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Lost dbx files

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by cocux, Feb 3, 2005.

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  1. cocux

    cocux Thread Starter

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    I have a big problem with Outlook Express on an Windows 2003 Server. I have moved the store folder from the default location to another partition, D:\Mail, and it worked OK. I have repartitioned the hard drive, and the letter of the partition has changed. I opened OE and no e-mails, because it didn't find the store folder. I changed the setting for the store folder in OE for the new location E:\Mail, restarted OE, and no e-mails. I checked the Mail folder and there were none of the old inbox.dbx and the other dbx files. The Inbox.dbx had 600 MB, now it's 70k. If the inbox.dbx has been overwritten, is there any chance to recover the file? I have scanned the drive with Easy Recovery, File Scavenger, PC Inspector, in any possible ways, but I can't find the inbox.dbx the size it was originally.
    Please help me,
    Thanks
     
  2. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    What does the Windows2003 server have to do with this?

    Can you search your computer for any *.dbx files?

    Do you have any backups?
     
  3. sekirt

    sekirt

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    Judging by the information you supplied and the recovery programs you tried, your old inbox has been overwritten with the new inbox.dbx (and other dbx files). Or it got lost when partitioning. Unless you had a backup or it is important enough to pay a recovery company, they are gone.

    Although it doesn't directly apply to how you lost the .DBX files this time, for the future:

    You maintain a questionable practice if any of the default folders are used for long time storage of large amounts of emails (Inbox/Outbox/Sent Items/Deleted Items/Draft). OE is known for emails disappearing particularly from the Inbox. Custom folders should be used. I would also recommend the size should not be anywhere near 600mb. I limit mine to 20mb or less.

    Manual maintenance should be done on a regular basis. Only when you are OFFLINE, open OE. Click File-->Folder. Then choose Compact All Folders. This will optimize the DBX files. Optimizing takes out all the wasted space.

    Do not check Compact messages in the background. This can lead to lost emails.
    (Tools->Options. Maintenance Tab)

    sekirt
     
  4. cocux

    cocux Thread Starter

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    I've done a beginner mistake, by changing the setting location of the store folder, because it's obvious that no matter what dbx are in that folder, OE will recreate new ones, and maybe overwritten the old ones. The question is, if it is so, should I expect to find the old inbox.dbx somewhere on the drive or if it's overwritten with a new, smaller, empty one, it's vanished from the drive? I am not looking for a deleted file, because I would have found it after all these scannings. This brings me to the next question: let's say you have a txt file with something written inside and you delete everything and save it with the same name (overwrite the file), then, if you scan the drive with all these tools, you will find the old file with the text written inside or you will find the file as saved the last time (with nothing written inside). I guess that overwriting a file it's not the same as deleting it and recreating it again.
    If my theory is correct then I have to forget about my dbx since they were overwritten by other empty dbx.
    Regarding the compact folders action, believe me, I do this on a regular basis, because I am an system administrator (120 computers) and a lot of users have 2000-4000 messages, with dbx sizes reaching 2-3 GB, and they never lost a single message.
    Thanks, Cocux
     
  5. sekirt

    sekirt

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    As long as you have extensions showing (folder options), you can search the drive for any .DBX files (Start->Find), maybe you'll get lucky?

    As to your question about a text file....why not run a simple test? Make up a dummy text file with sample text, then write over it with a new one.

    OE is not the greatest database, people go along fine and then one day *poof* the emails disappear mostly from the inbox. I don't know the upper size limits for DBX files but I choose to keep them much smaller than the ones you deal with. If you've never had problems, your call.

    Companies that do file recoveries should be able to find your DBX files if they are worth the expense. You could attempt to go sector by sector and maybe recover pieces. There is a lot of text within a DBX file. But I believe files the size you are talking about would be a nightmare.

    sekirt
     
  6. rebelmusic

    rebelmusic

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