Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
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April 30, 2002—In this issue:
- The Save My Settings Wizard
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Word Patch Fixes Outlook Email Vulnerability
- Cast Your Vote for Our Reader’s Choice Awards!
- Learn from (or Try to Stump) Top Windows Security Pros
- Tip: Preventing a False Reply Flag
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- BMC Software Announces Exchange Management Solutions
9. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Sue Mosher, News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unless you prowl around the Start, Programs menu (All Programs in Windows XP), you might not know that when you install Microsoft Office XP you also get a nifty tool for backing up most of the little Outlook files that govern so many key settings, including Outlook Bar, signature, send/receive group, mail profile, and dozens of registry settings. You’ll find the Save My Settings Wizard on the Office Tools menu.
You can use the wizard to save your settings, then restore them on the same machine or on a different computer. The Office XP wizard also gives you the choice of saving to a local .ops file or saving to the Web, although the Web option was unavailable when I tried it last week.
For Office 2000, you can download a compatible version of the wizard from Microsoft’s Web site. The biggest difference between the two versions is that the Office 2000 version lets you save settings only as a local Office profile settings (.ops) file. It can’t take advantage of the online storage.
When you first start the Save My Settings Wizard, an information page informs you that you need to close all Office programs before proceeding. You then have the choice of saving or restoring settings and saving to a local file or to the Web. You need a Microsoft .NET Passport account to use the Web option. If you choose the Web option, the wizard encrypts your data and uploads it to a secure server. Microsoft says that it can’t access the data and will share it with no one.
After you choose where to save, click Finish, and the wizard goes to work, consolidating registry information and key settings files into one archive in just seconds. Running the wizard on my production desktop, which has 17 Outlook profiles and all Office XP programs including Microsoft FrontPage installed, produced an .ops file of just less than 4MB.
If you used the Custom Installation Wizard to install Office XP, the .ops file extension ought to look familiar. In fact, the Save My Settings Wizard in Office XP is nothing more than a user version of the Office Profile Wizard that comes in the Office XP Resource Kit (ORK). Administrators can use the Office Profile Wizard to extract settings from an installation of Office XP, then apply those settings to individual workstations when they use the Custom Installation Wizard to deploy Office XP. Both wizards are part of the ORK toolset, which is available through download or in the enterprise edition of Office XP.
Even if you aren’t involved in deploying Office XP, you might want to download the ORK tools (11MB—components aren’t available as separate downloads) to get the documentation and the OPS File Viewer. This tool extracts from the .ops settings file a list of all the registry entries and files and saves that list with the same filename as the .ops file but with an .out extension. The OPS File Viewer then opens the .out file for you to examine. The .out file is just a text file, so you can also open it in Notepad.
According to the OPS File Viewer, the Save My Settings Wizard doesn’t save Personal Folders (.pst) files or Personal Address Book (.pab) files. It does save customized Outlook Bar settings (.fav), send/receive group settings (.srs), and nickname-resolution files (.nk2) for all profiles, along with the Junk Senders.txt file, print customizations in the Outlprnt file, toolbar customizations in the outcmd.dat file, custom system file views in the views.dat file, signature files, and the Outlook Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) project file (vbaproject.otm). In addition, the Save My Settings Wizard saves dozens of registry settings, making the OPS File Viewer an ingenious tool for analyzing the mass of changes that Outlook and the other Office programs make to the Windows registry.
My results with mail profile settings were mixed. The Save My Settings Wizard definitely stores information from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Microsoft Outlook registry subkey but doesn’t restore that information unless the target machine has existing profiles with names that match the saved profiles. In other words, you can’t use the wizard to easily build several profiles on one machine and transfer them to another.
Office 2000 Save My Settings Wizard
Office Profile Wizard and Office XP Resource Kit Tools Download
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
Microsoft recommends that Outlook users who use Microsoft Word as their email editor—a configuration known as WordMail—install a new patch for Word. The update fixes a vulnerability that could let harmful scripts run if the user replies to or forwards an HTML message. Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR1/1a) is a prerequisite.
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The Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE! event brings together industry gurus who take security seriously. Topic coverage includes Microsoft IIS security, deploying public key infrastructure (PKI), designing Group Policies to enhance security, tips for securing Windows 2000 networks, security pitfalls (and solutions) for your mobile workforce, and more. Register today before this event sells out!
(contributed by Sue Mosher, email@example.com)
Q: Why does Outlook sometimes say that I’ve sent a reply to a message when I know I haven’t?
A: You might see a reply flag on a message if you created a reply and didn’t send it but had the reply open long enough for Outlook to save it automatically to the Drafts folder. If this behavior annoys you, one possible workaround is to lengthen the AutoSave time or turn off AutoSave completely. To alter your AutoSave settings, choose Tools, Options, E-mail Options, Advanced E-mail Options.
See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Bob Kretschman, firstname.lastname@example.org)
BMC Software announced new management solutions for Exchange Server that BMC says will help customers achieve new efficiencies in monitoring, management, recovery, and security. BMC Software supports Exchange across the enterprise with these solutions: PATROL Recovery for Microsoft Exchange Server, which executes, monitors, and manages Exchange 2000 Server backups and recoveries; PATROL for Microsoft Exchange Servers, which assures availability and performance of all Exchange messaging servers in a user’s environment; and CONTROL-SA, which ensures optimization of mail and messaging applications. For more information, contact BMC Software at 713-918-1371 or 800-793-4262.
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- The April 30, 2002, Commentary incorrectly stated that the Save My Settings Wizard in Office 2000 saves data to a local file. The wizard actually saves to an online repository run by Microsoft. The ability to save settings to a local file is a new feature added to the wizard in Office XP. We apologize for any inconvenience this error might have caused.