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Outlook Express contents of inbox missing

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by mygoose, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. mygoose

    mygoose Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    When I opened my PC this morning I found the contents of my Outlook Express inbox blank.

    I am in a state of shock and can I get them back?

    I noticed also that under the list of Local Folders in Outlook Express some additional folders had been added namely Search Folder (1), Search Folder (1) and Search Folder (2) (3). Each contain a collection of old inbox emails but not many.

    Can anyone help please?
    mygoose

    XP SP3
     
  2. mygoose

    mygoose Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Can anyone help me with this please?

    It's very worrying.

    Be very grateful for help.

    Am using Outlook Express 6 in IE7 and XP SP3

    mygoose
     
  3. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
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    Hi mygoose,

    A few questions.

    Are any folders missing?
    Is it just the Inbox that's missing messages?
    Have you recently compacted messages?
    Have you looked in your Recycle bin for BAK files (eg, Inbox.bak, Sent Items.bak, etc.)?
     
  4. mygoose

    mygoose Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Thanks and yes it is just the inbox. When I opened my PC that morning I found the contents of my Outlook Express inbox blank.

    I noticed also that under the list of Local Folders in Outlook Express some additional folders had been added namely Search Folder (1), Search Folder (1) and Search Folder (2) (3). Each contain a collection of old inbox emails but not many.

    My PC is annoyingly compacting all the time and yes there is more than one Inbox.bak file in the Recyle bin.

    I did not do anything at the time to restore this because I am not sure how the inbox.bak files behave. I recall on a previous occasion it blanketed over the the existing inbox wiping out all new emails. At the time I found the inbox empty new emails started to come in normally.

    Since this happened the system keeps asking me to compact but I haven't done that because I am not sure if that will be the emails I have lost or just the new emails.

    The latest Inbox.bak file in the recycle bin seems to be dated 2 days before this happened.

    I have stopped emptying the recycle bin too.

    Thanks for help

    mygoose
     
  5. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
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    First thing is to open OE and let it download your new mail. Once that's done, click File and place a check next to Work Offline. That will stop OE from downloading mail until the check is removed.

    Now click File>New>Folder and create a new folder under the Local folder.
    Move all messages you wish to keep from the Inbox into the New folder.

    Open the OE Message Store folder by doing the following.

    You need to have Hidden files and Folders showing.
    At the top of any folder(My Documents for example) click Tools>Folder Options>View tab.
    Scroll down the list and place a check next to "Show Hidden Files and Folders" then click Apply and OK.

    In OE
    Click on Tools>Options>Maintenance tab>Store Folder.
    On the Store Location box, highlight the address by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard.
    Press Control+C (both at the same time) to copy the address to the clipboard.
    Click Cancel on all boxes and close OE.

    Click on Start>Run.
    Press Control+V (both at the same time) to paste the address into the command line and click OK.
    The Store Folder containing all the DBX files should open.

    Open your Recycle bin and select the Inbox.bak created before the mail loss.
    If the original location of the BAK is the Message Store folder (compare the address) click Restore to send it back.
    If your not sure, click Edit>Cut then in the Message Store folder click Edit>Paste. The Inbox.bak should now be in the Store folder.

    In the Message Store, rename the Inbox.dbx file to Inboxold.dbx.
    Rename the Inbox.bak to Inbox.dbx.
    Note: you may have to go into Folder Options>View tab (see above) and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types" in order to change the extension from bak to dbx. OK the notice about changing the file type.

    Reopen OE and see if your messages are back.
    If they are, create another New folder (if you have a large quantity of messages make a couple) and move your messages into them from the Inbox.
    You want to avoid using the Inbox, or any of the default OE folders (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and Drafts) for storage and keep the file sizes as small as possible.

    When you get things sorted, remember to click File and remove the check from Work Offline.

    If you have any questions or problems, please ask. It's much easier to clarify instructions than sort out mistakes. :)
     
  6. mygoose

    mygoose Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    This is a quick thank you as I did not want to delay and looks like this will keep me busy for a while.

    I will probably need to ask some questions so thanks for that too.

    mygoose
     
  7. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    No problem. I'll check in on this periodically if you run into anything you need help with.
     
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