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Missing 'Personal Filing Cabinet' (PFC) in AOL (American Onlin


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#1
trv7290

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Hello, thank you for taking the time to assist me. I am running a Windows XP System with AOL 9.0 Optimized.

Yesterday (2-19-2011) after launching the AOL 9.0 Optimized program on my PC I clicked the 'read mail' button, where I would usually see new emails (and old emails) along with what is know as the "Personal Filing Cabinet" (PFC) within my AOL e-mail program - the 'PFC" contains various folders including "mail waiting to be sent," "mail saved to my PC" along with customizable folders. This "PFC' did not show up.

After a restart of the computer and clearing of cache, the "PFC' still does not show. To the best of my knowledge, AOL automatically backs up this 'PFC' once per month and according to the located 'backup file' on my system, it was last backed up on 2-14-2011. But I am still unable to get the system to recognize this 'file.' Now when I sign onto AOL I also receive the error "an error occurred while loading a file. AOL will attempt to restore the file" and still am unable to see the 'Personal Filing Cabinet" (PFC) folders.

Please advise.

Thank You for your assistance.

Edited by trv7290, 20 February 2011 - 02:25 PM.

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#2
DonnaB

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Hi trv7290,

I apologize for the delay in response.

I am not familiar with AOL myself, not sure how much help I can be here, though I did find the link below that may help you to restore the PFC that is missing. Please read thoroughly and in the meantime I will do a little research to familiarize myself with AOL to better assist you.

Let me know if the link below helps in any way. I found it to be very educational!

Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC) is missing or empty

Donna :D

Edited by DonnaB, 21 February 2011 - 11:07 AM.

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#3
trv7290

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Thank you for responding to my posting.

I do know about the 'help file' from AOL and followed the directions, but I am still receiving the error "an error occurred while loading a file. AOL will attempt to restore the file."

So we are on the 'same page' I want to let you know that I have made a safe 'copy' of the 'organize' and 'backup' folders for when/if I need to refer back to them. This will make sense to you once you review the AOL help file and review my notes below.

The folders names below are the folders that I have copied and backed up in a safe place for when I restored (attempted to restore) the PFC, removed the PFC file of the affected username and uninstalled and reinstalled the AOL software.

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_AOL 9.5\organize

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_AOL 9.5\backup

Here is a summary of items that have been attempted...

- clear cache
- restart computer
- AOL quick restore
- copy and place folders in safe place for review
- followed directions from 'help file'
- Compact, and then restore the PFC file
- Restore the PFC file from a backup copy
- Manually restore the PFC file from a backup copy
- Remove the PFC file of the affected Username
- Uninstall and then reinstall the AOL software

The following is what I have figured out...
AOL automatically creates what they refer to as a 'backup' copy of the PFC once per month. To the best of my knowledge, the sole purpose of thier automated backup file is so an AOL member can replace the original PFC if it does not load properly or becomes corrupt. I think this specific file is only available on individual computers and not backed up on AOL servers. According to the 'backup' folder that is stored within the AOL program files

on my system the last AOL automated backup was completed on 2-14-2011. From what I can see, AOL does not create incremental backups of this file. (it seems to be a large single file.)

This is what I do not understand...
I did not have any issues with the AOL program running up until 2-20-2011 - which is when I noticed the PFC

folders missing within the e-mail client. (It was working earlier in the day.) Therefore I would have expected the 'AOL backup' which was automatically backed up by the AOL program on 2-14-2011 to run without any issues

once loaded properly (by following the directions from the 'AOL Help files'), but even the backup file displays the 'error message' (as pasted above).

Any other issues...well, YES and NO...
After restarting and relaunching the AOL program with the backup file, I was both not able to see my PFC nor load any of my new and old emails. At that point, I restarted once again and continued to follow the 'AOL Help' file (which you refer to.)

Thank you for taking the time to read through the posting and assisting me. If you do not understand any of my posts, please let me know and I will do my best to assist you.
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#4
trv7290

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Here are two more links that go along with the one you posted...

http://help.aol.com/...xternalId=13250

http://help.aol.com/...0 5321857#first

Edited by trv7290, 21 February 2011 - 07:41 PM.

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#5
DonnaB

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trv7290,

See if this link sheds any light for you.

http://help.aol.com/...xternalId=24499

I think this specific file is only available on individual computers and not backed up on AOL servers.

