Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Does the Microsoft Outlook process not die when you close Outlook?

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on October 6, 2009

This is a quick blurb that may help somebody out with an issue that irks the heck out of me. I used to routinely encounter a problem with Microsoft Outlook 2003 on startup complaining -“The data file Personal Folders was not closed properly. The file is being checked for problems.” Outlook would then spend 30-60 seconds checking the file. While it would always pass the check, Outlook would not complete loading and allow me to read new messages until this check was done. It was more an irritant than anything else. Additionally, if I exited from Outlook, the Outlook process would never die off completely (unless I killed it in Task Manager or Process Explorer), compounding the problem further when I restarted Outlook.

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Posted in Windows | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Mozy caused my Windows XP laptop to freeze during startup

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on March 14, 2009

Hey – no blogging for 5+ months and now 2 entries in a day!! Striking while the iron is hot.

You can never have enough backups – I am certainly a believer in that adage. My laptop backups consist of the following –

  • I manually create ghost images of my laptop onto an external USB hard drive once a month – these come in handy if the hard drive crashes or if Windows is corrupted. I keep the external hard drive at home.
  • I back up key folders on my laptop onto NAS storage at work using Robocopy – this is incredibly fast to backup large folders that only have small changes. And it is fast enough for large changes as well.
  • I back up my Outlook PST files using Retrospect onto NAS storage at work because of open file support.
  • I have recently started to back up Outlook PST files and other key folders using Mozy Home – in case you don’t know about Mozy, it is an EMC offering that provides secure, remote, online backups.

While I have never restored from Mozy, I certainly have had ocassion to use my other backups at various times. Mozy seems to be (to be verified) great insurance if things go horribly wrong!

Earlier this week, I suddenly had a problem with my laptop not rebooting cleanly. It sat on the black screen with the Windows logo and the blue progress bar forever. I tried giving it time (almost 20 minutes) but to no avail. I eventually rebooted into safe mode successfully, but even there Windows Explorer was taking a long time to open up. I ran chkdsk -f but that did not help me boot into normal mode.  I gave up pretty damn quickly and ended up just restoring my latest laptop image onto a spare Dell Latitude D830, and using a crossover cable between my two laptops to copy over the files (robocopy to the rescue to quickly sync over files). I was up and running on my spare laptop in ~4 hours.

But the next day, I installed a Windows update and had to reboot and to my dismay, I was stuck yet again on the reboot. After a little bit of digging, I finally tracked it down. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Windows | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Finally seem to have resolved my Dell Latitude D830 freeze issue!

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on October 5, 2008

Those of you who have been following my Dell Latitude D830 laptop freeze saga, know that I have been struggling for 3+ months with my laptop simply stopping to respond to mouse clicks/keys.  The only way out used to be a hard reset using the power button. In the comments section of my previous post, I had documented all the tweaks that I had tried in hope of resolving the issue, and many people pitched in with their ideas and experience as this is a fairly widespread issue. Well, since my latest changes, I have been freeze free for the last 3+ weeks, and I think I am finally ready to declare victory.

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Posted in Windows | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

Does Windows XP hibernate take too long?

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on September 24, 2008

I recently ran into a problem with “hibernate” on my Windows XP Dell Latitude D830 starting to take 5+ minutes. My laptop used to take roughly 20-25 seconds to complete the hibernation process, but recently it started to take way longer. I did not realize it initially because I would kick off hibernation, close the laptop, and put it away in my laptop bag. Then one day I found that my laptop was incredibly hot and the next time I actually observed the hibernation process take place painfully slowly and I knew I had a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Windows | Tagged: , , , | 16 Comments »