Google Apps Migration Tool for Microsoft Outlook – Migrate to Outlook 2013 in 2 Easy Steps

Google Apps Migration Tool for Microsoft Outlook

Google Apps Migration Tool for Microsoft Outlook – Migrate to Outlook 2013 in 2 Easy Steps

I have just been involved in a migration from Exchange 2003 to Google Apps for a company of about 20 users.  They all connected to the old Exchange server on versions of Outlook 2003-2013. The main reason they switched was because Outlook 2013 was not compatible with Exchange 2003 (This Server is no longer supported anyway). Since the installation was only 20 users and it didn’t warrant the cost of a new Exchange Server and upgrading a lot of users to Office 2013. We decided to go the Google Apps route and worry about the Office upgrades later (considering the circumstances, this was the best option).

Once we got the mail domain switched over to Google, the mailboxes had to be configured and the mail had to be migrated over. I decided to do a mailbox at a time instead of the whole server – my reasoning – I am a bit of a skeptic and I would prefer Google apps to tell me one mailbox migration failed than a whole server migration. I had 75 GB of mail to migrate over and I would hate for it to fail after 20 hours. Even if you are doing this over a weekend, you do not want to run out of time!

The biggest problem I had was my Click-To-Run Installations of Office 2013. It seems the Google Apps Migration Tool for Microsoft Outlook does not work for this version of Office 2013 (Those who get Office 2013 through be warned!).  If you buy and actual DVD or download and install from an .ISO, apparently you won’t have this problem. There are several workarounds but it all involved hacking the Windows registry and reinstalling Office with a downloaded version. You can convert your Click-to-Run Installation if you want. I had 6 installations at four different sites. I opted not to do this :)

Step #1 – Connect to the old Exchange server and export the user’s Mail File as a PST and a version of Outlook older than 2013

Even if the new email server is already accepting mail, as long as you still have the old Exchange server online and the ports still forwarded to it you can fake the computer out by putting the host name and the old IP address in the host file of the computer you wish to get the PST file. I also had an older version of Outlook (2010) connecting to the mailbox. Make sure you take this entry out of the host file when you are done!

I just chose the File Tab / Chose “Open” and the Import / Export File Button. I chose to export to a file or program, chose to export to a .pst file and made sure the top level of the email was chosen and “include sub folders” were checked (so I would get the whole mail file). Depending on how large the mail store is, it could take a while to export. I guess I was lucky. They were migrating away from an SBS version of Exchange. It caps mailbox size at 2GB. I also had everyone clean their mail out prior to the migration to help me out. Well almost everyone did :p.

Step #2 – Use the Google Apps Migration Tool for Microsoft Outlook

Once you get the .pst file, uninstall the older version of Outlook (It confusing Google Apps Sync). When you finally decide to install Google Apps Sync for this user, you will thank me! Note: If you still get errors getting Google Apps Sync to install and you know for sure you have only one version of Outlook installed on the machine, Go to Control Panel / Mail and delete all Exchange profiles from the machine. You will have to create one dummy profile in Outlook 2013. Google Apps Sync will work then.

Once you get the .pst file, take it to another computer and use the Google Apps Migration Tool for Outlook:

2. It will ask you to sign in with your Google account, your email address is your user name. Click “Continue”.

3. It will pop up a browser window asking to have access to your Google profile to do the migration, Click “Accept”.


If you haven’t logged in to this Google account on this machine before, it will asked you to do so now. If have already logged in before or you just have, you will see the screen in the next step…

4. Minimize the browser window and you will see the screen below:



5. Like the screenshot, please choose “From PST files(s) from the drop down box.

6. From here navigate to your where you stored the .pst file and choose the “Mail File” file.

7. It my case I chose “Migrate only new data”. You can choose “All” data if you want.





8. Click Next.



9. In my case, I only chose “Email Messages” but as you can see, there are many options you can choose then click Migrate.


10. You will see a screen similar to the one above. You can “pause” the migration at any time by clicking “Pause Migration”. To Resume the Migration, just click on “Resume Migration.”

11. If the Migration is successful it will tell you so. If it fails it will also tell you but also give you a choice to restart the migration or cancel. Click restart migration and it will begin where it left off.

Note: Even if only one message did not get migrated, The Google Apps Migration Tool For Microsoft Outlook will consider the migration a failure. To me it was a success! I just tell the user to mount the PST folder and Look through that file if the mail is really that important. OK if there were several thousand messages that failed to migrate, I would look into it but not 3 or 4! To, me, a failed migration is usually due to a network error and significant amount of mail did not get migrated.

