Lost OE Message File

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addnovice

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Jan 1, 2005
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My wife was recently looking in her OE Sent Items file for a message she had sent some time ago, and found only a handfull of messages in the file, all of them recent, as if the old messages had disappeared from the file. We knew there should be thousands of messages in the file. I took a look at Sent Items.dbx and it showed a content of some 460 MB of file size, which should be a lot of messages.

I decided to try to copy and paste the Sent Items.dbx under the name Old Sent Items.dbx back into the directory and see if OE would open it under the new name. Unfortunately. it showed NO messages in Old Sent Items.

I'm at an impasse. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Sincerely, Addnovice
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
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Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
Hi addnovice

Unfortunately, the messages may be gone. :(

Take a look at this program:
OE Reader
With this program you can look inside .dbx files to see if they contain any messages.

Using the Default folders in Outlook Express is not safe for the long term.
The Default folders consist of the: Inbox, Drafts, Outbox, Sent Items and Deleted Items.
Move messages you want to keep out of these folders and into folders of your own creation in Outlook Express.

If you are using Windows XP with Service Pack 2, check the Recycle bin for any .bak files. The .bak files are backups of the .dbx files that are created when Outlook Express compacts messages.
 

addnovice

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
89
Hi EAFiedler,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply! I will try the things you suggested and get back to you. Addnovice
 

addnovice

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
89
Hi EAFiedler,

I downloaded the OE Reader, and sure enough there were no messages. However, I remembered that I had backed up my wifes files a few weeks ago. I checked the Sent Item files on the backup DVD using OE Reader and the old files up to date of the backup are there.

Now, can I just copy them to the Desktop from the DVD, remove the read-only attribute, and copy/paste them into a new folder of my own making in OE?

Thanks for any advice on this. Sincerely, Addnovice
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
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Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
Yay! for backups! (y) :)


There are a couple directions you could take.

One is to create a folder in Outlook Express and give it, a unique name, for example: Sent Items 01.
Click on the new folder Sent Items 01 to open the folder, this will create the corresponding Sent Items 01.dbx file in the message store.

After copying the backup .dbx file to the Desktop and verifying the Read-only attribute is unchecked, rename that file with the same name as the new folder you created in Outlook Express: Sent Items 01.dbx

Using Windows Explorer or My Computer navigate to the Outlook Express Message Store.
Close Outlook Express.

Copy the backup .dbx file that you renamed to Sent Items 01.dbx and paste it into the Outlook Express Message Store. You will be overwriting the new Sent Items 01.dbx file with your backup .dbx file.

Open Outlook Express and access the Sent Items 01 folder, the messages contained in the backup .dbx file should appear.
__________________________________________________________________________

Or, with Outlook Express closed:

Paste the backup .dbx file into the Outlook Express Message Store, make sure you have given it a unique name so that you don't overwrite a .dbx file that contains messages.
Verify the Read-only attribute is unchecked.

Locate the Folders.dbx file and rename it Folders.old.

Start Outlook Express, a new Folders.dbx file will be created that will reindex all the .dbx files including any new .dbx files.
After a few minutes of reindexing, Outlook Express should start and show you a new folder that corresponds with the new .dbx file.
Access that folder to see the messages, it may take a few seconds at first to load the messages.


Let us know how it goes.
 

addnovice

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
89
Hi EAFiedler,

I went direction 1, and it worked perfectly. :) Thanks again for your excellent help!

Sincerely, Addnovice
 
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