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Emails Disappeared In Outlook Express

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#1 mbm2000


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Posted 20 June 2007 - 10:45 AM

About 5 days ago. I shut down my computer because I was going out of town.
At that time, I was prompted to 'compact' my email messages. I answered yes.
When I returned yesterday, I noticed that all the emails I had in my Inbox prior to
the time I left, had disappeared.

I then searched the Identity Store site and FOUND the Inbox.dbx folder. Actually, I found 2 Inbox.dbx
folders; Inbox.dbx and Inbox(1).dbx. It is the Inbox.dbx folder that was relegated to retirement.
Apparently, a new Inbox.dbx was created when the messages were compacted.

There were several other folders that suffered the same fate: Draft.dbx, Outbox.dbx, Sent Items.dbx
and friends.dbx. My primary concern is with/for the Inbox.dbx.

My questioin is: how do I restore those messages to the 'working' inbox? They have not been deleted
as far as I can tell. All that I have read from the 'help' lines is for deleted messages.

I have a PC, with XP Pro OS(2), IE 6 (2), with plenty of RAM and HD space.

Thanks for your assistance.


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#2 TMacK


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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:19 AM

Hi mbm2000,

Why Does OE Insist on Compacting When I Close It?

There should be a backup of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, copied as bak files.

To restore a bak folder to the Message Store Folder, first close OE and locate the Message Store in Windows Explorer.

Tools /Options /Maintenance /Store Folder will reveal the location of your Outlook Express files. Highlight the folder location, then Copy. Close OE, then Start / Run / Paste will put the location in the box - Click OK and you'll see the OE files. Otherwise, write the location down and navigate to it in Windows Explorer.(I think you have this part figured out)

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.
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.

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:
Try the DBXpress utility.
Also see OE Tips aspx#4.

A little bit of info if you don't want to lose your messages in the future:

Do not archive mail in default OE folders. They will eventually become corrupted. Create your own user defined folders for storing mail and move your mail to them. Empty Deleted Items folder regularly. Keep user created folders under 100MB, and Default folders as empty as is feasible.
And backup often.
This is a good one-click backup program; OE Backup.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

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