Computer Help forum


Windows Vista reinstall problems. Please help!

by AJ343 / September 17, 2013 3:21 AM PDT

Yesterday, I carried out a clean reinstall of Windows Vista Home Premium. Vista HP SP2 has been on my current PC for a few years and was suffering many problems which is why (rightly or wrongly) I decided on a clean install using the untouched version on the 'D' drive that the PC manufacturers (HP) had factory installed (I had tried a few fixes before the reinstall which hadn't worked and when it got to the stage that Windows system restore refused to function, I reluctantly bit the bullet)

Actually, I don't think the Vista reinstall went too badly. Problems surfaced when it came to putting back my other files and programs I'd backed up on an external HDD.

There appear to be a few problems which I haven't got my head around just yet so I'll concentrate on the obvious problem with Windows Mail.

My computer knowledge at this level isn't great so please forgive me if I misuse some computer jargon. The problem I'd appreciate advice on is this: My 'Contacts' details (as viewed within Windows Mail) are jumbled such that my chosen contact names don't match up with the correct email addresses - seems most of them have been swapped around. They were in perfect order before. Now the wierd thing (for me anyhow) is when I 'Create Mail' and use the 'To' key to select recipients, the 'Select Recipients' pop-up box shows the correct email address for every name in the list. No jumbling names and email addresses there.

I could go on with more detail but I really don't know how relevant it would be so I won't bore you further. If more info would help, please ask. Thanks for taking the time to read my question.

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Windows Vista reinstall problems. Please help!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Windows Vista reinstall problems. Please help!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Clarification Request
How did you save & reinstall your contacts?
by wpgwpg / September 17, 2013 3:41 AM PDT

The way to do it is to export the contacts to an empty folder, copy that folder to a flash drive or external hard drive, then import after you reinstall Windows. Is that what you did? If not, what did you do?
In any event you can right-click on an email and click on add sender to contacts if all else fails.

Collapse -
Saving & reinstalling all folders/files & programs
by AJ343 / September 17, 2013 4:07 AM PDT

I used Vista's integrated file backup and restore program to save all my folders and files at once (and to my surprise, my Program files too) to an external HDD. I also had a complete copy/image (if that's the term?) of my PC's HDD on another partition of the extrnal HDD just in case.

When it came to it, the restore part struggled to find my folders and files on the external HDD - despite having saved them there the night before. In the end, I found a way to 'point' the restore program to my folders/files. I haven't checked all my transfered files/folders/programs yet but most are present - wether they're corrupted is another matter!

Collapse -
Two options here
by wpgwpg / September 17, 2013 4:52 AM PDT

You could try Thunderbird as Bob suggests, but since your contacts are messed up from the Windows install, I wonder how successful that would be. The other alternative would be to just right-click individual emails and click add to contacts if you want to stay with Windows Mail. In addition to Thunderbird, there's Outlook (in MS Office) and Windows Live Mail that you can download free from the MS web site. Bob doesn't like Windows Live Mail, but we both do like Thunderbird. Personally I've been using Windows Live Mail for 4 years and haven't had any problems with it in the last year and a half but YMMV. Grin

Collapse -
Fixing the jumbled email addresses
by AJ343 / September 17, 2013 8:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Two options here

"The other alternative would be to just right-click individual emails and click add to contacts if you want to stay with Windows Mail."

(sorry, don't know how to present quotes on this forum)

I take your point about adding new contacts but right now I have 245 contacts/email addresses that are jumbled. I guess I need to fix these first? Do I have to go through the lot changing each one manually - I'll likely loose the will to live! By the way, the second PC user, who has way less contacts, did not suffer from this jumble effect.

Also, I can't find all the backed-up contact files on the external HDD. I located the backup folders - dozens of them - and trawled through them all only to find 5 contacts! (the most recent additions and they weren't jumbled). I also checked the image copy I made a few months ago and whilst 190 of my contacts were present, they were all jumbled.

All Answers

Collapse -
Let's focus on the email.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2013 3:45 AM PDT

If this was mine I'd install Thunderbird and let it import all my contacts and hope it gets it right.

ALL and I do mean ALL Microsoft free email software have lost me. I don't use them and rarely have nice things to say or write about them. I'm sure millions use such but folk only bring me their busted and broke things and issues. For some reason MSFT's free email systems always pop up.

Thunderbird on the other hand has documents on moving and backup so that's my answer.

Collapse -
Ditch Windows Mail?
by AJ343 / September 17, 2013 4:08 AM PDT

Has to be a consideration, thanks.

Collapse -
No ditching.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2013 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Ditch Windows Mail?

I have used tbird to import and look over the results. You can continue to use WLM after this.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.