2 Problems, 2 Solutions – Firefox and Outlook

What a strange combination of problems I had this morning.

1. First of all my Firefox installation stopped displaying anything in the Download window. It was just empty, showed me the “Clean-Up” button and was telling me that “Downloads are saved to” <nothing>. I seem to remember to have changed the default download directory yesterday, but I hadn’t noticed anything else, but it seemed to have triggered this strange effect.

Following the information on the Mozilla KB (which I later found out is actually related to the Download Actions window and not the Download window) didn’t help much. The problem was related to my profile (un- and reinstall and settings reset on Firefox didn’t help) so I deleted my old profile and created a new one. Being a Foxmarks user it didn’t hurt at all. I use almost all default settings on Firefox and my bookmarks were just sync’ed right back into my new profile. Voila… but there was more to come.

2. Fired up Outlook and was waiting for it to sync, but it just kept saying ‘Last updated <yesterday>’ and refused to download new items from Exchange. A little search revealed this community thread where I found a solution. Simply renaming the .ost (or deleting it for those of you who are brave) made Outlook resync from the start and now it’s happily syncing again.

Ok, so the problems were not so challenging, but it did make me think about why I like syncing up things to central servers. If either my bookmarks or my emails had only been available on my local machine (apart from not being able to retrieve them from anywhere else and having to manually do some syncing) I would have probably had had to invest a lot more effort into getting my data back.

This is one reason I’ve already started to switch to uploading at least a copy of or the actual document itself to my Windows Sharepoint Services running on a rented virtual machine and being backed up using MozyPro. I have access everywhere and automatic 24h backup.

<ad>I might talk a bit about this setup (and especially MozyPro) in the future, but for now here’s a little free ad: for those of you in germany, austria or nearby I can only recommend taking a look at QualityHosting. I had quite some trouble with Windows VMs from other providers until I moved there. Great quality and the guys there have been such a tremendous help with a major problem I had run into a couple of weeks ago. They have everything from basic packages (WSS VMs, Exchange VMs) right the way through to professional setups and I’m pretty sure that we’ll be staying with them for a long time to come.</ad>

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