Windows Essentials 2012– Installer File Officially Removed from Microsoft Servers

Summary:  Microsoft officially removed the ability to download the Windows Essentials 2012 Full Version installer file from their servers.

 

Comments:

  • Last week Microsoft officially discontinued the ability for end-users to obtain(download) the Full version installation file for Windows Essentials 2012. (The web version installer was removed some time ago)
  • The removal of the installer file has been expected since Microsoft ended all support for Windows Essentials 2012 in January 10, 2017.   Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 installer files were removed and ceased support quite some time ago.
        • End of support means no further updates(patches/fixes/compatibility), no security updates, no Junk Mail filter updates, and no support for use on current Microsoft supported operating systems(Windows 7/8.1/10)
  • The Windows Essential 2012 installer file may be available from other avenues(friends, third party sources) though caution is warranted from obtaining installation files from outside sources.
          • [Editor note: Not recommended and proceed at your own risk]
  • It would be prudent, if still using a Windows Essentials 2012 products(Mail, PhotoGallery/Movie Maker, Writer) to consider investigating and/or switching to an alternative program for your computing needs and experience.
        • Continued use of Photo Gallery(which is primarily a Photo Viewing application with some editing capability) may be acceptable from a risk standpoint
        • Open Live Writer, compliments of Microsoft, a replacement for Writer remains available as an open source program and has been since 2015
        • Windows Live Mail and its continued use as a mail/news client is feasible but do note that no future security updates will ever be released for the product(nor have any been released for some time) or definition updates for its built-in Junk Mail filter thus always practice safe computing when opening/previewing email and ensure a resident Anti-virus/Anti-malware client is running on your chosen operating system(e.g. Windows Defender on Windows 10)
  • It would also be a good idea to consider archiving any important data to an external source outside of Windows Essential application programs(e.g. email messages and Contacts exported/backed-up to an external thumb or hard drive).
  • FYI – The Windows Essentials suite of products (fka Windows Live Essentials) had a lifespan of just short of 10 years(first released in May 2007 as ‘Windows Live Installer’ comprising of the unified(web based) installers for Messenger, Mail, and Writer)

 

Revisions:

March 24, 2017: Initial Draft Date

March 26, 2017: Initial Publish Date

Windows Essentials 2012 – Download (Last Chance)

Summary:  Windows Essentials 2012 Download Full Version Installer – Possibly Last Chance before being removed from the Microsoft Server

Note:  This Blog entry is now obsolete – Windows Essentials 2012 installer files are no longer available from Microsoft. 

For additional and later information see this ===>> Blog article

 

Comments:

  • Windows Essentials 2012 includes Windows Live Mail 2012, Photo Gallery/Movie Maker, and Windows Live Writer 2012
  • Ever since Windows 8.0 was released the possibility of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite of products no longer being available and/or not supported has been a valid concern.
  • Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 Full and unified web version installers are no longer available from Microsoft web site and servers.  Windows Live Essentials 2011 and 2009 are no longer supported products.
  • Windows Essentials 2012 Full version installer remains available on the Microsoft server (How long = unknown)
  • If using one of more of the Widows Essentials 2012 suite of products, it is highly recommended to download the Full version installer for archive purposes in the event a reinstallation is necessary, clean installation on a new or different pc, and/or backup requirements.
  • It is safe to assume that Windows Essentials 2012 will not be supported in the future.  End of support does not always mean, no longer capable of being used but it does usually mean end of availability to obtain its installer files.

 

How to:

Note:  The Direct download link above is for the English language installer. For a different country specific version please replace the ‘en’  in the above link with the local language code.

