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Solved: Outlook Express messages won't delete


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16-Mar-2007, 12:32 PM #1
Solved: Outlook Express messages won't delete
I posted this to the Business Applications also. This might be the better forum.

All of a sudden some incoming email is undeletable. About one out of seven messages cannot be deleted. Clicking the Delete button has no effect and no error message. Dragging the message to the Deleted Items folder yields the following message:

Selected message(s) cannot be moved. An error has occurred.

I tried searching Tech Support Guy and found a suggestion about moving the messages out of the Inbox, then deleting Inbox.dbx from my OE identity. I did this. A new Inbox was created just fine so I moved the old messages back into it but the old messages that were undeletable still are. And so are some new incoming messages. So, the "delete the Inbox.dbx" trick did nothing. I can't identify anything about the sticky messages that makes them any different from any other messages.

Very weird problem.
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16-Mar-2007, 01:12 PM #2
when you right click on the message, can you select delete or is it grayed out?
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16-Mar-2007, 01:31 PM #3
No, it is not grayed out, but selecting Delete has no effect. No error message. It just does nothing. I only get the error message when I try to drag the message to the Deleted items folder.
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16-Mar-2007, 01:34 PM #4
BTW, I can move the message to other folders, just not the Deleted Items folder. I thought maybe the problem was that the Deleted Items folder was too full, so I emptied it but to no avail. But that wouldn't have made sense either because why would only one out of seven messages not be deletable?
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16-Mar-2007, 01:44 PM #5
EDTI: have you tried a reboot, OE6 sometimes gets childish and silently and partially hangs in the background sometimes. try rebooting first.


Are you using HTTP, POP3, IMAP?

Also, have you done any windows updates recently to cause this...i think there has been a few updates that pertained to OE6....but not sure if they would help or cause this problem if either.

If you can sync your emails no problem, then i would just create a new identity, put in the server info and see if that works. if it does just use that idently and kill the haywire one.

Or you can try reinstalling outlook express
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Interne...-Express.shtml
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16-Mar-2007, 03:25 PM #6
This has been going on for over a week and I have rebooted many times in that time.

Whether I got the messages into Outlook Express via pop, http (whatever you might mean by that), or IMAP is irrelevant. They are just files on the hard drive now and contain no record of the server that got them there.

I get all Windows updates automatically and it is certainly possible that one of the updates caused the problem. But you would think that it would have affected lots of folks and I haven't been able to find evidence of that.

I suppose I could try reinstalling OE, but I think I would have to make a copy of my identities folder first and then copy it back after reinstalling. Does that sound right?
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16-Mar-2007, 03:30 PM #7
Oh, here's a clue! I just looked at the Deleted Item.dbx folder in the Outlook Express Identities folder and guess what? It is over 2 G in size! And it only contains a few dozen messages because I manually moved all thousands of them out of there.

I think I will delete the Deleted Items.dbx folder from the Identities folder and re-start OE. I bet that will fix the problem.
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16-Mar-2007, 03:43 PM #8
Solved! Deleting the Deleted Items.dbx file did the job. I can't imagine why the file was so large after I moved everything out of that folder, but it was. As a bonus, I also freed up 2G of space on my hard drive! Thanks to everyone who tried to help. In this case, I figured it out myself but this forum is a great resource and the people who lend their assistance are to be thanked and congratulated!
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16-Mar-2007, 08:58 PM #9
Hi bozito

When messages are downloaded into the Inbox folder, the size of the file grows. When messages are moved out of or deleted from that folder, the file does not reclaim that space. This is where the compacting process comes in. Compacting removes the wasted space that accumulates in the message folders.

Place Outlook Express in Offline mode so it does not try to download messages during the process:
File > Work Offline

File > Folder > Compact
Allow the process to complete without interruption, it's best just to walk away from the computer.

Once the process is completed, place Outlook Express back online by reversing the steps to place it offline.
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16-Mar-2007, 09:56 PM #10
Thanks! I didn't know that.
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17-Mar-2007, 08:31 PM #11
I left part of the label off of the last step, it should be:

File > Folder > Compact All Folders

File > Folder > Compact only compacts the one folder you have open.
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22-Sep-2007, 02:10 PM #12
EAFiedler:
I'm having the same problem. I can't delete emails from my IN box or my SENT message box. I did manage to clear my 'Deleted Items' box. I'm not able to move any emails to other boxes either.
I wasn't able to understand how 'bozito' solved his problem.
Could you please explain the process in more detail? Thanks Dave
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22-Sep-2007, 03:30 PM #13
In OE, delete all the messages in the Deleted Items folder, then close OE and find Deleted Items.dbx on your hard drive and delete it. Reopen OE and everything should work fine.
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22-Sep-2007, 03:47 PM #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozito
In OE, delete all the messages in the Deleted Items folder, then close OE and find Deleted Items.dbx on your hard drive and delete it. Reopen OE and everything should work fine.
i did as you described and thru search find no dbx files to delete. xppro
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22-Sep-2007, 03:58 PM #15
I believe I said I can't delete the messages in my 'Deleted Items' folder?
How do I find Deleted Items.dbx on my hard drive? Thanks Dave
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