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Need to recover .wab files and address book

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by doclaser, Sep 18, 2004.

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  1. doclaser

    doclaser Thread Starter

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    This is my first post, thanks for being on the Web!

    My Windows ME machine was acting very badly (probably due to my son's incessant adding of buggy games and private mods), so I decided to use the Restore disk to put the machine back into original/factory condition. I use Outlook Express, so I went into Windows Explorer and found the Address Book file "default.wab" (Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book) and 5 message folders loaded with various .dbx files (Windows\Applicaton Data\Identities). I burned the single default.wab file and the five message folders to a CD so I could put them later into the new instance of Outlook Express & ME.

    Next, I used the Restore disk and successfully restored the machine to original/factory condition. Right after that, thinking I was Mr. Smart Guy (obviously not!), I tried to copy the default.wab file and the five message folders into the matching locations in the new instance of Outlook Express & ME. It didn't work. I've tried everything I can think of and have checked with some of the Outlook Express backup software vendors, but no luck. I know now I should have bought some of that software first, but it's too late now.

    Can I restore or recover the Address Book and messages from the CD I burned from my old instance of Outlook Express/ME? Those addresses and messages mean a lot to me...Thanks!
     
  2. bearone2

    bearone2 Banned

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    try this. within oe: file/import/address book.

    browse to the cd when it asks where to look/follow the prompts.
     
  3. doclaser

    doclaser Thread Starter

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    Thanks, but I've tried that and it doesn't work. I get an Error Message reading "An error occured during the import process. The import process could not be completed." I also tried the same thing with the messages by going to OE/File/Import Messages; that didn't work, either.

    Any other ideas?
     
  4. Moby

    Moby

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    You should certainly be able to just copy the wab address book back to it's original location. When you say it didn't work, what happened? Do you have the identities set up in your new outlook express exactly the same as before and as they are listed in your backed up address book?
    As a last resort you can open your backed up address book, click edit, select all, then right click copy. Then go to your new address book, right click paste.
    You'll have to confirm each entry as it goes in by hitting ok, but it's better than typing them all again.
    Can you decribe why the copying the address book didn't work, any error messages etc? And do your identities match?
     
  5. doclaser

    doclaser Thread Starter

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    Thanks, Moby, but none of that works, at least not that I can see. When I open the .wab file in Wordpad, it just shows a bunch of gibberish. I don't know how else to open it. As far as I know, I set up the new identies exactly the way they were before. Because I can't open the old .wab file, I have no way of seeing any identities or addresses in there. I wouldn't mind cutting and pasting if I could do it. About the error message, see the previous posts. In brief, when trying to import the Address Book through the OE dropdown, I get an Error Message reading "An error occured during the import process. The import process could not be completed."
     
  6. Moby

    Moby

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    I meant the error when you tried just putting the address book back into it's location, not the import option.
    The .wab file isn't supposed to open with wordpad, it opens with a programme called 'address book', do you have this enabled? I can't check at the moment but if my memory is right, go to add remove programmes, click the windows setup tab and address book is one of the options in one of the headings there that can be turned off and on. Enable it, reboot, you need that wab file opening properly with the correct programme.
    Normally you just double click the wab file and it opens up, just like you see it in outlook express when you click the address button. If address book isn't enabled then that may be the problem.
    If it is enabled, right click the wab file, open with, browse to this file

    "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\wab.exe"

    select it, and tick the box 'always use this programme . . . ' (words to that effect.
    You should now be able to see it's contents.
     
  7. doclaser

    doclaser Thread Starter

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    Address Book is enabled, so I did what you said to open the old .wab file. After right clicking the old .wab file, I browsed to "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\wab.exe" and tried to open the file with it. It didn't work. I got an error message that "the specified file could not be found, please verify that the specified path is correct."

    I really appreciate your help; please don't give up on me yet!
     
  8. Moby

    Moby

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    Haven't given up yet, I'm about 6 hours ahead of you, sleep and all that ;)
    Can you just try something to clarify . . .
    Go to your exisiting/new/empty address book at
    "C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\default.wab"
    Double click it, what happens?

    Can you clarify that this file is actually there?
    "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\wab.exe"

    If the current address books opens normally and looks like the OE address book, what happens when you double click your backed up address book?

    If it doesn't open and wab.exe is there, in my docs or windows explorer, click tools, folder options, file types, scroll down to the .wab extension, select it, what is the 'opens with' programme in the box below?
    If it isn't address book, click change and browse to the wab.exe file, setting it as the programme.

    Also, when trying to import the address book from within outlook express, make sure the backed up address book is on your computer somewhere, not on the cd and that the read only attribute is removed from it. (right click, properties, uncheck 'read only')

    And are both versions ot outlook express the same (old one you took the address book from and current one installed - you may have updated the older one, but haven't updated this one)

    Just knocking off the possibilities.
     
  9. DVOM

    DVOM

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    One thing to keep in mind is that when you transfer files off of a CD onto your hard drive they're going to be read only. You'll have to change that before OE can deal with them.
     
  10. doclaser

    doclaser Thread Starter

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    DVOM and Moby, you guys are great. I've been swamped with family and work and church. Sorry this has taken a few days to respond to; I really don't mean to be rude by taking your kindness for granted.

    Here's the update:

    I was able to retrieve most of the Address Book (all except a couple of sub-folders) by unchecking the "Read Only" box, disabling the new Address Book file by renaming it, and then pasting the old Address Book into the new Address Book folder.

    1. So, do you guys have any advice on how to recover the subfolders in the Address Book? I'd just assumed they were in there as part of the same single file.

    2. Also, I'd like to recover my old Email folders (the 5 .dbx files I burned to a CD before reformatting; see my original Email in this string for details). The 5 .dbx files are "Read Only" at the moment (I've already moved them to my C drive). That's easy enough to uncheck, but the names of the files don't match the new file names at Windows\Applicaton Data\Identities. Should I just paste them in there anyway? I've had so many problems, I'm not anxious to try anything without first hearing that it's safe.

    Thanks again!
     
  11. Moby

    Moby

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    I don't quite know what's going on with the address book. Just to get it finished, I would create the folders in the new address book and jusy copy and paste the individual entries from the backed up one, into their relevent folders. Problems do arise I think if the identities don't match when replacing address books as a whole.
    I'm not going to have time now to go into the messages, maybe someone else can chip in, I'll check back over the weekend, or maybe you want to read the info on this site. It's probably the most widely reknowned source on all things outlook express like :)
    http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/
     
  12. rarchimedes

    rarchimedes

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    If you had updated OE from the level originally delivered with your ME, that may be complicating your life. You might try bringing OE current to whatever level you had it at before through Windows Update or other means before continuing your efforts.
     
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