Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Installing FAX Services for Windows XP

You may be finding, as I did, that you can't install the Windows Fax service on your computer, despite doing everything right via the Control Panel.

I have found a way to resolve this problem, which has worked for two machines (both mine). If you try this, you do so entirely at your own risk. I have no way of knowing whether it has affected other parts of my computers and I take no responsibility if it fries yours!

I would also mention that I found the solution via this website, so thanks and kudos to them. Notice, you will need a Windows XP disc (Professional or Home Edition didn’t seem to matter, but the reinstallation discs that came with my laptop didn't work, so I had to use the full-version disc that came with the desktop.)

I would underline the caution that I’ve since found on Microsoft’s own website. According to Microsoft, the problem is that “secedit.sdb in %windir%\security\database\ may be damaged”. So before anything else, make a backup copy of the secedit.sdb file. I didn't, so I may yet find this wasn't such a good idea!

Then this is pretty much what I did:

1. Click Start, Run, and type or copy-and-paste this into the window:

esentutl /p %windir%\security\database\secedit.sdb

2. Click OK.

3. A black ‘command window’ will open and you will also get a dire warning: “You should only run Repair on damaged or corrupted data bases. Repair will not apply information in the transaction log files to the database, and may cause information to be lost. Do you want to proceed?”

4. I didn’t know what it meant, either, but I really needed that Fax sending, so I clicked ‘Yes’. Your computer, your call!

5. Not a lot seemed to happen, but now is the time to go back to trying to reinstall the Fax Services via the Control Panel. Use 'Start', 'Add or Remove Programs' and 'Add/Remove Windows Components'. Tick the box for Fax Services and it should now install.

6. Provided a full Windows XP disc (not one of those pathetic 'reinstall' things that comes with a laptop) is loaded into the CD Rom, it seems suddenly all to work OK. I now have the Fax Services up and running on both machines and have succesfully sent a fax, so it worked for me.

7. If it works for you, post a message!

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  1. Should of bought a Mac, John. :-)

  2. Yeah ... but when I bought my first PC in 1989 Macs were like way expensive! (On the other hand, that one had a 20MB hard drive.)

  3. finally !! i tried to many times via the control panel and this worked for me thank you for posting this

    The only thing that worked, after so many hours of trying!

  5. To Joint Ventures - I'm really pleased. It drove me up the wall for a long time!

    Tell your friends ;-)

  6. Hi, Great, it worked for me.
    Thanx. Feico-Willem

  7. What do you know, Feico-Willem - a man named after a Dutch gin! I tried it once. Hated the taste, loved the bottle, still have it somewhere.