When you install the Google App Sync Tool for the Outlook 2013 user, it pull down all their mail without any issue.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on using the Google Apps Migration Tool For Microsoft Outlook with Outlook 2013. As always, if you have any questions, Contact Me.



Exchange 2010 Mailbox Size

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Size

This article talks about Exchange 2010 Mailbox Size. Whether your Outlook 2010 mailbox is connected to an Exchange server or via POP/IMAP, Gmail connector or another connector, you may at some point need to reduce the size of you mailbox. In this article, I will show you how to do just that.

Using the Outlook Mailbox Cleanup Tool

In Outlook 2010 Click File in the Main Window and then “Cleanup Tools”. In Outlook 2003/2007, you need to click “Tools” in the main window and then choose “Mailbox Cleanup Tools”:

 Outlook 2010

Outlook 2003/2007

Once You click the button above, you will have two choices, “Mailbox Cleanup” and “Empty Deleted Items Folder”. I recommend doing both since it will reduce the size of your mail box significantly.

Viewing Mailbox Size

When you choose “Mailbox Size” in Outlook 2010 you will get the same screen that you see above as in Outlook 2003 / 2007. At that point, you can click on “View Mailbox Size”. You will get something similar to this:

Now you can see which folders need the most attention when deciding what to clean up. Now you can go about it one of two ways.

Go though Each Folder Manually

Since you know the size of each folder in your mailbox, you can go to each folder manually use the date or size column for sorting and then delete the oldest and / or largest emails and send them to your deleted items folder.

Use the Mailbox Cleanup Find Feature

Using the find feature allows you to search across the entire mailbox for items of a certain age or size. If you are confident in deleting this way, you can quickly send a lot of items to your deleted items folder. All you have to do is choose whether your are look for items older than a certain date or messages larger than a certain size and then click “Find:. It will bring up a search window similar to this:

From here, you can pick and choose what you want to delete.

Emptying Out Your Deleted Items Folder

When you are finished sending all you folder items to the Deleted Items Folder,  you can choose Empty Deleted Items Folder (Outlook 2010) or Click the empty button (Outlook 2003/2007). You will be asked:

Click “Yes” and your mailbox is reduced significantly. This will help you deal with you Exchange 2010 mailbox size. If you have any questions, contact me!



Windows Won’t Boot – 3 Possible Reasons

Windows Won’t Boot – 3 Possible Reasons


3 Possible Reasons Windows Won't Boot

Sometimes your Windows system crashes pretty hard. A lot of times you can reboot and it comes back no problem. Sometimes it doesn’t. I am here to talk about three instances that I came across recently as to why Windows wont boot.

Reason # 1 – Basic File corruption

This may happen if your system has crashed by an errant program or malware one too many times. It is kind of a pain but if you know how to recognize the signs, you will be able to get your system back pretty quick. If your system came with Windows pre-installed with your system will automatically reboot to the black Windows screen where you can Launch Start-up repair. If your system came with an install disk, you might have to boot from it to get to this screen. After launching start-up repair, it will take a little while to do it’s thing but you should be back at your login screen in no time.

Reason # 2 – Corrupt Registry

This article explains what I initially found out why start-up repair was failing. The problem was I didn’t exactly know what patch was failing and even if I did, Windows won’t boot. I couldn’t uninstall the patch anyway!

I don’t know about you but I am not very fond of rolling back Windows to an earlier time to see if that will fix the problem and I will tell you why. Usually when I get the machine it has already been rolled back and didn’t work and two, it’s not my machine so unless the person can tell me exactly when the machine started to act funny and if they installed anything to make it act that way, it is basically useless to me. So I guess you figured by now I didn’t try that. I am glad I didn’t, regardless Windows won’t boot!

So my research yielded a possible corrupt registry that gives the exact same error message when you try and fail at attempting a start-up repair. Carefully following this , I was able to find out where windows keeps a back-up copy of it’s registry and through the advanced start-up repair option, get to the command prompt and replace the potential bad registry with the back-up and voila! It got be past the infinite reboot loop. I was able to log in and view the system. Now the registry was a older and smaller than previous one but reinstalling programs that are causing issues now will be fixed once those registry settings are put back. At the very least we can get the important data backed up and do a rebuild without much worry!

Reason # 3 – The Hard Disk is failing and you don’t know it (or maybe you do?)

