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Thread: Problems with Outlook Express

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    In front of an Outlook Express screen that has had all the messages mysteriously deleted

    Problems with Outlook Express

    Last night I ran a disk cleanup followed by defragment on my PC which uses Microsoft XP. The defragment got stuck a couple of times because of a temporary Internet file that could not be repaired. Eventually I deleted that file. After that I opened Outlook Express and the most recent 53 messages (since 5.2.09) came into the Inbox a second time - as unread messages. I went to bed. In the morning I saw all the messages had disappeared out of Sent Mail, but there were still all the messages in the Inbox folder. In the afternoon these disappeared as well, even though I did nothing to delete them. Please can anyone tell me what is happening and whether there is anything I can do to recover my messages?

  2. #2
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Moved thread to IE/OE.

    Try these suggestions from "eggheadcafe":

    The two most common reasons for what you describe is disruption of the
    compacting process, (never touch anything until it's finished), or bloated
    folders. More on that below.

    Why does OE insist on compacting folders when I close it?:

    Why Mail Disappears:

    About File Corruption:

    Recovery tools:

    If you are running XP/SP2, and are fully patched, then you should have a
    backup of your dbx files in the Recycle Bin, (or possibly the message
    store), copied as bak files.

    To restore a bak folder to the message store folder, first find the location
    of the Message Store.

    Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder will reveal the location of
    your Outlook Express files. Write the location down and navigate to it in
    Windows Explorer or, copy and paste it into Start | Run.

    In WinXP, the .dbx files are by default marked as hidden. To view these
    files in Explorer, you must enable Show Hidden Files and Folders under Start

    Close OE and then in Windows Explorer, click on the dbx file for the
    missing, or empty, folder and drag it to the Desktop. It can be deleted
    later once you have successfully restored the bak file. Minimize the Message

    Open OE and, if the folder is missing, create a folder with the *exact* same
    name as the bak file you want to restore but without the .bak. Eg: If the
    file is Saved.bak, the new folder should be named Saved. Open the new folder
    and then close OE. If the folder is there, but just empty, continue on to
    the next step.

    First, check if there is a bak file already in the message store. If there
    is, and you removed the dbx file, go ahead and rename it to dbx.

    If it isn't already in the message store, open the Recycle bin and right
    click on the bak file for the folder in question and click Restore. Open the
    message store back up and change the file extension from .bak to .dbx. Close
    the message store and open OE. The messages should now be back in the

    If the messages are successfully restored, you can go ahead and delete the
    old dbx file that you moved to the Desktop.

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