Outlook Express Address Book Failure

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bandwife1

Thread Starter
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
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1
I have no idea what caused this to start, but Outlook Express will not let me send messages. I can receive but get "Address Book failed to load. Outlook Express is incorrectly configured, please re-install it." I have been working on this for 2 days and am getting nowhere. I have read all the MSKB articles and anything posted here and have followed all instructions but have gotten nowhere. I'm hoping that someone can help me! I use e-mail religiously for business and am completely stuck. Details of my computer and OS below:
Compaq Presario 3000 Laptop
Windows XP SP2
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
Hi bandwife1

Welcome to Tech Support Guy Forums!

What fixes have you tried so far?

Are you able to locate the .wab file for the Outlook Express Address Book?
If so, have you verified it is not marked Read-Only?

Do you have Microsoft Office installed?
If so, is it possible Outlook Express is sharing it's Address Book with Outlook?

Are you able to open the Outlook Express Address Book?

Let us know.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
97
Hello,
I'm having the same problem with my Outlook Express. My address book won't load and I receive the same error message as bandwife. The funny thing is, there is a list of "contacts" on the screen that is my address book. Finally, when I go to close OE, I get another error message about how outlook has experienced a problem and must shutdown.

Do I need to reinstall, and if so, how do I that? Thanks in advance!
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
Hi Jukie

Were you able to locate the .wab file and verify it was not marked Read-only?

What happens if you remove the Contacts pane from Outlook Express?
View > Layout
Uncheck: Contacts

Close and Restart Outlook Express and attempt to access the Address Book to see if you still receive the error message.

What operating system are you using?

Let us know.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
97
I'm using Windows XP. And I just discovered that the "contacts" are not my address book but my AOL instant messenger list. I closed that.

The .wab file--I can't find it using Windows Search. Is there a specific place to look for it manually, as opposed to using the windows search feature?
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
You may need to enable Show hidden files and folder.

Windows XP:
  • Open My Computer,
    Tools > Folder Options > View tab,
    under Hidden Files and Folders, verify Show Hidden Files and Folders is selected.
    Remove the checkmark for Hide Extensions for known file types.

Search:
  • Start > Search > For Files or Folders > All files and folders,
    In the field for: all or part of the file name
    Key in:
    .wab
    Below that, click on More advanced options
    in the field: Type of File, select (All Files and Folders)
    place a checkmark in:
  • Search system folders
  • Search hidden files and folders
  • Search subfolders
    click Search
 
Joined
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Messages
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I have enabled show hidden files and folders and I've also now located the wab file, but don't know what to do with it because I can't open it. Also, I realized I'm not able to send mail at all from OE because of the address book not being availabe.
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
1. With Outlook Express closed, Right click on the .wab file > Properties and verify it is not marked Read-only.

If it is marked Read-only, uncheck it, Apply, OK to save changes.
Then click the .wab file to see if it will open or if you still receive the same error message.
________________________________________________________________

2. If you are still receiving the error, using Windows Explorer, navigate to the directory where the .wab file is located.
Usually: C:\Documents and Settings\(UserAccount)\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book
You should find two files: the default.wab (owner.wab) and a file with the extension .wa~ (owner.wa~)

Move, not copy, those two files to a folder on your Desktop.
Close Windows Explorer,
Start Outlook Express, a new Windows Address Book (.wab) file should be created in the directory you just emptied.
Click on the Address Book icon *in* Outlook Express, if you are still receiving the error, close Outlook Express.
________________________________________________________________

3. Open the Registry:
Start > Run
key in:
regedit

Look for this key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4
Do you have the above key?

http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/files/wab.htm

Let us know what happens.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
97
Yes, I have found that key, but am I supposed to do something with it now? Thanks
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
97
Step 1--the read only box wasn't checked on either one.
Step 2-- I followed the steps. the files were moved, not copied to a desktop folder. I then opened OE and tested--same error message. The two wab files are still in a folder on my desktop. Am I supposed to put them back? I just checked in the folder where they used to be, and no new ones were created.
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
Leave the .wab files in the folder for the moment.

Do you have this key?
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WAB\WAB4\Wab File Name
If so, what is the default value listed in the Right hand pane?

It should resemble this:
C:\Documents and Settings\(UserAccount)\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\Owner.wab


What happens if you try this:
Start > Run
key in:
wab /new

If you still receive the error message after running the above command and the key exists with the default value, you will probably need to reinstall Outlook Express.

Let us know what happens, and I'll provide the instructions for reinstalling Outlook Express if necessary.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
97
the right hand pane does have that default value you said it would.

when I do the wab /new command it just opens and "open" box and says "look in." As if it's expecting an action from me. I just closed this box. Or do I have to do something with it?

After I closed it, I tried to open OE express again, same problem.
 

EAFiedler

Retired Moderator
Joined
Apr 25, 2000
Messages
14,172
That sounds promising.

With Outlook Express closed:
Try the wab /new command again, and create a new .wab file using the same name as the old .wab file.
For example: owner.wab
In the File Name box, Key in: owner.wab and click the open button and the new owner.wab file should open.
It will be empty.
Close the .wab.


Move the new .wab file into the directory where the previous .wab file was located.
C:\Documents and Settings\(UserAccount)\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book


Start Outlook Express and try to access the Address Book to see if you still get the same error.
 
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