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Email client similar to Outlook Express?

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by elsb, May 2, 2012.

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  1. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    I certainly understand your reluctance to dive in to trying it. If you're not familiar with how the programs work and store data, it can seem daunting.
    It's really quite simple and if you wish to give it a go, I'd be happy to post in step by step (hopefully foolproof) instructions to walk you through it.

    You shouldn't have to (nor should you want to) uninstall anything. Importing messages is the simple part of switching to TB. The Importer reads each OE DBX file (the data file that contains your messages) and creates a separate folder for them with a subfolder for each of the DBX files. They can be rearranged in the folder tree however you like.

    The main thing is to do one thing at a time. Pick a part to do (messages or Address Book) and don't move on until that's done.
     
  2. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    OK - I am willing to try it! Esp. with your generous offer to post step by step instructions for the address book, and updating my messages. THANK YOU!!! (no rush - whenever you have time)
     
  3. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    I'll work up instructions with some screenshots (pictures always help :D) for doing the Address Book and post them as soon as I can.
     
  4. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    First thing to do is a little prep work with the OE Address Book so it can be restored to it's current state.

    All of the following should be done with OE closed.

    Create a shortcut to the Address Book folder and place it on your desktop. This will make it simpler to get into it as you'll need to access it quite a bit.
    Open the folder at "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft" (username being the name you log in with) and right click on the Address Book folder.
    On the menu, click Send To>Desktop(create shortcut).
    Go to your desktop and click the shortcut to be sure it opens the Address Book folder. You should see 2 files, one named username.wab and one username.wab~.
    If there is also a text file or a .old file, you can ignore them. You only need to be concerned with the WAB's.

    [​IMG]

    Copy both of these files to your desktop.
    Also make a second copy of both and put them in your My Documents folder (or any place where they will be safe) and then don't touch them again until you're done. This second copy is very important to do.
    You'll be working with the WAB files on the desktop and the second copy is a redundant backup in case you mess up.
    If you want an even more redundant layer of safety, you can Export the Address Book to a WAB file or CSV file that can be Imported back to OE.You'd lose your folder structure on the Import from it, but it would guarantee the recovery of the contacts.

    In the Address Book folder, click the username.wab and your Address Book should open and show all AB's for all Identities in the left side folder tree with their respective subfolders.

    [​IMG]

    Thunderbird doesn't use subfolders in the Address Book. Each subfolder in OE will be Imported as a separate AB.
    Since T-bird Imports the entire contents of the WAB file into a single AB, you need to delete everything you DON'T want.
    Start with Importing the Main folder. Delete all subfolders leaving just the Main and close the Address Book.

    [​IMG]

    Open TB>Address Book. Click Tools>Import.
    Place a check by Address Books>Next.
    Select Outlook Express>Next.
    If the Import is successful, you'll have an AB named Outlook Express Address Book.
    You may have to click a different AB and then go back for the contacts to load the first time.
    If they are there and look OK, right click it and click Properties. Change the name to Main (or whatever it was in OE).
    You can leave the TB Address Book open as you'll be doing more Importing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now for the trick to this.
    In the Address Book folder, delete the WAB file you modified.
    Go to the desktop and right click the username.wab.
    Click COPY on the menu.
    Right click inside the Address Book folder and click Paste on the menu (or click Edit>Paste on the menu bar).
    Open the username.wab and it should be back where you started showing all folders and subfolders.

    To Import subfolders as AB's in T-bird, you first need to empty the Main of it's contacts (you can't simply delete the Main without also deleting it's subfolders).
    Select the Main in the left pane, click a contact in the list on the right pane.
    Click Edit>Select all then File>Delete. The Main should now be empty of contacts.

    (Note: If you don't want to have to do this again for each subfolder you want to Import, rename the WAB on the desktop to username.old and then make a COPY of the WAB with the empty main and place that on the desktop to use instead.)

    Now delete all subfolders except the one you want to Import and close the WAB.