Sometimes the hard disk is just getting ready to crap all over your system. You might know the warning signs: constant write errors from windows, very slow boot times and performance, etc. You might even be lucky and have your BIOS tell you the hard disk is failing :) In this case, you don’t even bother fingering out why Windows won’t boot. You are now in crisis prevention mode!!  Your only concern at this point is to get the important data copied from the disk to something like a USB drive and replace the hard drive. I like to use Parted Magic. It allows me to boot from a device other then the local boot drive, access the Internet if I have to and connect a USB drive to the machine and copy data from it. It really makes it a breeze.

I hope these three possible reasons why Windows won’t boot help shed some light on a computer situation you may be facing. If not, it will at least give you some things to try and maybe lead you to a solution. Let me know if you come across other fixes for why Windows won’t boot. I would love to hear from you!





Living Inside Your Head

Living Inside Your Head

Living Inside Your Head

Here is some more inspiration (and yes it is on a Friday again)! This is part 3 in my series about the inspiring stories and how I got them published. Part one is called Friday Inspiration and part two is called Wednesday Inspiration and I encourage you read them! I want to share them with you because I know that what I have gone through is nothing new. Everyone one is battling something and little inspiration will make them feel that they are not alone. This article was published last month in Cracking the Happiness Code and is about how to stop living inside your head. I have found that a lot of people talk themselves out of doing something even before they get started. This article show your that as soon as you stop living inside your head, you will start accomplishing more of your dreams and goals! Living inside your head is like a prison and by just starting to accomplish some of the things you think about breaks you free! Please read the article here . I hope you enjoy it and thanks for letting me share.

Wednesday Inspiration Message

Wednesday Inspiration!


Wednesday Inspiration

In part 2 of my 3 part series. I would to share with you a post that was on . It talks about what lessons I learned from surviving a brain tumor. Yes it was scaring but I knew I was going to OK if I kept a positive attitude and looked at it (or framed it as such). The main lesson I learned is that no matter what you face in life, if you looked at it in a more positive light, you will react differently to it and you outcome will be better. By keeping this attitude, things will snowball and in a good way!! Before you know it, you will be stronger and doinf things you never thought you could. All you had to do was look at things a different way!

Here is the link . I hope you enjoy it! Have a great Wednesday.

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration


Friday Inspiration

I don’t know about you but it has been a busy week! I have been doing a lot of work on a really cool website and a few computer systems that their hasn’t been a lot of time to post on my blog. So instead of giving you a technical post, I have decided to show you what has been going on in some of my inspiration writings.  If you have had the chance to check out the about me section on my website, you will see what was the inspiration that led me to become what I am today. As you can see by the article, it doesn’t have to be glamorous but it should make you feel certain about yourself and where you are going. I have been posted in three different inspirational blogs the last few months. The Change Blog, Having Time and Cracking the Happiness Code. These blogs are chock full of information which can help you with whatever you might be feeling at the time. A job loss, illness or maybe you are stuck at a particular point in your life and need some inspiration. These blogs give a great reference point for you to begin making the necessary changes (or at least start thinking about them). Each week, I am going to feature one of my posts to these blogs on my site. I encourage you to go to these sites and sign up for their email newsletters.

The Change Blog

Here is my article from the Change Blog. It is about how being calm in dire situations will not only help you weather the storm but come out all the better on the other side!

How a Brain Tumour Calmed My Fears

I hope you enjoy it. Happy Friday!

AdSense..apparently I have no sense (or cents) :)


AdSense: What I have learned so far…

I found out something the other day. My blog isn’t very appealing. I will tell you how I found out…..I have been tracking the visitors to my site for several months and it has been going up steadily and that is great. I also added my social feeds from my business (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) and submitted a site map to Google and Bing for Indexing. I figured the blog would be a great value added content to my IT business. So you would think things were going smoothly? Well I decided to start using adSense (I really thought I was at that point). Well after a few weeks I checked on my progress and well it was not promising, so I dug a little deeper.

While the visits are steadily going up, there are little comments on my blog posts except for spam (Which I trashed). All the wonderful posts on my social networks that lead back to my website show that there have been little views so I did some research and I found this great article on AdSense and SEO by Lisa Irby . It was eye opening….

Long story short, it’s about content, the stats are there. I guess my subject matter is not appealing enough? This is the point she was driving home: Content, Content, Content. The straw that broke the camels back: I wrote an article asking my readers to share some computer horror stories and no one replied (can you hear the crickets now?).

It has been definitely a learning experience. So now, I am going to use some SEO options and see if that drives some real traffic to my site.

