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Recovering DBX files that have been renamed

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by SunLaker, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    I'm having a problem with OE continually trying to compact files. I have 2 identities. In an attempt to figure out which identity had the problem, to stop one of them from running, I changed the file ending on the dbx files so OE wouldn't see them. Eliminating those dbx files seems to have at least temporarily solved the problem, but now I would like to recover the dbx files I renamed, one at a time to discover which of them might be the culprit, and I can't get OE to recognize the files now that I have renamed them once again to DBX. I have rebooted, to no avail. I also tried a system restore, but they did not come back that way either. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Hi SunLaker, and welcome to TSG.

    Try this ...

    Make sure that Outlook Express is not running

    Open the sub-directory on the hard drive that contains all of the DBX files.

    Find the DBX file named FOLDERS.DBX. Rename it to FOLDERS.OLD. Do not delete it. This will give you a backup to a known good state if you run into a problem later on.

    Start Outlook Express. It will then re-index all of the DBX files in the sub-directory and create a new FOLDERS.DBX file. This may take some time.

    In your particular case where you are doing multiple re-indexing operations after renaming each old file back to the .DBX extension, you may want to save the later FOLDER.DBX files using extensions like .OLD1, .OLD2, .OLD3, etc.

    Once you are sure that Outlook Express is running correctly and no folders are missing or corrupted, you should be able to delete the FOLDER.OLD files.
     
  3. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    Well Chuck, it appears you are my savior tonight. I have been messing with this problem for the last 8 hours, almost non-stop. After some online research, I went through a very complicated process of recovering the dbx (bak) files from the recycle bin one at a time, and while doing that, the compacting problem returned in full force. It was flashing on about every 2 seconds. Since I was dealing with 2 identities, and didn't really know where the problem was, I followed your instructions in each of the identities. I rebooted the machine and am happy to say that in the last 1/2 hour, the compact message has not appeared! Whoo! Hoo! :D
     
  4. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    After more than 1/2 hr, all of a sudden the Compacting message is back. The difference now is that so far it pops up for a few seconds and goes away by itself, but Outlook Express isn't even open. Is there something else I can look at? A registry edit perhaps?:confused:
     
  5. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Exactly what version of Windows are you running, including any service pack (SP) level?

    Exactly what version of Outlook Express are you running?

    Have you downloaded and installed all available Outlook Express related updates?

    How big are your DBX files?

    Have you ever forced a shutdown OE in the middle of the compaction? I have heard that can cause major corruption.

    I recall reading a ask if you want to compact instead of just doing it automatically.
     
  6. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    OE will ask to compact messages every 100 times it's opened if you have XP with SP2 or above.
    You can set the counter back to 0 in the registry.
    Start>Run>type regedit>OK.
    In the left pane of Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{GUID}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0. (GUID being a long series of numbers and letters)
    In the right pane, locate and right click Compact Check Count.
    Click Modify on the menu and change the value to 0 and click OK.
    Close Registry Editor.

    Open and close OE a couple times, then check the Compact Check Count in the registry to see if it agrees with the number of times OE has been opened. You want to see if something is running the counter up besides opening OE.

    If you haven't mucked around in the registry before, please take the following precautions.
    1) Set a System Restore point.
    2) Before modifying a key value, right click the key in the left pane and click Export.
    Save the exported key to your desktop or other suitable location as a .reg file.
    If you make a mistake editing the key (or edit something you didn't intend), double click the .reg file you saved to restore the original values.
     
  7. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    Windows XP Home SP3, Outlook Express 6.0.2900.512.

    Did not see the responses from the 2 of you, and have done several things today. (Expected an email if there was something new here).

    Anyway, had 2 identities whose counters both kept incrementing even though OE wasn't open. When they reached 100 they began to ask to compact but it never worked. Removed both identities and OE created a new one which did the same thing. In frustration, installed Windows Live Mail because several Internet suggestions said that would fix the problem. Well, it hasn't. Can't get OE off the computer no matter what I try. Did the add/remove Windows components in the Control Panel, but it still is in the registry and still incrementing the counter. I have set the counters to zero more times than I can count. (For both identities-and now for the newly created one) It makes it to 100 in less than 1/2 hr. Then doesn't compact or reset. I ran a registry cleaner also, and it found and repaired several items, but nothing affected this problem.

    It's not like I'm running a relic here. This computer is only 5 months old. Hate to think of restoring it, but am currently at a loss.

    Sorry for my slow response. I will be more diligent tomorrow.
     
  8. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

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    Hi SunLaker,

    For the notifications, go into your account, on the left side click Edit Options and set subscriptions to Instant Notification by E-mail.

    The Compact problem is most likely not a problem with OE, especially if you created a New Identity and removed the old ones.
    It's most likely another program accessing OE and causing the counter to run up. The only way I know of to stop it is to identify what's accessing it and either fix or remove the offending program.
    You can't just remove OE as it's part of IE which is part of your OS.

    CLICK HERE for a thread that deals with this.
    Posts 20 and 22 by Phantom010 have an interim solution to resetting the counter while tracking down the cause. You can save the REG file to the desktop and simply double click it to reset the counter if you don't want to schedule it.

    Post #23 has instructions of how to determine what's accessing OE.
    Post back with what you find.

    T. :)
     
  9. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    Don't want to cry success prematurely again, but I think I found the problem. I sat and watched the Task Manager for several minutes last night (way too late) with no programs open. It kept getting hit by a file beginning with NM. I went to the misconfig file and there were 2 NM files in there, both related to Nero. I disabled them from the startup and so far, no more incrementing. Thought about going back to Outlook Express, but all the mail that has come in in the last 2 days is in Windows Live Mail, so I guess I'll forget it. That program manages stuff a little differently, but doesn't look that bad.

    I'm going to burn a CD with Nero and see if that causes the counter to do anything.

    Do you happen to know if Windows Live Mail has a function similar to the Compactor in Outlook Express?

    Will let you know later this afternoon if this was all successful. Thanks so much for your input.
     
  10. SunLaker

    SunLaker Thread Starter

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    Thank you again, fellas for your assistance and ideas. I was able to burn a Nero CD and the counter did increment by 2. (Previously it was incrementing all on it's own, with no programs open.) I don't see that as a problem. For as few CD's as this machine burns, it will be a long time until that problem shows up again. And who knows, maybe it won't care since I'm no longer using OE. Disabling the 2 Nero files from the startup was the solution.

    This is my first experience with Tech Support Guy, and so far, I love it. (y)
     
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