As the saying goes, "There's good news and bad news about the long-awaited Outlook email security update." The good news is that it's finally available; you can find it on Microsoft's Office Update Web site. The bad news is that before you can install the update, you need the Office Service Release 1a (SR1a), which is a whopping 26MB to 40MB download (the size depends on how many office applications you have installed). I've tried about four times to download SR1a, but so far, I haven't succeeded. A CD-ROM version is available, but the Web page quotes a 6- to 8-week delivery time.

The combination of SR1a and the email security update is supposed to protect against a wide range of viruses, including "ILOVEYOU" and Melissa, so it's definitely worth having, even if you have to run an overnight download or wait 8 weeks for the CD-ROM to arrive.

I was delighted with the response to last week's column on Microsoft's DiskProbe tool. To answer the most commonly asked question: Yes, I really did spend 4 hours recovering 2 hours' worth of writing, although I spent most of that time doing other things while the computer searched for the data. Why didn't I just start over? Well, it was 2 hours of pretty good writing—and I quickly realized that it would make a good topic for other Windows 2000 Professional users.

One reader pointed out that DiskProbe and other support tools are available only if you have a Win2K Pro distribution CD-ROM, and some vendors aren't providing the CD-ROM with their systems. The support tools also are available with the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit, which I highly recommend.