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Backing Up Your Email

Backing up your email, DOS for Windows Me, HyperTerminal update and making a quick exit from Windows 98.

By Peter Smith

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Fig.1: the Options dialog box for Outlook Express.

Microsoft’s Outlook Express stores all address book data in .WAB (Windows Address Book) files. Each person that logs into a particular computer has his or her own address book. For example, if you log in as "George", your address book would be named George.WAB.

You could just copy all .WAB files to back up all address books but there is a snag. With version 5.x of Outlook Express, Microsoft introduced a new feature call "Identities", which enables multiple accounts to co-exist on the same PC using a single .WAB file.

To successfully back up a specific "identities" address book, you need to log in as that identity and perform an address book export. You can then back up the exported file for safekeeping. All message folders and associated files can be backed up directly – but how do you find out where they’re stored?

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Fig.2: the Store Location dialog box.

Open Outlook Express and on the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Maintenance tab and then click on the Store Folder button. The Store Location dialog box displays the directory in question (Fig.2).

For step-by-step backup instructions, check out the following web pages: (Outlook Express 4) (Outlook Express 5)

Windows ME and DOS

Remember MS-DOS? If you’ve upgraded to Windows ME, you’ll notice that Microsoft have given it the old heave-ho. In other words, you can’t boot to a DOS prompt or run those real-mode games or utilities that you used to be able to with earlier versions of Windows. You can’t even create a DOS startup disk!
Despair not. If you really can’t do without the “>” prompt, then check out the following web sites that offer free patches and utilities to correct this obvious oversight by Microsoft!

Making A Quick Exit From Windows 98 – Just Click Once

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Here’s an addition to your Windows 95/98 desktop that you will use every day. It allows you to exit Windows at warp speed, using just one mouse click instead of the usual three!
Right-click on any blank space on the desktop. Choose New -> Shortcut and enter the following in the Command line box exactly as it appears below:
Note that there is no space after the comma and case must be as shown. Click the Next button and you will be prompted to select a name for the shortcut. Enter whatever you like, then click Finish. Make sure all applications are closed before double-clicking on your new shortcut!

HyperTerminal Update

Do you use HyperTerminal? If so, you may have noticed that it has a number of annoying bugs. Hyper­Terminal is supplied free with Windows 95/98, Me and NT, and is part of the standard Windows installation.
Consider upgrading to version 6.1, available free to download from the Hilgraeve web site located at
As well as bug fixes, this latest version includes a couple of extra features as well. For Windows 2000 users, the HyperTerminal update is included in the recently released Service Pack 2.

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