Ask Rick 2009 & Houston We Have a Problem 09



Ask Rick 016, 09/01/09


File Error 22001 Menace

I have picked up a virus, which gives me a ‘fileerror_22001’ message when opening files. I have been on to Google and there are lots of people having the same problem, many, like me, are desperate to get our files back.

Barrie Lawrence, by email

First the bad news (not that there’s much good news…). This is a new, nasty and particularly virulent infection that first appeared at the beginning of December and is usually picked up by clicking on a web page pop-up. It corrupts Office files (.doc, .xls etc) and JPEGs, renaming them with .ccd and .flr extensions. The corrupted files appear to be encrypted, in which case you might expect that whoever created the infection to be offering to recover them, for a fee, though as far as I’m aware there have been no ransom demands, and I don’t know of any way to restore your files.


The main anti-virus companies have been strangely silent on the issue and little seems to be known about it except that it might be a variant of the Encoder 33 Trojan. The only useful thing I can tell you is that it should be possible to remove the infection using a free cleaner program called Malwarebytes ( It’s a salutary reminder of the importance of making regular backups, preferable on external media and if you really want to be safe, save your Word files as rich text format (.rtf) files, which this particular infection doesn’t target.



SD Card 2Gb Limit

I have a number of gadgets that utilise SD Cards for memory storage, yet their specifications often say 'up to 2Gb'. What would the likely consequences be of using SD Cards of higher specification in these?

George Higgins, by email


It varies and it depends on the particular device’s operating system, firmware and hardware. Some widgets will simply not recognise a larger card, others only ‘see’ 2Gb of space, whilst some gadgets can be fooled into using larger than specified cards. The first thing to do is find out how your devices behave. If it won’t accept the card then there isn’t much you can do, but if it does register its presence, albeit with reduced capacity then try reformatting it. I suggest using a free Panasonic utility called SD Formatter (, which does a particularly thorough job, compared with the format utility in Windows etc.). If that doesn’t work here’s another trick you can try. Open the card on your PC create a new folder and fill it with large files – it doesn’t matter what – so that the free space is reduced to less than 2Gb. Remove the card and insert it into the device and use its filing system to delete the ‘dummy’ folder and see if the recovered space is now available. It doesn’t always work but it has to be worth a try. 



Remembering Solutions

I am the Secretary of a club and keep all the email addresses of club members in a separate folder under Main Identities in OE6.  We now have a new Secretary and I wish to download these addresses onto a CD or memory stick to pass on to her.  However, every time I select all the addresses in this folder and try to export them, all my email addresses are included in the downloaded information. No advice is forthcoming under 'Help' - only for exporting the Address Book, not a small part of it.  Can you help please?

Sheila Forrester, by email


Why not just send the new Secretary an email, with your group contacts addresses in body of the message. There’s a quick and simple way to do this; open a new message window, click the To: button to open the Address book, select your group and click the To:-> button, right click the entry and select Action> Send Mail. The Group entry will now have changed to a list of names, highlight them all then drag and drop them into the body of the message window and hey presto, all the addresses appear. Alternatively, send a message with the group addresses in the Bcc (blind carbon copy) box, of course everyone in the group will also receive the message (but they won’t see everyone else addresses) so give it an innocuous subject or just call it Test message.  



PDF to Text

I have a printer/scanner with OCR capabilities and what I need to do is read/convert is a large quantity of pdf documents. I could print off the several hundred pages, and then have the scanner convert them to text files, but I am looking for a facility to effectively use OCR without the need to print the pages off - the paper will only be shredded after being scanned.


I run Vista Ultimate on one machine, and Vista Home Premium on another. Is there any way I can employ the scanner's OCR capabilities without physically printing the pages, or are there any programs available to provide this facility to convert pdf files?

Karl Limpert, by email


I fear you are going down the nut-cracking sledgehammer route with your OCR idea. Assuming the pdfs are unprotected – and most are – all you have to do is use the text selection tool (usually a letter ‘T’) to highlight the text, press Ctrl + C to save it to the Clipboard then use Ctrl + V to Paste it into an open word processor document. Incidentally, if you are using Adobe Reader and this doesn’t work, try a smaller, lighter and more nimble PDF reader called Foxit ( In the unlikely event that the pdfs are protected then simply take a screenshot, using Windows Print Screen or screen capture utility, save that as a JPEG and use your OCR software to read the text.





© R. Maybury 2008 2212


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