Revisions:

July 1, 2016: Initial Draft and Publish Date

March 26, 2017:  Added Note on article obsolescence and link with further explanation

Expanding Conversation View Settings in Windows Live Mail

Summary:

 

How To:

1. Open Windows Live Mail

2. Click Blue button (upper left), Options, Mail, Read tab
– check ‘Automatically expand grouped messages’

3. Click the View tab (tabs are located on the Ribbon to the right of the Blue button))

Suggested settings on the View tab
Filter Messages = Show all
Conversations = On
Sort Order = Descending
Sort by = Sent
Message List = Automatic
Reading Pane = Right of message list and Show header
Calendar pane = Off (setting is a toggle)
Compact View = Off (setting is a toggle)
Storage Folders = On (setting is a toggle)
Status Bar = On (setting is a toggle)

 

Revisions:

August 3, 2013: Original Draft

September 7, 2013: Original Publish Date

December 7,  2013: Updated to itemize View tab recommended settings

Windows Live Mail – Contacts Database

Summary: 

  • A technical overview of  Windows Live Mail Contacts database two different modes of operation(without and with the use of a Live ID) and each mode’s respective database filename/local storage location(s)

Background:

§  Windows Live Mail(WLM) provides two modes of operation

a)     Default   [Offline]           –    no sign-in to Windows Live

b)    Live ID   [Online]            –    sign-in to Windows Live

§  WLM only operates in one mode (a) or (b) at a time

§  Each mode (a) or (b) has its own contacts when viewed in WLM

§  Each Live ID used to sign-in for mode(b) has its own contacts when viewed in WLM

§  Each mode (a) or (b) has a unique(independent) contacts database

§  Each Live ID used to sign-in for mode (b) has a unique(independent) contacts database

§  Contacts and Contact databases are not shared across modes or Live ID’s

§  Contacts database(s) are stored on the hard drive within the user’s Windows profile

Database Name and Location:

§  The Contact database(which holds the entire contact list) filename is ‘contacts.edb’’

§  Each mode (a) or (b) will have a unique(independent) contacts.edb file (same name, different location)

§  Each Live ID used in mode (b) will have a unique(independent) contacts.edb file

Default(Offline) – Mode (a)

§  The Default(Offline) Contact database file(contacts.edb) is stored in a hidden subfolder called DBStore. *** To view the DBStore folder –> configure Windows Explorer to ‘Show hidden files/folders and protected operating system files’

§  Full folder pathname for the Default(Offline) contact database for WLM version 2011 and 2009 are shown below for the respective Windows operating system(o/s)

 Windows Live Mail 2011  (pre QFE3 versions) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.4\DBStore

Click Here —> To see a Windows Explorer view  of WLM 2011 Pre QFE3 Default Database Folders

Windows Live Mail 2011  (QFE3 version) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.5\DBStore

Note: The ‘Default’ DBStore folder  is a hidden subfolder of the ‘15.5’ folder

Click Here —> To see a Windows Explorer view of the WLM 2011 QFE3 Database Folders

Windows Live Mail 2009 (see notes below)

·         Windows 7 or Vista

Ø C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{0a1c1d7e-4a67-4693-bd70-1ba1490ddac8}\DBStore

WLM_ContactsDB_2009

·         Windows XP

Ø C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{0a1c1d7e-4a67-4693-bd70-1ba1490ddac8}\DBStore

Notes: (only applicable to WLM 2009)

ü  The numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number ( GUI {0a1c1d7e…) shown(above) for WLM 2009 is randomly generated by WLM and will be different on each pc/operating system.

ü  To determine the numerical name assigned to  the Default(Offline) mode contact database folder in WLM 2009 one must reference the following registry key’s ‘Name’ and ‘Data’ fields values.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\Database

ü  The Name field in the above registry key ‘indicates’ the pathname of ‘Default’ root folder. The pathname shown when viewed in the registry is a ‘slight misdirection’ (but fully understood by the Windows operating system)

-The registry key ‘Name’ value will show:

Windows 7 or Vista:

 C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\Default
XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\Default

-Though the Default(Offline) folder is actually one subfolder below the following:

Windows7 or Vista:

  C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

ü  The registry key ‘Data’ value completes the pathname by showing the subfolder value(i.e. the numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number) that contains the Default(Offline) DBStore folder and its respective contacts.edb file.

Live ID (Online) – Mode (b)

§  The Live ID(Online) Contact database file(contacts.edb) is also stored in a hidden subfolder called DBStore.

