15 August 2009

Another Microsoft app bites the dust

Mutter mutter grump...

I use Microsoft Outlook for email. Curious, since I don't use anything else in Microsoft Office unless I have to. I have to have MS Word (two versions) professionally, because so much material is formatted in it, but I never use it. Ditto Excel. I used to use Outlook for contacts management, task management, and calendar, too, but those went elsewhere a long time ago. Email, though, stayed there ... probably out of inertia.

Then, last night, Outlook refused to start. It gave the message "cannot initialize Microsoft Office shared utilities", and that was that.

Searching the web, or ringing around friends and colleagues, I find thousands of cases of people who have encountered the same thing ... but none, as yet, with a solution that works.

After sixteen hours I did manage to get Outlook started, but couldn't make it collect or send mail from/to the server. The real killer, though, is that eleven years of vital email archive (not to mention vital current email) is locked up in Outlook PST files which nothing else seems to be able to read. The files are all backed up ... but the backups are useless. The restarted program won't export anything, either, and it rebuffs any other program attempting to read data from the files. I can manually shift emails out to separate individual files – but they are, again, not files which anything else can read. Shades of "a fistful of Rosetta stones"

Luckily, Outlook on the network server is still OK. So, I'm shifting everything out into files which are more generically accessible to other tools. Goodbye, Outlook. Hullo Thunderbird, which saves messages in a variety of useful ways ...and is efficiently importing those eleven years of archive material even as I type this...

1 comment:

Gayle said...

If you figure out how to make Thunderbird forward a forward without everyone's names showing up, please let me know how you did it.