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Outlook Express Problem - that is getting worse!!

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Gregg123, May 13, 2010.

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  1. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys,
    I recently had major problems with OE6, and with some help managed to back it up and get it up and running again.

    The only problem is I have this folder sitting on my Desktop with all my old mail in it (.dbx files) and I am unable to import it. When I use the import function I just get an error 'No messages can be found in this folder or another application is running that has the required files open. Please select another folder or try closing applications that may have files open.'

    Of course, there is no application & the folder does contain my .dbx files.

    I read somewhere that I simply have to copy and paste these .dbx files, but I have done that - pasting them into what I think is the OE message folder but this does not work.

    -UPDATE-
    Now I have been playing around with OE6, created a new identity and that didn't work. Now when I open Outlook Express most of my mails that were in there and working, have now disappeared BUT the .dbx files for these folders still exists in the Store Folder!!

    Please can anyone help - this is driving me crazy!!!

    Thanks in advance,

    Gregg
     
  2. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,891
    Did you delete the old Identity? if you did the emails are gone.

    FYI, when you backup dbx files, you need to copy All of them and put All of them in 1 folder, if one dbx is missing you will get that error when trying to import them.

    .
     
  3. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

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    14,145
    The Folders.dbx file is a must for the Import to be successful.
     
  4. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help. OK - lets do the obvious thing here and work backwards!!

    Lets start with my new problem - I didn't delete the Old Identity with all the mail in, I deleted a new one I created as a test so some good news!!

    But as I said, for some reason all my .dbx files in the Store Folder are not showing when I open up OE.

    So, should I back everything up from the Store Folder? Let me talk through here what I think I need to do....

    Go to the Store Folder - and should I copy or cut everything from there? And put it in another Folder - can this folder be anywhere and called anything? e.g. Mail and put on Desktop?

    I believe at this point I can delete a couple of files from my new folder as OE will recreate them automatically?

    Then re-open OE and Import from my new folder - and hey presto. If all mail comes back, I can then delete the new folder?


    Sorry for the detail - but I really need all this mail back, and I now have .dbx files all over the place with different bit of mail in.

    One more question....if I change the old .dbx files that I had saved from before when I had a problem. As long as they have a different name can I put them in my New Folder and they will be created at the same time, does it work like that??

    Cheers!!
     
  5. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Yes, Yes, but remember different identities will have different store folders.

    Here is my store folder, I have only 1 Identity, the folder in Red represents my 1 identity, look to see if you have more than one of these alpha numeric folders. The sequence of alpha numeric will be different than mine.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Dell\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{8D6FDD30-2914-4D7C-8B08-A5CCF689F8CB}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

    I don't think so, but never tried it, I believe they have to be imported.

    There is software out there that can extract email from a single DBX file, but not free

    http://www.oemailrecovery.com/dbx-extract.html

    http://www.extractdbx.com/

    .
     
  6. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

    Joined:
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    Do you have Show Hidden Files Folders enabled?

    For Windows XP:
    • Open My Computer or Windows Explorer
      Tools > Folder Options > View tab,
      under Hidden Files and Folders, verify Show Hidden Files and Folders is selected.
      Remove the check marks for:
      Hide Extensions for known file types
      Hide protected operating system files (recommended)
      Apply, OK to save and close.

    __________________________________________________________________________


    Yes, I would copy the contents of the Message Store into a folder on the Desktop as a backup.

    __________________________________________________________________________


    One method of restoring orphaned .dbx files (where the Folders.dbx file is no longer available)
    Is to rename the original Folders.dbx to Folders.dbx.old and paste the orphaned .dbx files into the Message Store.
    This must be done with Outlook Express closed and you want to be sure you are not overwriting other .dbx files by pasting in .dbx files that contain the same name.

    When Outlook Express is started, it will create a fresh new Folders.dbx file which will re index all the .dbx files.
    It may take a few minutes for this process to complete so you should allow time for Outlook Express to do this and avoid doing anything else on the computer until the process has completed.

    Creating a new Identity and pasting the orphaned .dbx files into the new Identity's Message Store is one sure way to avoid overwriting .dbx files that contain messages you want to keep. Those messages can then be Imported into the Identity that you want to keep.
     
  7. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    5,176
    Hi Greg123,

    If you have DBX's "all over the place", download this Viewer CLICK HERE and use it to open the DBX files and display the contents so you can see what they contain before trying to get them back into OE.
    It will save you loading duplicates or empty files into OE.

    If you want to open DBX's with the viewer by just double clicking them, put the MailView.exe in a folder where it won't be moved (A new folder named MailView in Program Files is a good place).
    Right click a DBX>Open With>Choose Program.
    Browse to Mailview.exe.
    Select it and check the box to "always use this program to open this type of file" and OK.

    T. :)
     
  8. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Wow - thanks!!

    I will be in the Office in a few hours and will work through these instructions, slowly!! and report back later..

    Cheers!!
     
  9. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Hi Guys,
    OK - I have copied the Mail Folder, restarted OE and when I try to Import it recognises the files in the new Folder - BUT it is only recognises the folders that it was seeing before and not the others that are there.