I think you are correct. I found that AOL does store info online in their server for 27 days. As to what info..that I'm still researching.

I have put out a "call" to a friend that has used AOL in the past. Not sure if he still does, but if he does, he'll have some info to share I'm quite sure. Seems he may be away for a few days though. :D

As posted by trv7290:
Uninstall and then reinstall the AOL software.

Note: If you have downloaded the software more than once on your computer, you may find multiple instances of C_AOL #.# folders, each tagged with a letter of the alphabet. For instance, you may see folders such as C_AOL 9.5, C_AOL 9.5a, and C_AOL 9.5b, where C_AOL 9.5b is the folder with the latest download of the software. Please make sure that you double-click the folder that has the latest download of the software.


Do you have other instances (as shown above) from uninstalling and re-installing?

Thank you for taking the time to read through the posting and assisting me. If you do not understand any of my posts, please let me know and I will do my best to assist you.


It's my pleasure to help someone who is willing to help me to help them!

Donna :D
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#6
trv7290

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Hi Donna, Thanks so much for the follow up.

See if this link sheds any light for you.

http://help.aol.com/...xternalId=24499


I did follow your link above and the AOL directions pretty much mimic the steps to manually replace the PFC from the previous posts, but atleast we are getting somewhere.

I think you are correct. I found that AOL does store info online in their server for 27 days. As to what info..that I'm still researching.


Where and how would one find out what information they store for the 27 days? Ah, I see you are working through that same question...thanks.

I have put out a "call" to a friend that has used AOL in the past. Not sure if he still does, but if he does, he'll have some info to share I'm quite sure. Seems he may be away for a few days though.


From what I understand some of the processes are about the same, although the interface may look a bit updated and different.

Quote

As posted by trv7290:
Uninstall and then reinstall the AOL software.
Quote

Note: If you have downloaded the software more than once on your computer, you may find multiple instances of C_AOL #.# folders, each tagged with a letter of the alphabet. For instance, you may see folders such as C_AOL 9.5, C_AOL 9.5a, and C_AOL 9.5b, where C_AOL 9.5b is the folder with the latest download of the software. Please make sure that you double-click the folder that has the latest download of the software.

Quote

As posted by trv7290:
Uninstall and then reinstall the AOL software.
Quote

Note: If you have downloaded the software more than once on your computer, you may find multiple instances of C_AOL #.# folders, each tagged with a letter of the alphabet. For instance, you may see folders such as C_AOL 9.5, C_AOL 9.5a, and C_AOL 9.5b, where C_AOL 9.5b is the folder with the latest download of the software. Please make sure that you double-click the folder that has the latest download of the software.

Do you have other instances (as shown above) from uninstalling and re-installing?


I used to run a previous version of AOL, but have since upgraded with a fresh install with an updated version. As noted in the first post, I do have a 'backup copy' from the 2-14-2011 screen name of the PFC as backup copy, but that too does not seem to work and show the error.

It's my pleasure to help someone who is willing to help me to help them!


Thanks again and I will look for your response.
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#7
DonnaB

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I need to clarify a few things here if you don't mind to make sure we are on the same page.

In post #1, you mentioned AOL 9.0 Optimized.

In post #3 you stated the following:

The folders names below are the folders that I have copied and backed up in a safe place for when I restored (attempted to restore) the PFC, removed the PFC file of the affected username and uninstalled and reinstalled the AOL software.

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_AOL 9.5\organize

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\C_AOL 9.5\backup


Did you uninstall AOL 9.0 then reinstall AOL 9.5?

If so, you did not have to uninstall the older version to install the newer version and the PFC folder could have just been imported to 9.5 from what I found here--> http://boardreader.c..._1rddgXc8s.html

Look where it states Reply 1: Importing APL 9.0 PFC file into AOL 9.5 just under "Other posts in this thread:" I was unable to click on where it states, "Show more post info" due to really bad satellite connection tonight. See if you can. I'll keep trying too and post back if I get access to the rest of the thread.

Also, as for what is saved on their servers, I found this thread here where opinions seem to differ:

http://forums.macres...ad.php?1,120866

From what I understand some of the processes are about the same, although the interface may look a bit updated and different.

Different versions may differ to a limited extent, yes! I'm hoping his experience with AOL will work in our favor. :D
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#8
trv7290

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Hi Donna, Thanks for the responses...

I need to clarify a few things here if you don't mind to make sure we are on the same page.

