones you'll cause corruption but not in the index and Outlook won't rebuild the index.

Recover the Deleted Items

If you don't know what a Hex editor is, you probably shouldn't be hex editing anything, but if you want to try, Google for "hex editor" - UltraEdit is probably the best and easiest one to use. Before doing anything to the PST with a Hex Editor, make a copy of the PST, or you may end up losing all of your e-mail.

1.Open the PST in the Hex editor.

2.Delete positions 7 through 13 with the spacebar. Since you're using hexadecimal numbering, this actually clears 13 characters in the following positions:

00007, 00008, 00009, 0000a, 0000b, 0000c, 0000d
0000e, 0000f, 00010, 00011, 00012, 00013
As you clear the characters, the editor displays the code “20” in their position.

3.Save the PST, it is now corrupted.

4.Run the Inbox Repair Tool, SCANPST.exe, to recover the file. Use Windows Search utility to find it.

5. The Inbox Repair Tool creates a backup and repairs the damage and recreates the PST.

Open the new PST in Outlook. The Deleted Items folder should now contain the deleted messages, unless Outlook has already deleted them for good by compacting the PST.