How Do I Fix a Cyclic Redundancy Check Error When I Try to Copy a File?

Outlook started acting up, so as part of my attempts to fix it I tried to copy the PST to another location. The copy failed part way through with a cyclic redundancy check error. How can I get past this and back up my data?

A cyclic redundancy check, or “CRC” error, indicates a bad spot on your hard drive. The fact that you see it when trying to copy a file indicates the bad spot may be within the file itself.

We need to verify that, try to recover your file, and repair your hard drive.

Then we need to learn from this.

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Can I Really Get Malware by Just Looking at Email?

New malware appears every day, and it seems like hackers constantly get smarter and craftier.

In the past, asking if your machine could become infected with malware by just reading your email would get laughs from the geeks in the crowd. “Of course not!” they would giggle.

Then came Outlook. Not only could opening an email infect your machine, but for a while, you didn’t even have to be around to have it happen.

And the geeks stopped giggling.

For a while.

Fortunately, today things are different.

Read moreCan I Really Get Malware by Just Looking at Email?

How Do Outlook and Relate?

I use Does that mean I don’t need Outlook? Are those just other names for the same thing? If not, how do they relate to each other?

The short answer is, they don’t. Not at all. They have only two things in common: they’re both related to email, and have the word “Outlook” in their names.

That’s pretty much where the similarity ends. It’s frustrating, because people often refer to “Outlook” when they mean “” … which is not actually related to “Outlook”.

Let’s define ’em, shall we?

Read moreHow Do Outlook and Relate?

How do I make an Outlook PST file smaller?

My Outlook PST file is huge! It takes forever to back up, and is just generally incredibly unwieldy. How can I make it smaller?

Outlook PST files are Outlook’s repositories for email, contacts, calendar information, and much more. (Not to be confused with or Outlook Express – those are completely different and unrelated products.)

Outlook PST files can become very, very large if you’re not paying attention, and practical considerations like speed and backups often make us want to control the size well before reaching that stage.

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How Do I Copy Email from Outlook to Gmail?

I would like to copy all folders in Outlook 2003 to my Gmail account as I’m going to change from XP to Windows 7 soon. I’ve not been able to do this so far although I’ve successfully copied Contacts. In view of the expiration date of XP being soon, this could be a very useful article for a lot of people. Could you please give step-by-step-instructions for how to do this?

There are a couple of possible confusions in this question. Copying existing email to Gmail can be a very useful thing. I’ve done it myself. But I want to make sure you know exactly what it means.

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What Email Program Should I Use After Outlook 2003?


Leo, I’m preparing to say thanks for the memories to my Windows XP machine running Outlook 2003. I already have a new laptop running Windows 8.1 but no email program as yet. I’ve used Outlook 2003 to collect and hold messages from two web email accounts. I’ve not been able to find instructions to move my Outlook 2003 files to a newer program. Is it possible to use and move my Outlook 2003 files to What are my alternatives? I’m not opposed to buying an email program but free is certainly better. However, I definitely want to retain my old emails and be able to access them in whatever my new email provider might select. After all, isn’t being able to store large files and being able to find and use them one of the advantages of having a computer?

Well, I have an easy solution, and I have a cheap solution. I don’t have an easy and cheap solution. There are also definitely a couple of things I want to clear up.

Read moreWhat Email Program Should I Use After Outlook 2003?

Why Does Mail Hang Around in My Outbox Before Being Sent?


All of a sudden, many of my outgoing emails go to the outbox in Outlook 2010 and sit there for a couple of minutes, sometimes much longer before it actually sends. Now I can hasten the sending if I click “Send/Receive” in the ribbon, but not by much. I checked the settings and “send immediately” is checked and the account settings has my address and POP/SMTP sent to this account by default. It’s always been this way so I don’t think this is the cause of the mail delay. I can send more information if you need it but I would appreciate any help you can come up with.

There are several factors that could be at play here. Let’s look at a couple.

Read moreWhy Does Mail Hang Around in My Outbox Before Being Sent?

Where is my Outlook “PST” file located?

I need to backup or make a copy of my mail folders in Outlook, which as you know are stored in something called a “PST” file. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it. Where does Outlook hide my email? Where does Outlook keep my PST file? 

PST stands for “Personal STore” – as in your personal mail storage. PST files are actually fairly complex databases that contain your mail, your calendar, your contacts, and even more when you use Microsoft Office’s Outlook mail program. (Not to be confused with, the online mail service from Microsoft, which is completely unrelated.)

The default location has changed a time or two over the years. Of course, there’s always a chance that your PST is stored in some other, non-default location.

Rather than telling you where the default location is, let’s use Outlook itself to tell you the exact path of your PST file and then use Windows itself to do the same.

Read moreWhere is my Outlook “PST” file located?

Why is mail getting automatically placed in a folder I didn’t create?

I’m using Microsoft Office 2010 on Windows 7. A couple of weeks ago, all of my incoming mails started going into a folder called “Loyalty Pays.” At first, I didn’t realize what was happening. All that I knew was that I was not getting my emails. They are still going into this folder. Has someone hacked into my system? Do they have access to my emails? What can I do to rectify this problem?

