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Solved: How to retrieve archived mails and subfolders in Outlook express

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Qureshisn, May 8, 2010.

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  1. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    Hi there,

    well the title says it all. Could some one help me with how to retrieve archived Inbox mails and subfolders in Outlook express. The os I'm using is Win XP with the latest service pack. Thanks
     
  2. Morny

    Morny

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    Hi Qureshisn

    Try this link (scroll down a bit to get to the info)
     
  3. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    Which link?
     
  4. Morny

    Morny

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  5. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

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    Hi Qureshisn

    You are using Outlook Express not Microsoft Office Outlook, correct?

    Outlook Express uses .dbx files to store messages and Microsoft Office Outlook uses .pst files to store its messages.

    If the answer is, "Yes". How did you "Archive" the old messages?
    Did you save the .dbx files to an external hard drive or copy them to a CD or DVD?

    Let us know.
     
  6. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    Yes, the software is Outlook Express. Do subfolders and previous mails in the Inbox and sent items disappear when OE does and archive. If 'Yes', then it was archived. So how do i get them back?
     
  7. Pedro15

    Pedro15

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    You could search as follows

    Open Windows Explorer (Start/All programmes/Accessories/Windows Explorer)
    Select C Drive/Docs and Settings/User (default user)/Local settings/Application data/Identities/Microsoft/Outlook Express

    Pedro
     
  8. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

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    Unfortunately, Outlook Express does not Archive messages. If you determine messages have gone missing, then the .dbx file containing that message may have become corrupted and Outlook Express may have created a new .dbx file to replace it...not a good outcome. :(


    As Pedro15 suggested, do a Search for *.dbx files and see if you can determine their directories.
    The Message Store (the directory containing the .dbx files) can be found here:
    In Outlook Express,
    Tools > Options > Maintenance tab > Store Folder button
    Hit the tab key until the directory path is highlighted, then Ctrl+C to copy the path.


    Open My Computer click in the Address Bar and Ctrl+V to paste the path into the Address Bar
    Hit the Go button or Enter
    Windows Explorer should take you to the Message Store directory


    **You should not attempt to open .dbx files, you can corrupt them if their contents are changed.**

    Compare the .dbx files you find in the Message Store directory with the folders you see in Outlook Express.
    How many folders do you see in Outlook Express?
    How many .dbx files do you see in the Message Store?


    Did you download any software for the explicit purpose of creating backups for Outlook Express?
     
  9. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    The thing is that the person whose OE mails i'm trying to retrieve, does not have administrative rights on the system. And as far as i know no software has been downloaded and installed to archive OE mails. Thanks for the heads up regarding the sensitivity of the .dbx files. i really don't want to risk losing those e-mails. According to the user, he was using OE and like suddenly (according to him), the subfolders and older mails in the inbox and sent items were gone. I'm going out on a limb here and saying that no other software was installed. Though the person's profile is indeed backed up on the server. but the main issue is, where in the world did those mails go if OE does'nt auto archive. it's really weird.
     
  10. DaveA

    DaveA David Trusted Advisor

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    They could have been deleted just like any other file.
     
  11. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    oh please don't say that :(
     
  12. DaveA

    DaveA David Trusted Advisor

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    Why not, people do things and do not remember doing them.
    have you looked in the "recyle Bin" to see if and dbx files are there?
    He cold also have dragged them to some different folder if some one had been browsing in Windows Eplorere.
     
  13. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

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    Or look in the Recycle Bin for file names that end with .bak. When Outlook Express Compacts its messages it creates backups of the .dbx files as .bak files, in case of unexpected or undesired results during the compaction process.
    This process started with Windows XP Service Pack 2.
     
  14. Qureshisn

    Qureshisn Thread Starter

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    Ok, I've managed to browse through the message store in OE and there were 2 folders missing from the OE interface panel. like e.g 6 folders in the OE left hand panel and there were 8 .dbx files in the message store. So any ideas on how i might be able to recover them?
     
  15. EAFiedler

    EAFiedler Moderator

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    Were the extra two .dbx file names anything like Folders.dbx or Offline.dbx?
    If so, those folders belong there and do not contain messages.

    Or are they names of folders that did exist in Outlook Express at one time?
    If so, what is their file size?
     
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