In post #1, you mentioned AOL 9.0 Optimized.

In post #3 you stated the following:


The upgrade from 9.0 to 9.5 was complete the other day but has no relation to the PFC not being recognized and showing the error since the error was showing prior to the 9.5 upgrade on 2-19-2011...reason I come to this conclusion is below...

As per the posts...

If so, you did not have to uninstall the older version to install the newer version and the PFC folder could

have just been imported to 9.5 from what I found here--> http://boardreader.c..._1rddgXc8s.html

Look where it states Reply 1: Importing APL 9.0 PFC file into AOL 9.5 just under "Other posts in this thread:" I was unable to click on where it states, "Show more post info" due to really bad satellite connection tonight. See if you can. I'll keep trying too and post back if I get access to the rest of the thread.


I did click on the link and read through the forum post (seems as if the web site, does not show the rest of the responses, because I was not able to click through to them either...In response to that link...the posting is somewhat correct, that "AOL installer does it for you."


THIS IS BY NO MEANS 'THE ONE SIZE FITS ALL ANSWER'
--- and this is only from MY experience...for MY specific problem...AND MY OPINION --- Please do not follow these directions for your issues...it is computer specific.

From my experience and from reading through the AOL help files...AOL does create an automated way to import the files, but I have experienced this to sometimes be not always successful. That being said, as we have both found from the pervious post the directions that AOL provides shows how to restore the PFC various ways. (i.e. automatically, manually, etc.)

The software also provides many ways for a member to install and restore the software including files and emails. But the member should answer a few questions first in order to make the process a bit easier.

It sometimes depends on why the member is reinstalling or upgrading the software to begin with. Are the program files corrupt? Conflict? New version release? Etc. It also partially depends on wether the member is

considering using the quick restore (default settings) which is built into the program (the same version) or using a CD/downloading a fresh install or an upgraded version. The answers to the questions can differ greatly.

This is also when the member should consider how and when they are going to restore the PFC etc. once the program is changed. Are they going to transfer the same files from the exact version? Did they save the items to

the desktop or directly from the program? Are they going to be reinstalling a backup copy? or Are they going to use an older version from another time and date stamp? Certainly AOL does provide guidance, but it's always good to know exactly what the automated programs are doing.

At the very least, I generally manually make sure to copy and paste the 'organize' and 'favorites' folders to the desktop for safe keeping. And after and only after I am certain to have those files backed up I make more

decisions about how to run the AOL uninstall program and review all the installed AOL programs on the computer system before making any changes.

Once a selection is made and confirmed --- this is when AOL usually automatically creates a backup copy of the 'organize' and 'favorites' folders and places them on the desktop. BUT, this is why I always make sure to have

my own backup copy of those files in case a malfunction in the software does not copy the files correctly. I have also experienced a quick restore of files can sometimes fix an issue but not always. I also have had the

experience as a member that having multiply copies of the program on the computer can sometimes cause various conflicts. But this too seems to be very subjective.

QUOTE
Also, as for what is saved on their servers, I found this thread here where opinions seem to differ:

http://forums.macres...ad.php?1,120866


Thanks for finding the information regarding what they save on their servers. I think this mostly pertains to the emails that are running from their servers and I could be wrong, but unfortunately not the PFC files.

QUOTE
Quote

From what I understand some of the processes are about the same, although the interface may look a bit updated and different.

Different versions may differ to a limited extent, yes! I'm hoping his experience with AOL will work in our favor.


I do too!

Thanks again Donna. I will certainly try my best to clarify an questions you have in helping me resolve this issue.
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#9
DonnaB

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Hi trv7290,

I didn't find much more on how to help other than what we have already found. I assume that if there were corrupt files that uninstalling and reinstalling would have corrected that issue.

I did find this link though I'm not quite sure if it will help:

http://www.ehow.co.u...ng-cabinet.html

And I did finally hear from my friend who is experienced with the AOL Program. He has been very sick so I didn't even bother him to ask his opinions. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Here's a link I found for AOL Help if you would like to post there. You can paste a link to this thread to prevent from having to post it all again.

I'm going to step back and see if one of the other members here may have some insight as well, though I will continue to search for an answer and if I find something I will definitely post it. So please..stay tuned.

If, in the meantime, you find the answer, please share it with us so as to help others in the future. This doesn't seem to be a typical issue with AOL.


Donna :D
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