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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

How to Fix: Excel 2003 crashing after Windows 10 1803 update

1. Ensure that Service Pack 3 for Office 2003 has been installed. If it has not been, download and install it from

2. Install the update KB2810048.msp from

Monday, 25 June 2018

Backup Windows 10 Mail app

If IMAP is used with the Mail app, there is normally no need to backup messages as they are still stored on the server and will appear again when the same account is setup. However, messages retrieved from a POP3 account may or may not still exisit on the server, and sent messages probably will not be. I have found the following process useful in backing the E-Mail up and restoring it after reinstalling Windows 10:

These instructions contain the raw ingredients of the procedure only - I hope to add screenshots and better instructions when I have more time available.

1. Export and save the following registry key to a backup location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveSync
2. Create a new local user account with administrator privileges.
3. Sign out of the account with the Mail that needs to be backed up and sign into the new account.
4. Enable the viewing of hidden files and folders.
5. Navigate to the following folder: C:\users\account_name_that_needs_to_be_backed_up\appdata\local
6. Save the folder called 'Comms' to a backup location.
7. Double click on the 'Packages' folder and save the folder called 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' to a backup location.

1. Start the Mail app and close it again without setting up any accounts.
2. Create a new local user account with administrator privileges (skip this step if the account created in the backup process still exists).
3. Sign out of the account that the previously backed up Mail needs to be restored to and sign into the new account.
4. Enable the viewing of hidden files and folders.
5. Navigate to the following folder: C:\users\account_name_that_needs_to_be_restored\appdata\local
6. Rename the folder called 'Comms' to 'Comms.old' and restore the original 'Comms' folder from the backup.
7. Double click on the 'Packages' folder and rename the folder called 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' to 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe.old'
8. Restore the original 'microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe' folder from the backup.
9. Sign out of the new account and sign back into the account where the Mail needs to be restored to.
10. Import the registry backup containing the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveSync key.
11. Start the Mail app - the messages should be restored but the password for the E-Mail account will need to be re-entered for the app to be able to retrieve new messages.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

HOW TO FIX: 'Outlook requires Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01' error after upgrading to Windows 10 1709

HOW TO FIX: 'Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Outlook requires Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01 or greater...' error when trying to start Outlook XP (2002) after installing the Windows 10 Creators Fall update (version 1709) or April update (1803)

This error occurs because of two missing registry keys:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{7790769C-0471-11d2-AF11-00C04FA35D02}
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}
The error can be fixed by exporting and importing the missing keys from a working system or downloading replacements from the following links:
Once downloaded, double click the .reg file and proceed past the warnings by clicking 'Yes', 'Yes' and 'OK'.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

HOW TO FIX: BullGuard Optimize Scan Stuck at 75%

Problem: When an 'Optimize' scan within BullGuard Internet Security is initiated, the scan starts normally but sticks at 75% whilst scanning 'Windows cleanup', finally completing several hours later. The problem was occurring on a Dell desktop PC running Windows Vista. The file that the scan reportedly sticks on varies.

BullGuard Optimize Scan stuck at 75%

Resolution: I finally found that the problem was caused by a corrupt registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID). The solution was to export the key, delete it and then reimport it with the following process:

1. Using the keyboard, press the Windows flag key (bottom left) and the 'R' key together to bring up the 'Run' dialogue box.

2. Type in 'regedit' and click on 'OK'.

3. Click on 'Continue' if a 'User Account Control' message appears.

4. Navigate to the following key: 
To do this, first click the + symbol to the left of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key, then click the + symbol to the left of the Software key in the list displayed below. Finally, click the + symbol to the left of the Classes key. This should display a long list of keys, including CLSID.

5. Right click on the 'CLSID' key. From the menu that appears, click on 'Export'.

6. Click on 'Desktop' on the left of the window that appears. Click inside the 'File name' box, type in 'CLSID' and click on 'Save'.

7. Right click on the 'CLSID' key for a second time. From the menu that appears, click on 'Delete'.

8. Within the warning message that appears, click on 'Yes'.

9. Click the 'X' in the top right corner of the screen to close Registry Editor.

10. On the main Desktop screen, double click on the file 'CLSID' saved earlier.

11. Click on 'Continue' if a 'User Account Control' message appears.

12. Click on 'Yes' in the warning message that appears.

13. Right click on the 'CLSID' file. From the menu that appears, click on 'Delete'.

14. In the warning message that appears, click on 'Yes'.

15. Restart the BullGuard Optimize scan - it should now complete successfully.

Monday, 1 May 2017

HOW TO FIX: Sorry that Didn't Work Android Print Error

I have come across the above error many times when trying to print wirelessly from a range of Android devices: After the 'Print' option is chosen from the applicable menu, a message appears simply stating:

'Sorry that Didn't work'

A 'Retry' option makes no difference, and the error continues to appear. Updating Android, installing and reinstalling printer services and using different apps makes no difference. The fault does appear to be intermittent on some devices.

As the problem appears to be so widespread, I'm amazed there is not more information about it online. It may affect Samsung devices more than others, but I have seen the problem with other equipment as well.

After searching for a solution for a long time, I came across a forum post from somebody that had repeatedly experienced the error, and had to keep carrying out a downgrade of 'Android System Webview' in order for printing to work. Not having had much experience with Android, I had never heard of this component before, but decided it might be worth a look at. The device I was trying to rectify the problem on at the time was running a different version of Android, so I tried updating 'Android System Webview' rather than downgrading it. Amazingly, it fixed the problem, and has fixed the problem on at least one other device since.

I'm not sure if this will fix the error in every situation, but it's definitely worth a try. 'Android System Webview' can be updated from the Google Playstore or by following the link here:

Sunday, 1 January 2017

HOW TO: Rotate a Photo (Windows 7)

To rotate a photo, bring it up on the screen, then click the curled arrow in the direction that the picture needs to be rotated. The result should be immediate.

Friday, 7 October 2016

No Sound on Skype (Vista)

Update 07/08/17:
The problem with Skype re-occured, probably because of an automatic update. This time I was able to make it work on Vista by downgrading Skype to version Strangely, the version designed for Windows XP and Vista did not work with the same sound problem. The version for Windows 7 and above does work, but produces a security error at startup that can be easily bypassed.

Version (Windows 7 version) can be downloaded here:

There seems to be a problem with the latest version of Skype and Windows Vista.

The program starts and appears to operate normally, but when making a call, incoming audio does not function correctly. When calling the 'Sound Test Service' contact, audio works for a few brief seconds but then cuts out.

After looking at two Windows Vista computers (a laptop and a desktop with different sound chips), I concluded that the only way to resolve the problem was to downgrade the version of Skype to one that still worked OK.

Fortunately, '' still has a copy of Skype available, and this works with the audio:

I was able to uninstall the newest version using 'Programs and Features' in Control Panel, then reinstall using the above link. I then disabled automatic updates within Skype (Tools - Options - Advanced - Turn off automatic updates - Save) to prevent the same problem occurring.