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back up OE files > reformat > reinstall OE files

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by speedyzap, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    I want to re-format my existing corrupted operating system (hard drive) in my desktop PC. All attempts at repairing the OS have failed. (There is also a small chance of an OS repair)

    but before that I want to back up all my current Outlook Express Files as follows:
    Inbox – outbox – sent items – drafts – addressbook (emails and group emails). These files are quite big and also important to me. I seem to recal those files are called "WAB", "BAK", etc . I tried to do it once before and I think I searched through start > run >type in a search command?? I recal that they were hidden folders as well. If I can find those hidden OE folders I should be most of the way there.

    After I back up my account OE files, I want to do it for one other account user's OE on this same desktop PC

    Also after re-formatting I want to re-install those same saved / backed up OE files. But I want to be sure those files will go back into the re-formatted OS OE. I thought I might just experiment first by putting one file into my laptop OE (second PC) just to see it works as I think it should?

    I have already backed up all other files (my docs, my pics, music, other accounts files) – but not the OE files

    My OS is windows XP home 32bit on an old IDE HD

    For back up purposes I have an external HD and a memory stick available

    Can anyone assist here on TechGuy
     
  2. dvk01

    dvk01 Moderator Malware Specialist

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    Derek
  3. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    Hi

    In the procedure below I am just archiving and backing up only one selected inbox email to test how these instructions work

    I was able to find the outlook express files as follows: C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    (see attachment for what the above folder looks like under):

    I was able to take one email out of my inbox and drag it into my newly created OE ARCHIVE folder (when I dragged it out of my inbox it was completely removed from my inbox)

    I was able to drag that folder into the outlook express files (don't know how I got ARCHIVE .DBX and ARCHIVE(1).DBX as well in there)

    I was able to send the ARCHIVE.DBX folder to my memory stick as a backup

    I was not able to put that backed up email back into my inbox

    I am going to need your help here step by step as I find the microsoft instructions require a lot of trial and error and MS assumes you already know some undisclosed steps

    1] I need help to get that saved email back into my inbox to see how one can restore a single backed up OE selected item

    2] I then will send the OE inbox, sent and drafts .DBX files (in my desktop) into my memory stick as a back up (without deleting them from desktop OE) and then try and install one of these folders into my laptop OE simply as an experiment to see how it works (but will need your help with installing them into my laptop OE)

    Once again the idea being if I reformat my desktop HD that I am sure that I can restore all backed up OE file back into the newly reformated OS OE same as they were before
     

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  4. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    I'll just ask a less time consuming question as I have had no reply to the above:

    I saved/backed up one small OE drafts BAK file to my memory stick (from my desktop)

    How can I now input that same above file into my laptop OE / drafts (as an addition to the drafts files already in the laptop)?

    (Windows XP on both desktop PC and laptop PC)
     
  5. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    Sorry. I would have answered you before this, but I've been tied up for a couple days.

    It sounds like you're trying to put an "orphan" DBX into the Message Store folder.
    Simplest way I've found (unless you want to replace what's currently there) is to create a new folder in OE.
    Name it Bob (it can be any name, but that's simple).
    Click it to open it (this will generate a DBX file for it).
    Open the Message Store, and with OE CLOSED, find and delete the file Bob.dbx.
    Place the DBX you want to load into the Message Store and rename it to Bob.dbx (if there's already a file with the same name as what you're putting in, rename it first).

    So for what you just described, you place the Drafts.bak into the Message Store and rename it to Bob.dbx.
    Open OE and the contents of the file will display in the folder Bob.

    Note: Sometimes when moving a file from an external drive to the main drive, they will be marked Read Only. It's a good idea to right click the file and clear that attribute (if it's there) before you open OE. That may be what happened to your Archive test. The file may have been Read Only and OE couldn't use it and created a new file for the Archive folder named Archive(1).dbx (you can't have 2 files named exactly the same in a folder). You can probably clear the Read Only, delete the Archive(1).dbx and rename the Archive.dbx to Archive(1).dbx and it will show the message it contained.
     
  6. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    Hi Throoper

    will try that tomorrow
    - run out of time today

    will get back to you...
     
  7. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    OK. (y)

    Just want to mention that deleting a DBX from the Message Store will also result in the messages being deleted from the corresponding folder in OE.
    For example: If you were to delete the Drafts.dbx and rename the Drafts.bak to Drafts.dbx, the messages currently in the Drafts folder would be gone and replaced with the contents of the Drafts.bak.
    That's why you need to create a new, empty folder in OE (a Bob folder) to use.
    It's also important to spell it exactly the same when renaming. If you delete a Bob.dbx, make sure you use the capital B (Bob, not bob) when renaming. Spelling and punctuation are everything in order for OE to recognize and use the file.
     
  8. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    Hi Throoper

    Sorry for not getting back I have been busy on other matters and also not too well...

    I have tried to trace back all the files in OE and found some but others are hidden because somewhere along the line in one instance the local settings file is missing for one account

    my computer> docs&settings>user account name>local settings> application data>identities>{1D8330.........}>microsoft>OE>file boxes OE
    For some reason I have several account name user accounts in my name in OE and one of them appears to have gone missing (become hidden due to OS corruption).