Yes, my guess is that it’s very likely that someone hacked or compromised your account or that malware ended up on your machine.

Fixing this problem depends on how the email account is configured.

Read moreWhy is mail getting automatically placed in a folder I didn’t create?

Why Isn’t Outlook’s Junk Mail Filter Stopping More Spam?

I’ve been puzzled about my Outlook 2007 junk filter for a long time now. The junk filter is set high and it seems to do a pretty good job of catching the majority of flagrant spam. What puzzles me is that there are certain senders that I’ve marked as junk, but email from these senders still somehow seems to find a way to evade the filter and come into my inbox anyway. Some of these are the flagrant kind but others are seemingly legitimate companies or individuals. What is strange is that I can even create rules to move items from these particular senders to the deleted folders, but the rules seem to have no power to do so. Are these senders doing something unethical or sneaky to get the past filters and their rules? One of the senders is using Constant Contact. Does this mean that they’re an unethical company? What’s really going on here?

First, let me begin by saying Constant Contact is certainly an ethical company. The problem is that as an email service provider, the people that send email using them may or may not be.

Companies like Constant Contact and my favorite, Aweber, will actually check to make sure that their users are being ethical or they’ll terminate their account. Unfortunately, there’s a window of time where the unethical users will continue to send spam before the company actually finds out.

No, you’re right. What’s happening here is that the senders are in fact being sneaky.

Read moreWhy Isn’t Outlook’s Junk Mail Filter Stopping More Spam?

How Do I Print an Email in (Formerly Hotmail)?

This is another of those “representative” questions that I get a lot; more than I would expect, to be honest.

But when you think about it, with all the changes that Hotmail users have been through in the last few years, it’s understandable that the latest change to would lead to a lot of confusion.

It turns out it’s not hard at all to print an email in You just need to get used to looking in a new place for some additional options.

Let me show you. (Now with video!)

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How do I open an .isc file in

So Hotmail changed its name to “Outlook”…fine. The problem that I’m having is that someone has sent me a “.isc” file which is apparently an Outlook-part of Office calendar. Is there some way to view this file with in Outlook (previously Hotmail)? It seems like if they are trying for a seamless integration, there would be. If they are just trying to annoy us,… well, that’s working.

So the naming is very, very unfortunate. I really cringed when they first announced

The bottom line is that (formerly known as Hotmail) is not related to Outlook, the desktop email program that comes with Microsoft Office. It sounds like the .isc file needs the Office desktop program. It’s part of Outlook the program, not

But wait … there may be something else going on here.

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How Do I Back Up Email to an External Hard Disk using Outlook?


In Outlook, I’ve created an Archive folder for my mail as part of Sent mail. I want to move all of the messages to an external hard drive, but when I try, it only gives me the option of text only, which I presume is the header of each message. If I select one message, I can save it as Outlook message format which displays the whole message. I have some 2,000 messages that I would like to transfer. Is that possible? I should probably delete the whole lot, but on rare occasions, I have to check an old message in my line of work.

If you’re just dragging and dropping email messages from Outlook to your external hard disk as viewed in Windows Explorer, I believe you’ll get a separate file for each message that you select. In Outlook 2010, I get a .msg file (which is not a text file) for each.

That’s one way to do it, but it isn’t particularly manageable.

I prefer a different approach that is actually exceptionally flexible both now while archiving, and later, when you need to access your archive.

Read moreHow Do I Back Up Email to an External Hard Disk using Outlook?

How Can I Stop a Message in My Outlook Outbox that Won’t Send?


How can I stop, delete or move an email that gets stuck in my outbox? The email I have here is 24.5 MB, which is apparently too big. The problem is that it’s stopping all my other emails that I want to send from going out! I use Microsoft Outlook 2003.

It’s been a while, but I’ve experienced this myself. Your ISP rejects the email because it’s too big, only to have Outlook keep trying to send the mail because it doesn’t realize that the error is fatal.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this issue. Surprisingly, the most low-tech solution is what I’ve found to be the most effective.

Read moreHow Can I Stop a Message in My Outlook Outbox that Won’t Send?

Why Doesn’t My Email Format Properly in Outlook?


One of the staff here is having an Outlook 2003 problem. It seems that when she sends email, it changes the font to show a strikethrough. Twice I have tried to correct this and here is what happened.

1. When she composed, it showed strikethroughs on her side, and that was it.

2. Now, when she composes, there are no strikethroughs, but when people reply their text has strikethroughs in it.

3. I am out of ideas and thinking of reinstalling Office 2003.

I have gone into her settings and did all the common stuff, but still can’t get it to behave.

I feel your pain. It’s a problem I commonly experience when replying to other people’s mail. All of a sudden, what I type doesn’t appear in the style I want it to, and for the life of me, I can’t whack it into shape. At least not without a lot of work.

I think I understand why it happens, and I definitely have some suggestions.

Two suggestions, actually.

Read moreWhy Doesn’t My Email Format Properly in Outlook?