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Outlook Express 6 [lost emails after compacting] / Cannot download / Update...

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#1 Machiavella


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  • Gender:Female
  • Local time:03:23 PM

Posted 05 July 2013 - 03:24 PM

  • I am currently using Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, Service Pack 3, '32-bit' operating system.


Hello Forum Members - I so appreciate all you so generously share here - it truly is remarkable...

I have experienced a similar problem as ginky4 Virtual PC Specialist!!! had described in an earlier posting...

They then reported: "I got the problem fixed. Here is what I did. I opened up Outlook Express and went to Tools, Options, Maintenance. I then clicked onto the tab called Store Folder which gave me a directory. I then copied and pasted that directory into the Run command window and then hit ok. That took me into a bunch of Outlook Express .dbx and .bak files.

You now need to close Outlook Express. I went to the inbox.dbx file and renamed that to inboxold.dbx I then took the inbox.bak file and renamed that to inbox.dbx The inbox.bak file was dated to yesterday's date when everything was working. You can then close out of that directory once you make those changes. I then relaunched Outlook Express and all of my missing emails were back.

That's basically how you restore your inbox off of a back up. It can also be done for the Sent and Deleted folders."

I was unable to find the bak files. but was able to locate the .dbx files and renamed them as suggested. I proceeded to reopen Outlook Express 6 and all of my sent and received files are now gone...

I have been experiencing issues with XP - specifically with it not allowing me to download anything at all - and have also lost the ability to send or recieve anything in Outlook Express with an attachment. The emails stored there are utterly critical to a legal matter [records/logs of harassment and threats from an ongoing stalking case] - please if ANYONE IS IN A POSITION TO HELP I WOULD BE FOREVER INDEBTED!

However the problem is far worse now; as I am unable to view the entire content of my outlook express folders [both sent and inbox] - after compression: it was approximately 1 year that was unable to be viewed. [Those contents were critical in terms of evidence in my stalking records/log.]

After attempting ginky4's fix and going in and renaming the files respectively to: inboxold.dbx and sentold.dbx and being unable to locate the correlating bak files - I attempted the following instructions from: Microsoft Community - "Outlook Express 6 just ate a year's worth of my emails. They seem to be gone. This happened after I was asked if I wanted to compact (or was it archive?) my emails. Outlook Express 6 just ate a year's worth of my emails. They seem to be gone. This happened after I was asked if I wanted to compact my emails. Any hope for retrieval? Thank you!"

Bruce Hagen replied: Please read this in it's entirety. It includes how to restore from the Recycle Bin. The two most common reasons for what you describe is disruption of the compacting process, (never touch anything until it's finished), or bloated folders. More on that below.

Why does OE insist on compacting folders when I close it?: http://www.insideoe.com/faqs/why.htm#compact
Why Mail Disappears: http://www.insideoe.com/problems/bugs.htm#mailgone

Recovery methods: If you are running XP/SP3, then you should have a backup of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, (or possibly the message store), copied as bak files. To restore a bak folder to the message store folder, first find the location of the Message Store. Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder will reveal the location of your Outlook Express files. Write the location down and navigate to it in Windows Explorer or, copy and paste it into Start | Run. In WinXP, the .dbx files are by default marked as hidden. To view these files in Explorer, you must enable Show Hidden Files and Folders under Start | Control Panel | Folder Options | View.

Close OE and then in Windows Explorer, click on the dbx file for the missing, or empty, folder and drag it to the Desktop. It can be deleted later once you have successfully restored the bak file. Minimize the Message Store.

Open OE and, if the folder is missing, create a folder with the *exact* same name as the bak file you want to restore but without the .bak. Eg: If the file is Saved.bak, the new folder should be named Saved. Open the new folder and then close OE. If the folder is there, but just empty, continue on to the next step.

First, check if there is a bak file already in the message store. If there is, and you removed the dbx file, go ahead and rename it to dbx. If it isn't already in the message store, open the Recycle bin and right click on the bak file for the folder in question and click Restore. Open the message store back up and change the file extension from .bak to .dbx. Close the message store and open OE. The messages should now be back in the folder. If the messages are successfully restored, you can go ahead and delete the old dbx file that you moved to the Desktop. If you do not have bak copies of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, then: DBXpress run in Extract From Disk Mode is the best chance to recover messages: http://www.oehelp.com/DBXpress/Default.aspx And see: http://www.oehelp.com/OETips.aspx#4

I managed to get as far as: Closing OE and then clicking on the dbx file for the missing, or empty, folder and drag it to the Desktop. The files are sitting on the desktop still - however; I am unable to restore them in either Outlook Express or to drag them back to Message Store.

I am unable to install: DBXpress run in Extract From Disk Mode - as XP has not allowed me to download anything at all now for several weeks - this also includes Microsoft updates as well as the issue with sending and receiving basic attachments from Outlook Express.

Anything at all that you can further advise would be so very deeply appreciated - I have a strong suspicion that this commenced when I was prompted and then elected to install the three day AVG trial offered and performed the PC Tune Up and Maintence - as soon as the trial concluded I began experiencing issues with not being able to download anything at all to XP.


Free AVG will not reinstall and XP has basically been rendered useless since that time...




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