    Before trying to find these specific hidden OE files, I thought that I would try my last card and try and do a windows repair in boot mode. Before doing that I want to save my entire IDE PATA hard drive onto another second hand internal IDE hard drive, just in case the windows repair causes my existing hard drive to crash. I am assuming that copying the entire HD onto another IDE internal HD will allow me, if required, to simply install the copy HD into my desktop PC. If so, will it work like my current existing HD with access to my OS (xp home) as per normal (home page, desktop, start, control panel, etc) or will it work like an external HD only giving access to data via file box string searches?

    If the copy IDE HD will work as per my existing HD (if internally installed), what is the best way to save the entire existing HD (with OS) onto the copy HD ? I do have an existing external drive case to put the second copy hard drive into and try to make a copy before I put it internally in my desktop PC. I am not sure that my old IDE PC can handle more than one hard drive, so that's why I want to copy it onto my copy HD in the HD external case first. If it will copy OK on the external HD, I will then take the existing HD out and install the copy HD. If that won't work, then I will have to see if my desktop will accept a second HD working at the same time as my old HD (both working at the same time)

    Hope the above is not too confusing
     
  9. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    What you're talking about with the harddrive is cloning. You need special software for making the bootable clone.
    Since you're having system problems, I wouldn't advise doing that. You'd only be putting the problems on another disc.
    It would be better to just backup your personal stuff and do a clean install of XP and only reinstall any programs you need and use. You'll be shocked at how well it will perform without all the junk that's accumulated.

    For the OE files, they may have been in a "user account" that got removed. If you haven't accessed them in a long time, odds are there's nothing in them you've missed or needed. You might want to make life easy and just let them go.

    For DBX files you have, you can use this utility for checking their contents.
    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/dbxviewer.html
    It can save you a lot of time and work by showing you if there's anything in the files you deem worth restoring to OE.
     
  10. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    Hi Throoper
    Was busy again and sorry about the delay gap getting back

    What you're talking about with the harddrive is cloning. You need special software for making the bootable clone.
    Since you're having system problems, I wouldn't advise doing that. You'd only be putting the problems on another disc.


    Yes Thats right! I want to clone the HD. I've got nothing to lose as I have a 160GB IDE HD spare and clean. The reason being, that the info on the exist HD is very important to me and I don't care if I use up a spare IDE HD (I have another spare 3 of them). Just run with me on that and I will try the other methods later, if you would be so patient. If you would, what is the best software program that I should use to clone a seagate HD to seagate HD. I heard that one good program is "acronis" - but what you think is a good user friendly cloner?

    I agree that a good re-format clean and XP re-install would be good. At present I'm thinking, get a clone, try and do a windows repair on boot up on that clone. If it works - great! If not, just keep the clone and original HD and plug original or clone in the desktop when I need it for its accessable data. And then just re-format (clean) one of my spare unused 250GB IDE HD's (a third spare IDE HD) and use that as my main desktop drive. Drop in all the OE stuff I did save (in the third one). Also, I'll try and see if my desktop will run two HD's the cloned HD and the newer spare XP re-install (third) HD. Probably keeping the original HD as a spare in case the clone crashes.

    I have saved all I can off the original HD - but I am convinced much of my OE data (inbox, sent, drafts) has become hidden, (because of corruptions or too many virus, malware, etc & heavy duty clean ups) as the files I could find on string searches don't seem near the size they should be for all that data in there. Fell into the trap of leaving to much data in XP OE and that was unwise.
     
  11. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    I would go with Acronis if you don't mind paying the money.
    A couple of free apps are DriveImageXML and Clonezilla, but neither is especially user friendly.

    I had a thought about the files you think might be hidden.
    Go into Folder Options>View tab>uncheck "Hide protected operating system files">OK.
    Windows Search doesn't find those files even if you've checked it in the Advanced search options.
    If they don't turn up after that, they aren't there.
    BTW: Have you checked what you found using the MailView program to be sure they don't contain what you're looking for?
     
  12. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    At present I can get a free trial of acronis for 30 days
    See: http://www.acronis.com.au/homecomputing/products/trueimage/#overview

    I'll uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" but I'll need to find a little time to do that - by that I mean I'll have to orientate myself on what OE folders I think I have and where I think files are missing/hidden again and compare after unchecking

    But this "mailview" sounds very interesting! Where do I find it? I assume I have to download it? How does it work? Does it open up file OE file folder boxes somehow to view mail contents?
     
  13. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    It's the link I posted in Post #9.
    If you have a lot and want them to open with it by merely double clicking, set it as the default program for opening DBX files.
    Right click a DBX>Open with>Choose program>browse to the MailView.exe>Check "always use the selcted program">OK.
     
  14. speedyzap

    speedyzap Thread Starter

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    Hi Throoper

    When I click on URL http://www.snapfiles.com/get/dbxviewer.html

    I get the mailview download and save the file MailView.zip to desktop, but when I open the file I get a box come on the screen from Winzip saying "0 days remain in your 45 day WinZip evaluation period" - "Buy Now"

    I assume Mitec Mailviewer is basically a WinZip product??
     
  15. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    You need to extract the contents of the zip file.
     
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