Solved: Lost Outlook Express Mail & Address book

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MaineBear

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Dec 31, 2009
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While trying to add and then delete a new user in Outlook Express version 6 on my PC running Windows XP (Home) w/ SP3, I lost all my saved email and the address book. I did not have them backed up! In looking for help in the internet, I have had opportunities to buy stuff, but not much real help. Can these files be recovered?
 

throoper

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Hi MaineBear and welcome to TSG.

If you were adding a New Identity and accidentally removed your Identity, the information should still be on your computer. Removing an Identity usually just removes access to the data, not the data itself. If that's the case, you should be able to recover it.

Could you provide a little more information concerning exactly what you did?

T. :)
 

MaineBear

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Dec 31, 2009
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Thanks. I'm using Comcast.net as an email provider, and in their web site, I added my wife as a user with a separate ID. I found that when finished, she was the "main" user who had all the previous mails and was the sender of new mails. I was the newbie with no mail. I couldn't swap identities, so I thought I'd start from scratch. I deleted her (and possibly a "main" user. I then found I had nothing! I contacted the provider (Comcast), who straightened out who was whom in the email, but was told that I had probably couldn't recover the address book and mail. I've been trying, but no luck. I would think that I could at least recover the address book (but I'd like both), but so far no luck. Any ideas?

MaineBear
 

throoper

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Outlook Express is an E-mail client program. If you use that to access your mail, it's downloaded to your computer and is physically present on your computer even if you remove an OE Identity.
The Address Book that you access with OE is also on your computer.

If you're using your browser (IE, Firefox, etc) to access your mail at the Comcast website, everything is on the Comcast servers. That would include the Address Book at Comcast (it's a different Address Book than you have on your computer and only exists on the Comcast server).
Anything you did at the Comcast webmail mailbox is likely gone as it was never on your computer, unless you downloaded it using an E-mail client such as OE.

T. :)
 

MaineBear

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Dec 31, 2009
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Thanks. I was using Outlook Express for almost all of my email. I hoped the address book (and possibly the lost mail) would be on my computer, but I haven't had any luck in finding the files let alone retrieving them. I've contacted Norton/Symantec about retrieval, but no reply yet. I'm beginning to think they're gone forever, but hey, it's a new year - one has to hope.
 

throoper

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I was using Outlook Express for almost all of my email. I hoped the address book (and possibly the lost mail) would be on my computer
I'm a little confused as your previous post indicated you were using the ISP (Comcast) webmail.
But, if you had things in OE that you've lost, they should be there (on your computer).

To see if your OE Address book is still there, click Start>Run>type wab /a (note the space between the b and /)>OK.
That should open the Address Book in Administrator mode and contain all Address Books for all Identities.
If it doesn't open, try searching for *.wab.
Be sure to include "Search System folders", "Search hidden files and folders", and "Search subfolders" in the Advanced Options.
Note down the exact names and locations of any WAB files you find.

For your old mail, run a Search for *.dbx, also using the above Advanced Options. You can narrow the Search to "Documents and Settings" as that's where the Message Store folder should be.
Note the exact address of any DBX files you find.
It should look something like C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express, with the {GUID} being a long string of random characters.

Let me know what you turn up.

T. :)
 

MaineBear

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
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Comcast is my ISP and OE the access program. I had contacted Comcast to set up a second account for my wife. I was in OE when I screwed up the settings and "lost" the files. Fortunately, my son came today and succeeded in recovering the mail and address book where I did not. So, the problem is fixed. I do thank you for your assistance however.

Maine Bear :)
 

throoper

Trusted Advisor (deceased)
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5,176
That's great news. (y)

It's good to have smart kids. :D

T. :)
 
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