    Run the TB Import again and you should get an Outlook Express Address Book that contains only what was in the subfolder you left in the WAB.
    Rename it to the same as the subfolder.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back to the Address Book folder and delete the WAB.
    Copy the WAB from the desktop into the folder and repeat the steps to leave only the next subfolder.

    Just keep doing that until each subfolder of contacts in the OE WAB has been Imported into a separate AB in T-bird.

    Take your time and be methodical. Check each Imported AB to be sure it's what you want as you go along. If you mess up and Import the wrong thing (forgot to empty the Main or picked the same subfolder to leave), just delete the Imported AB in T-bird and redo it.

    Assuming you've read all this and your eyes haven't glazed over :D, and you still want to give it a try, I would suggest you do a "Dry run" first (go to the different places and see if the instructions match what you see).
    Hopefully I haven't left out anything (what's obvious to me may not be obvious to you because I've done it before).
    If you need further explanation of any part, or any questions, please ask and I'll try to make it clearer.
     
  5. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    Thank you for your detailed post. I will try this when I can dedicate myself to the time needed. One question I see as I started reading it. You mentioned user name - as the name I log in with? I stay logged in cause I am the only one using this computer. I have no idea what my user name is!!
     
  6. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    The name you log in with is the Windows User Profile you're using. Simplest way (well, the most foolproof anyway) to see what it is is to open My Documents and then open any folder (My Music will work).
    Look at the Address in the Address bar. It will read "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music".

    Note: If you don't have the Address bar showing, click View>Toolbars>place a check by Address bar. It will show up right below the Main toolbar.
     
  7. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    Thanks! I am going to try and print the sections above with your directions. Will let yo0u know when I have time to try this.
     
  8. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    Let me know how it goes.
    Keep in mind that you don't have to do it all at once. You can do a couple folders, then come back in a day or 2 and do a couple more. It's not time critical or "all or nothing".
     
  9. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    Still have not started this project. I have to copy and print off your instructions, and start trying folders. I have soooo many, both message folders and address book.
     
  10. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    Question - when I have a folder that has many sub folders, do I have to transfer each sub folder? Or when I transfer the main folder, will all the subfolders be intact?
     
  11. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    Each time you run the Import, any contacts still in OE will be placed together in the new AB in T-bird. There will be no "folder structure".
    For example: If you have a folder that contains contacts when clicked on and that also contains 10 subfolders, in order to get a single subfolder as a separate AB in T-bird you would need to delete the contacts in the folder (not the folder itself or you would also be removing the subfolders) and also delete 9 of the subfolders, leaving only the one you want to Import.

    Since it's been a while since I posted the instructions, I want to remind you to make the copies of the WAB before you do any deleting. The single most important part of this is to have an original WAB you can use to replace the one you're modifying. Once contacts are removed from a WAB, they are gone.
     
  12. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    OK - I have yet to thoroughly read through the instructions including making a copy of the WAB. I am not deleting my Outlook Express, so my address book should stay in place, won't it?
     
  13. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    You're not deleting OE but you ARE going to be severely editing the Address Book.
    Please pay special attention to the instructions (first part of Post #19) for copying the username.WAB file to a couple of different locations.
    If you don't have a copy of the WAB (preferably 2 copies) in it's current state, once you edit the WAB in the Address Book folder you'll have no way to restore the contacts you delete.

    Just to be on the safe side, in addition to making the copies of username.WAB, also Export the Address Book to a WAB file.
    In the Address Book, click File>Export>Address Book(WAB). Save it someplace where you won't lose it.
     
  14. elsb

    elsb Thread Starter

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    This scares me to death!!!
     
  15. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    I'm reposting the first part again.

    Once this part is done, any mistakes or problems with the rest are easily fixed.

    Do the Export of the WAB in addition to the copies as I said in my last post.
    Don't do any deleting of anything until you have those 3 backups made.
    Once that's done, you should be safe from any disasters.

    It's really pretty simple and straightforward. It's only scary because it's something you haven't done before.
     
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