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Solved: Lost inbox files in outlook express 6

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by aughtone, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. aughtone

    aughtone Thread Starter

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    I lost all my inbox files last night. I've read many of the threads, and i guess I'm pretty dumb for storing my e-mails in the inbox. I worked off-line and compacted the folders, but did get an error message when the inbox was being compacted. Now my inbox is working again, but I don't have the 2g of files that are in the inbox.bak that are in the recycle bin. Is there anyway to restore these e-mails, or is the file just too big? I'm running windows XP
     
  2. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor (deceased)

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hi aughtone and welcome to TSG.

    Don't feel bad. Most people find out about not storing mail in the default folders after the fact.

    First thing is to place the Inbox.bak in a folder on your desktop.
    Open the Recycle bin, select the Inbox.bak, click Edit>Cut.
    Right click the desktop, click New>Folder.
    Open the new folder and click Edit>Paste.
    Rename the Inbox.bak to Inbox.dbx. Don't lose this file. (You may have to show extensions for known file types in Folder Options to change the extension, see below)

    In OE, click File>Work Offline, then move any new mail from the Inbox to another folder.
    Open your Message Store folder.
    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.
    Find and rename the Inbox.dbx to Inbox.old in the Message Store folder.

    In the desktop folder, right click the Inbox.dbx and click Copy.
    In the Message Store folder, click Edit>Paste.
    Open OE.
    Hopefully you will have your Inbox back in OE.
    If it worked, split up the messages into other OE folders of your own creation before trying to compact again.

    T. :)
     
  3. aughtone

    aughtone Thread Starter

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    I followed all the directions. the large inbox.dbx file is back in the memory store. unfortunately, the inbox shows : no items in this view
     
  4. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor (deceased)

    Joined:
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    It likely corrupted when it copied to the Recycle bin.
    About the only thing you could do is to run DBXtract on it.
    http://ftp.pcworld.com/pub/new/internet/e_mail/DBXtract.zip
    Run it on the file on the desktop.
    Don't check "Recover Mode".
    Set the Output to the desktop folder.
    Any thing that can be recovered will extract as EML files that you can drop into an OE folder.

    T.
     
  5. aughtone

    aughtone Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your help. the extract took 2+ days, but i did retrieve all my lost e-mail
     
  6. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor (deceased)

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,176
    Glad you got them. (y)
    To avoid future problems, don't store messages in the default OE folders (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, Drafts).
    Move them as soon as practical to folders of your own creation and try to keep the file size under 200MB if possible.
    GO HERE for instructions for backing up OE.
    You can mark your thread solved by clicking the button at the top of your first post if there's nothing else you need help with.

    T. :)
     
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