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Outlook Express Inbox file storage


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#1 Brucerb

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:51 PM

Can anyone tell me where to find the file (or folder) that routinely stores the Outlook Express inbox email (Win XP Professional). I had a number of emails sitting in my inbox 2 days ago. When I went to check my email today, they were gone and replaced with a few very old emails that I had previously deleted. I have Acronis 2010 backup, and I do have a complete backup on a daily basis, but after restoring the entire Outlook Express folder from several days prior, I still get the same thing. Does Windows store the inbox someplace else? Thank you.

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#2 petewills

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:58 PM

Outlook Express e-mail folders have a .dbx extension (for example, "Sent Items.dbx").

Path to Store Folder in Windows Explorer, containing .dbx files:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\

{8xxxxxxB-Dxx8-4xx3-Axx5-Fxxxxxxxxxx9}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Recuva file recovery (including from the Recycle Bin)

http://www.piriform.com/recuva

[To see file extensions e.g. .dbx files, in Windows Explorer
go to tools>> folder options>> view tab>>
uncheck "hide extensions for known file types" and apply]

[To see hidden files in Windows Explorer
go to tools>>folder options>>view tab>>
click on "show hidden files and folders" and apply]

#3 petewills

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:03 AM

Hi,

Please do not send PMs to me re forum topics.

You have a much better chance of having your problem solved if everyone has an opportunity to consider it.

Contents of PM
Thanks for your help. I was able to locate the .dbx file.
However, when I "recovered" the file from my Acronis backup (I used one from a few days before when I know all was well),
the recovery seemed to go well, but when I reloaded Outlook Express, only the new inbox messages came up,
not the ones I had backed up. I deleted the "inbox.dbx file from C:|Documents and Settings.... as you explained,
and even when there was NO inbox.dbx file there, Outlook Express still brought up the latest inbox messages.
Where would these have come from if the Inbox.dbx file was non-existent?
Why might my recovery program supposedly restore the old (correct) .dbx file and
then Outlook Express only brings back the new one? I have thoroughly scanned everything for viruses, spyware, etc.
I'm still at a loss to explain why my inbox messages suddenly got deleted on their own.
Any additional thoughts? Thank you.


I don't know the answer - perhaps someone else may.

Amongst others, Queen-Evie seems pretty clued up and may read and be able to suggest something.

You could do a wildcard search [ *.dbx ] to establish the location of every file.

If you recover any files from the Recycle Bin, they may be in the .bak format, e.g. Inbox.bak
and you could then rename them to .dbx.

[Your Folder(s).dbx
Deleted Items.dbx
Drafts.dbx
Folders.dbx
Inbox.dbx
Offline.dbx
Outbox.dbx
Pop3uidl.dbx
Sent Items.dbx] This is just how mine look.

Pete.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 09:08 AM

You need to restore your backup from Acronis...to a storage location on your system...and then import the messages from the backup into your current Outlook Express. That allows all current emails to blend smoothly with those from the backup.

Restore the old store to a location different than its original...then do the import message thing.

Louis

#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:03 AM

Contents of PM
I deleted the "inbox.dbx file from C:|Documents and Settings.... as you explained,
and even when there was NO inbox.dbx file there, Outlook Express still brought up the latest inbox messages.
Where would these have come from if the Inbox.dbx file was non-existent? Why might my recovery program supposedly restore the old (correct) .dbx file and
then Outlook Express only brings back the new one? quote]

I don't know the answer - perhaps someone else may.


Answer: You can delete the inbox.dbx as many times as you want.
When you open OE, the inbox.dbx is re-created, allowing you it to retrieve new messages.

Before you do anything else, please do as Luis suggested to see if that fixes your problem.
I wish I could tell you more but at this point I can't think of anything else to help you resolve the issue.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 31 January 2010 - 10:36 AM.


#6 hamluis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:41 AM

Just a note...you don't need to restore the entire Acronis file...just the Documents and Settings folders or the Identities folder.

If you have not changed the location of your email message store...it is in the Identities folder, which is the Documents & Settings group.

Louis

#7 Brucerb

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:08 PM

I did exactly as hamluis suggested. I deleted all the Outlook Express files from C:\Docs and Sets\MyName\Local Settings...Outlook Express. Then I restored only that folder from a 3 day prior Acronis backup (when I know the inbox messages were there) to a separate hard drive. Then I "moved" that folder with its files to the original site where the Outlook Express .dbx files were located. I then opened Outlook Express, and all I got were the latest email messages in my inbox, none of the ones I had backed up. I rechecked the inbox.dbx files, and indeed they were dated 3 days before (date of creation of files) as they should have been. Yet, they never appeared in Outlook Express. I'm still stumped.

Edited by Brucerb, 31 January 2010 - 04:09 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:22 PM

<<I did exactly as hamluis suggested.>>

I don't think so...I don't see where I suggested/advised deleting anything.

Louis

#9 Brucerb

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:31 PM

You are correct. You did not suggest first deleting the existing .dbx files. The first time I tried, I was asked if I wanted to replace the existing .dbx files with the imported ones. I said yes since I assumed that was the thing to do. I got the same response from OE. So I tried again, this time first deleting the existing .dbx files and then replacing them. I didn't think it would really make any difference, but maybe I was wrong. If so, do I assume that I can no longer restore my old .dbx files? In any case, if I am deleting the existing .dbx file (the inbox), where are the messages associated with file coming from? Thank you.

Edited by Brucerb, 31 January 2010 - 04:33 PM.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 05:18 PM

My guess is that you cannot recover .dbx files which have been deleted....but, you can recover them from a previous backup made. I will say flatly...there is no reason to ever delete .dbx files....unless you know for sure that those files are either archived and what you looking at is a copy of same.

I'm not familiar with Acronis (I use Drive Image) but I'm pretty sure it works like an updated version of Drive Image. Acronis should allow to restore any files from that backup, at any time.

So...if you want to restore email files from that backup, they should always be available for restoring...all you have to remember is that you do NOT want to restore them to their default locations. If you restore them to default locations, they will eliminate same-named files that already exist.

But...if you restore them to partition E: rather than partition C:...they don't replace anything and they are available to be imported into your current install...anytime.

That's one of the reasons I do backups...in case I want a particular file from my past...I have access to it, anytime I want it.
So...I have my default message stores in the Identities accounts...but I also have an "archive" message store on a different partition. and I have copies of all my emails at this archive message store. And I also have my system backups.

I was an accountant in my former life...I like having too much detail, as opposed to having too little :thumbsup:.

Louis




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