Tip: Synchronizing Mail & News between Windows NT 4.0 and 95

WinInfo subscriber Sean Chappell has figured out a way to use the same Mail & News profile in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95, so that you can read and respond to the same mail regardless of the environment you're in on a dual-boot system.

This procedure requires some use of RegEdit, so it's not for the meek.

Here's the information:

1. Download Internet Mail and News Build 1160, if you haven't already. You can find it at Make sure it is installed, configured and working in both Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0.

2. If you have E-mail addresses stores in your Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 address book, you may want to copy the address book out to a new message and mail it to yourself, so you can have access to them later after the surgery. You can do this by opening your address book and selecting all, then Copy. Close the address book and open a new message, and paste the contents. Address it to yourself and send it.

3. Write down all your news server, account name, and password information from the News program *as they appear in the Windows 95 program only* Take note of the "default server"; capitalization is important.

4. Take note of the locations of the Internet Mail & News program in Windows 95 (the default location is : C:\Program Files\Internet Mail and News\%username%). Also take note of where your Windows address book is: the default location is : C:\WINDOWS\%username%.wab. This information is important because they are the "key strings" that will replace the default strings in the NT registry.

Now for the fun part.

The following steps use a program called the Copy Pathname Shell Extension. This PowerToy-like utility adds a "Copy Pathname" option to Explorer's context menus below the existing "Copy" option. It is a free utility and was written by Axel Rietschin. You can download this file from the Nexus:


5. Start Windows NT and go to the Run item on the Start Menu. Type in "regedit" (no quotes) and hit Enter.

6. Select the Edit menu and choose Find. Type in "Wab File Name" (no quotes) and click "find next".

7. On the right pane of RegEdit you will see "default" listed under "name." Double click on the "default" icon to modify it, and type in "C:\WINDOWS\%username%.wab" (again, no quotes). Replace %username% with the exact name of your .wab file from your Windows 95 WINDOWS directory. This will point your NT address book to the Windows 95 address book.

8. Select the "My Computer" icon in the top left pane of RegEdit to allow the next search to search from the top of the registry.

9. Select the Edit menu and choose Find. Type in "Store Root" (again, no quotes) and click "find next".

10. On RegEdit's right pane, you will see "Store Root" listed under "name" at the bottom of the list of key strings. Double-click on the "Store Root" icon to modify it, and type in "C:\Program Files\Internet Mail and News\%username%", again replacing %username% with the name of the directory from your Windows 95 installation of IM&N (remember, no quotes when you type in the address).

11. Exit RegEdit and you're done. No re-boot is necessary.

12. Open News and configure the servers exactly the way they were listed in Windows 95 and you will see all of your subscribed newsgroups appear just as they do in Windows 95.

13. Open Internet Mail and you will see all your messages: Incoming, Outbox, Sent and Deleted just as they are in Windows 95. If, for some reason, you don't see your messages or newsgroups, check your paths in the above steps make sure they are exactly correct.

One final note: you may be wondering why these steps are done in NT rather that Windows 95: If your installation of NT uses NTFS, Windows 95 would not be able to find the files or directories needed, since NTFS is "invisible" to Windows95. Have fun, and thanks again to Sean for the detailed instructions

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