§  Each Live ID’s Contacts folder in WLM 2011(unlike WLM 2009) uses the Live ID email address(e.g. ab_normal@live.com)  thus WLM 2011’s approach improves upon WLM 2009’s method by not requiring the registry key or use of a numerical hexadecimal named folder thus making the folder much easier to find in Windows Explorer

§  Full folder pathnames for a Live ID(Online) contact database for WLM version 2011 and 2009 are shown below for the respective Windows operating system(o/s)

Windows Live Mail 2011  (pre QFE3 versions) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\<Live ID>\15.4\DBStore 

WLM_ContactsLiveIDDB_2011

Windows Live Mail 2011 (QFE3 version) – Windows 7 or Vista

Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.5\DBStore

Windows Live Mail QFE3 Contacts '15.5 Database Folders

 

Windows Live Mail 2009 (see notes below)

       Widows 7 or Vista

Ø C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{85a1e249-964b-475e-82d7-e80ea374a6ad}\DBStore

Windows XP

Ø C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{85a1e249-964b-475e-82d7-e80ea374a6ad }\DBStore

Notes: (only applicable to WLM 2009)

ü  WLM 2009 Live ID(Online Mode) like WLM 2009 Default(Offline) mode(as shown above) continues to employ the use of a randomly generated numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number for the Live ID folder name with one additional twist. It creates two(2) numerical folders for each Live ID. One for the primary database and one(shadow) database, the latter for synchronization with the web UI and Windows Live Messenger. 

     The numerical names of these folders will also be different on each pc/operating system.

WLM_ContactsLiveIDDB_2009

ü  To determine the exact numerical name assigned to the Live ID(Online) mode contact folder in  WLM 2009 one must reference the following registry key’s ‘Name’ and ‘Data’ fields values.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\Database

ü  The Name field in the above registry key will indicate the pathname of ‘both the primary and shadow’ root folder. The pathname shown when viewed in the registry is, once again, a ‘slight misdirection’(but fully understood by the Windows o/s)

-The registry key ‘Name’ values will show:

Windows 7 or Vista:

 C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID> and

C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>\shadow
XP: (pic shown below)

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>

C”\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>\shadow

WLM_Contacts_2009_LiveIDRegKey

-Though the Live ID(Online)folder is actually on subfolder below the following:

Windows7 or Vista:

  C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

ü  The registry key ‘Data’ value(s) completes the pathname by indicating the assigned hexadecimal number for the primary and shadow subfolders applicable to a respective Live ID(Online) mode DBStore folder and unique contacts.edb file(s)

Comments:

  • Use of the Default(Offline) mode ensures all contacts are only stored locally and not synchronized(or stored) on the web(i.e. on “The Cloud’) at Contacts.live.com
  • Use of the Live ID(Online mode) ensures contacts are stored both locally and on the Live servers(in the ‘Cloud) and always backed up and accessible on any pc by signing on with the respective Live ID at Contacts.live.com
  • If the Live ID is also a Hotmail type account(Live.com, Hotmail.com, Msn.com or other country specific derivatives of the same domain e.g. Live.cn, Hotmail.uk, Live.ne, Msn.ca) then those same Live ID contacts will be accessible for use in the Hotmail email web interface(mail.live.com or hotmail.com)
  • Use of the Live ID(Online) mode in WLM also enables WLM’s ‘Cleanup’ option by linking to the web UI for cleaning up duplicate contacts
  • Use of additional Live ID’s(signing on with a different Live to Windows Live) allows one to have multiple contacts lists for different objectives(friends, family, work, hobbies, etc.)
  • If you read this far(and to appease the parenthetical police and purists) do not confuse working Offline(disconnected from the internet) or Online(connected to the internet) with WLM’s two different Contacts’ modes(Default/Offline[No Live ID sign-in] or Live ID/Online[Live ID sign-in]). If you’re not using a Live ID to sign-in to Windows Live, your contacts are stored and only available Offline (from Windows Live Services)!

Revisions:

Feb 04, 2011: Original Published Date

Feb 05, 2011: Edited for increased clarity and to appease the parenthetical gramma policemen comments Sarcastic smile

April 12, 2011: Updated to reflect Contact folder name (15.5) for Windows Live Mail 2011 QFE3