What I blog about comes from a lot of experiences I have with clients and I would hope it help a lot of people with what troubles them about technology. Maybe people are too busy being frustrated by it (technology) that they don’t have time to read the material. Who knows?

I am going to take my own advice and read one of my earlier posts. I will still blog since it is help to my clients and it shows my credibility. It is a tough nut to crack but I’ll get it :)





Computer Horror Stories!!

Computer Horror Stories!

You know you have had them……Your computer dies right in the middle of a creating a huge PowerPoint presentation or maybe you lost all of your photos you took from a recent vacation or worse from the last decade! A huge system failure at work that wiped out all important account records for a few weeks. This is your chance to share! What happened? Were you able to recover and if so, how did you manage?

I will start with my own story…..It was 2003 and I just moved to a new house. I had my office set up just the way I liked it. eBay was big for me at the time so I managed to build a really nice computer system from there. I purchased the hard drive new though. If anything went wrong with it at least I had the warranty and some form of recourse and I was glad I did!

Within three weeks of having the system the hard drive crashed. I was able to recover since I had set up a backup system to save all my important documents and it was running well. It took me a day but I got up and running and I lost very little. Don’t laugh, but at the time I was using a 2GB JAZ drive!! That is a far cry from drives of today :)

Please comment on my post sharing your computer horror stories. I promise I will comment back! As always if you need any pointers let me know.


Netflix and your Bandwidth……

Netflix Logo

I get this question a lot from people who use Netflix or some other streaming service: “Why do I get usage charges at the end of the month for going over my cap???”. The problem is that people know that they are going over their monthly internet usage capacity but they don’t know why. Well it can be for a few reasons and I will explain why.

1. You are streaming all your content in High Definition

You may not know this but when you start using Netflix it has the default streaming quality set at the highest quality. Now if you have lower speed internet (you have chosen a lower speed plan, have satellite internet, etc), you will notice right away. You will see the program you stream pausing to buffer a lot. However, if you have very fast internet (In city centres they have fibre internet available), you will watch away blissfully until you look at your monthly bill and see an overage charge for usage. You monitor your usage so this won’t be a problem, right?

Just to give you and idea, say you have a 50 GB cap. HD streaming on Netflix uses about 1GB / hour. So if all you did was stream you would get 50 hours of watching under your belt for the month.  But you have multiple computers on the network and kids who download other items like music, movies, play online games, etc. so that cap will get eaten up pretty fast. So if you don’t have to watch that show in HD you can just go into the settings of your Netflix account and bump the streaming down to mid or low quality. Low quality will give you a streaming rate of about 30o MB an hour so you have already reduced your streaming consumption to 1/3 of what it used to be.

2. You Have Multiple Devices on your Network

Long gone are the days where the internet was housed in one room tethered to a single computer. I don’t know about you but I have at least a dozen devices running from my network that use the internet at home and it’s growing (I am an IT professional so I am not the norm). However, you are probably pretty close to that. If you and your family have smart phones set up to use your home network while at home to save on those data plans you may be stealing from Peter to give to Paul (my Dad says that all the time :p). Then there’s tablets, game consoles, DS’s…….. the list goes on…..

3. Check Your Usage More Often

Pretty much all ISP’s have online usage trackers for their customers. Take a minute to go online and see what your usage is for the month. This is especially useful if you have been consistently hit with overage charges . ISP’s love it when you incur those since the “a’la cart” fee for bandwidth is much higher than bumping your plan to the next level. However, you take heed of those emails you get saying you are getting close to your cap, right? A quick phone call can save you hundreds of dollars over the next few months. I had a client finally resolve this problem by taking the time to do just that. She got tired of watching the usage like a hawk and then when it got close to the cap she would turn the internet off and tell everyone, “no more surfing!”

I think if you follow these suggestions, you will find your streaming experience just as enjoyable and your frustration level lower!! As always, if you need any pointers, reach out to me.







iPhone 6…Some Interesting Changes

iPhone 6

 The anticipated iPhone 6 is on its way and it has some interesting changes. One of the most intriguing changes is that it now will come in two sizes. A 4.7 inch screen and a 5.5 inch screen. This might make some Apple users who are considering a jump to an Android model which comes with a is a larger screen stay put. It also has a camera with better resolution and the much anticipated iOS 8. The new OS allows for more seamless integration with the device and the desktop. iOS 8 also has some health related applications in it which allows the use of ear sensors or wristwatch style devices. I was thinking about changing smart phones to try something different but the fact that Apple has a larger model coming in 2015 might make me stay. What can I say…..we are all creatures of habit :)