    The Viewer is fantastic & confirms that they have mail in them but OE refuses to see them. Is the best thing to do to rename Folders.dbx to Folders.dbx.old and move them that way? No idea how they could have become orphaned because they never moved!

    Also, I have another .dbx file in a folder that when I try to open it with the Viewer I get the message 'Stream Read Error' - is the file too big or is it corrupt?

    Cheers.
     
  10. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    5,176
    Hi Gregg,

    It sounds like you have a bit of a confusing situation, so I would suggest getting things organized first to avoid complicating things further.

    First thing is to create a new folder on your desktop.
    Place the DBX files that you want to get into OE in the new folder.
    Use the viewer to make sure they have the messages you want. If a DBX won't display messages with the viewer, it won't load and display in OE.
    Do not include any Folders.dbx. Only message bearing DBX files.

    To get them into OE, create a new Identity. Cancel setting up an account, this is just for storage and display.
    Open the Message Store folder for the new Identity and close OE. Be sure you're in the right Message Store before continuing.
    Click Edit>Select All.
    Click File>Delete, which should give you an empty folder.

    Open the desktop folder with the DBX's.
    Click Edit>Select all.
    Click Edit>Copy.

    In the empty Message Store folder (of the new Identity), Click Edit>Paste.
    Open OE to the New Identity and it should generate a Folders.dbx and reindex all other DBX's.

    If it worked as it should, you can Import to your main Identity using the Store folder of the New Identity as the source directory.

    Once everything you want is where you want it, you can delete the desktop folder with the DBX's and remove the New Identity if you wish (or keep it for archiving).

    T. :)
     
  11. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    Thanks again for this. Let me tell you what I have done so far. I am just working at the moment with the mail folders that I have recently moved.

    I have created a Folder on my desktop, and have checked each .dbx with the viewer, and have deleted the following:

    2 of my .dbx files that the viewer says has nothing in them (76 kb in size)
    Drafts (139 Kb)
    Local Folders (12 kb)

    Can you confirm we are OK so far?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next can you also confirm I am Ok to delete from this Folder:

    Pop3uidl.dbx
    Offline.dbx
    Folders.dbx

    Also, Outbox.dbx - the difference here is although the Viewer shows no messages inside, its size worries me: 2,443 Kb (although I don't remember any messages being in there)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, I have a few other folders that are causing me problems:

    One of my .dbx Files (11,275 Kb) - Viewer says contains no messages can this be correct?

    Similarly, (I have no idea where this came from) but another file: Deleted Items (1) .dbx = 64,459 kb - Viewer says contains no messages, can this be correct?

    Another of my .dbx Files shows the Stream Read Error when I try to open it with the Viewer. I have opened larger files so that can't be the problem. Could this be corrupt?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry for the detailed reply, but I really want to be sure I get this right!

    Cheers,

    Gregg
     
  12. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    The 76kb are likely new, empty files from the size.
    The Local I have no idea, but at 12kb it's useless anyway.
    Drafts likely had a message at one time that was sent and the DBX hasn't been compacted since, resulting in it having size but no messages.

    The first three are just files OE uses to keep track of things. They aren't message bearing so you don't need them.
    Outbox hasn't been compacted so still has size.

    Note: When you delete or move messages from a folder, the data remains in the DBX file. It just gets tagged for later removal by the Compacting process.
    The viewer reads the DBX files the same as OE, so tagged messages are treated as though they don't exist.

    The first 2 are likely just not compacted. See note above.
    If you want to double check them, set them aside in a separate folder for now and I'll see if I still have a link for a program that will ignore the tags and show deleted and moved messages that may be in the files.

    Also set aside the Stream Read Error DBX and we'll run DBXtract on it to see if anything is recoverable.


    I wish everybody had that attitude. It would make things sooo much simpler. :D

    T. :)

    PS: I didn't mention this before, but when you make a New Identity, be sure to NOT DELETE OR REMOVE the original, main Identity.
     
  13. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    It was all going so well - until I got to the P.S. (might use that as my obituary!!!) :D

    Anyway, I don't think I have done any damage but I am not sure...

    How the hell do I know which is the original, main identity?? :)

    So far, I think I have found a total of 9 identities. There appear to be 4 here:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Gregg\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities

    and 5 others here:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Gregg\Application Data\Identities


    Now, I have been playing around with some of these, and may have deleted another one. Also, one of them I created myself as my Store Folder - which is the one that is currently in use (I think!).

    Everything appears to work OK with OE and it creates the files it should, I think! OE is running on my laptop, & I have been working offline for a few hours on there now to avoid any new problems, and will leave it that way until I have a resolution!


    Thanks!
     
  14. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    P.S. The 4 other folders located here (apart from mine), have the regular random selection of letters and numbers as the Folder name but are totally empty:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Gregg\Application Data\Identities


    It may just be that I created what is now my new valid Folder Store in a place that looks similar to the place it should be!!
     
  15. Gregg123

    Gregg123 Thread Starter

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    P.P.S. I have only ever used 1 identity - if I created these it was only as a test to see what it did! It is an old machine, so I may have done this a few times over the years!!
     
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