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Outlook Express help needed please


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I am still a firm follower of Outlook Express and over time have taken a backup of my emails using a routine I originally had from Microsoft copy attached.  I now have 12 folders containing the backups.


I recently had a crash and started to Restore the emails.


However, all 12 would not go up separately and when I went to Restore the second folder it overwrote the emails I had restored with the first one.


Can anyone help please?





Backing up and restoring e-mails in Outlook Express.doc

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Hi, geranium:


It looks as if no one here has any suggestions at this time. :(


The focus here  at the MBAM forums tends to be more on malware-related stuff.

We do work on non-malware computer problems in this particular forum section, but it doesn't get as much "traffic" as the other forum areas.

And/Or it may be that no one here uses OE any longer, as it was replaced by Windows Mail: http://support.microsoft.com/ph/2578


Until someone else comes along with some ideas for you, you might want to try one of the more "general" tech support forums, such as:


They have a forum section dedicated to browsers and email clients here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/14/web-browsingemail-and-other-internet-applications/


I don't know what version of Windows you are using, but here are some other general computer forums:









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Thanks and that is very good of you.


Sorry I had said that it's XP SP3  but that seems to have been left out.


I do realise that I have to give up Outlook Express now (and maybe unseal the box of my very powerful new Windows 8 PC) but my real worry at the moment is to recover all of my emails.


Thanks for help.



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Hi Geranium,


I don't download message board attachments, so I'm saying this without knowing how you backed up your e-mail.  I used OE for a long time myself and have been in a position of having to recover mail from backups, as well as moving mail from one computer to another without actually sending the mail, and having to restore subfolders that became corrupted during OE's regular compression routine.  The following link explains that process:




I don't know if you had your email in subfolders.  If so, they'll each be an individual .dbx file.  I don't think there is any way to separate an individual e-mail within a folder or subfolder, Windows will just overwrite the entire file, which will include each and every e-mail in it.  If you only have your mail in the Inbox, Windows will only have that as a .dbx file.  


A few months ago, I was moving OE mail from an XP laptop to an XP desktop.  I didn't want OE on the laptop connected to the server online, as our server doesn't keep copies of e-mails once it's downloaded to an end user's e-mail client and I didn't want the laptop grabbing emails from the server while I was doing this.  I didn't want all the mail moved, only a few business related subfolders.  I ended up copying the .dbx files of the individual folder from the laptop to the appropriate file location on the desktop after creating a folder with exactly the same name in the OE program on the desktop computer(as explained in the link above).  That worked.  I don't know if using the OE program's 'import' would have worked for just those subfolders, or if everything else in the desktop's OE client would have been overwritten (thus wiped out) in the process, so I didn't try.  


I hope that helps you a bit, anyway.


P.S.  FWIW,  I wouldn't recommend Outlook 2013.   I have it and it's far more than I need, plus it's complicated and fussy, and I just plain prefer the simplicity of Outlook Express. 

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Thanks for all of the trouble you have taken with this but I think it is all beyond me.


I have this routine from Microsoft which backs up OE emails and then opens them again into OE.


It has always been a good routine. As I now have 12 backup folders over the years I am just trying to do it without overwriting the previous one each time which it hasn't done before.


I did wonder if I could do them one folder at a time and having got all the emails from the first folder restored back in OE I could copy and paste the "live" emails into a folder in say My Documents and do this 12 times but I do not know how I would then get them back into OE.


Thanks for help.



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Thanks again Amethyst


As you said you do not download attachments so do not know what I was asking about I am detailing the Microsoft instructions below.


Backing up data in Outlook Express, please follow the steps
below after opening Outlook Express.

Backing up all emails:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
3. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the
4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
5. Click Start, and then click Run.
6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
7. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
8. On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
9. Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then
click Folder.
10. Type "mail backup" for the folder name, and then press ENTER.
11. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
12. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
13. Close the Mail Backup window.

Restoring the backed up emails:

1. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
2. Open Outlook Express.
3. On the Tools menu, click Options.
4. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
5. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the
6. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
7. Click Start, and then click Run.
8. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
9. Press CRTL+A and select the displayed .dbx files.
10. Click delete and minimize the window.
11. Select all the contents of the Mail Backup folder by pressing
CTRL+A(hold the control key first and then press A). Click Edit and
click Copy.
12. Open the minimized window. Click Edit and click paste.
13. Open Outlook Express.


My question was that the 12 folders of emails would not go up separately and when I went to Restore the second folder it overwrote the emails I had restored with the first one.


Thanks for help


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Hi Geranium,


I haven't used the method you described.  Do each of these 12 folders contain backups of all of your email messages, each folder having been created on a different date?


I wish I had access to my XP computers with OE so I could experiment with this myself and see how it goes.  I did find this, which contains a backup method similar to what you describe.  However, the restore method is different.  I don't know if the method described at the link below would overwrite the contents of your Inbox and subfolders or if you would end up with duplicate messages, although I think the latter would be more desirable.  Anyway, this might work for you.  If each of these 12 folders contains all of your e-mail but backed up at different times, perhaps all you would need to restore would be the most recently created backup folder. 




How to restore Outlook Express itemsNote To restore items when you use multiple identities in Outlook Express, you may have to re-create the identities before you follow these steps. Repeat each step as needed for each identity. Step 1: Import messages from the backup folder
  1. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
  2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
  3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
  4. Click Browse, and then click the Mail Backup folder.
  5. Click OK, and then click Next.
  6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.


 Complete article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/270670

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FWIW (there's something happening here)

i recently had to move all the stuff from an outlook (office) and an "outlook express" account to a new machine ... it was not pretty ... DHL helped me out .

one would think that there would be an easy way to migrate the data ... unfortunately this is not the case .

*something* about converting files because you cannot go directly from one version to another when jumping from XP to W7/8.1 .

it got fairly convoluted in my mind .

there are third party programs available that will take much of the work out of this odious task ... microsoft does have a program that is supposed to help along these lines but it is not the greatest and falls short of the mark .

to my notion (and for future reference) , the two easiest , most commonly used programs to *migrate* are "firefox" and "thunderbird" ... there is a tool called "mozbackup" available .


oh yeah ... 5 bonus points for the reference in the opening line .                                                         

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to my notion (and for future reference) , the two easiest , most commonly used programs to *migrate* are "firefox" and "thunderbird" ... there is a tool called "mozbackup" available .



Along these lines, there's one other possibility to consider.

It's rather convoluted, but it might help in the migration from OE to another client.


I've never done this, but I think it would work (make sure there are safe backups of the profile before attempting it).

The only "risk" might be that of corruption of the data with all the conversions & imports/exports, especially if the profile is large & contains a lot of data:


The first would be to install Thunderbird and allow it during the setup wizard to import/migrate the OE data: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_Migration

Then there is an extension for Thunderbird that allows one to both import and EXPORT one's data into formats suitable for other email clients: https://nic-nac-project.org/~kaosmos/mboximport-en.html.

(It is not hosted on AMO, but it is fully legit and used/recommended by many of the mods at mozillaZine forum.)

Then, one would import the saved data into the new email client (Windows Mail, etc).

Or one could just stay with TB.


As for Mozbackup, I don't think it supports other clients, per se, as it's a tool specifically written for Fx and TB.

It does, however, create a compressed version of the user's profile as a "pcv" file -- it's basically just a zip file.

So, one might be able to use it somehow to create a backup of a newly created TB profile (migrated from OE), and then use that backup to restore the profile somehow in the new email client.


Just a thought,


daledoc1 (I've migrated/moved many email profiles over the years, but always Netscape>TB or TB>TB -- I've never had to "convert" from one client to another)

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Thanks Amethyst, CWB and daledoc1 for all of your help.


I am still struggling with this.


I don't want to migrate to another client at the moment, just to be able to read the emails (and I'm getting a bit desperate about that as some are very important)  and when I can read them (if!) then store them somewhere else, as live emails so that I can read and use them,  probably in My Documents.


The problem is that the Back Up routine I did detailed above saves them as .dbx files and the Restore routine converts them back but isn't working properly so I need a way to read the dbx. files.


When I've done this I will have to change to a different email client, particularly if I ever unseal the box on my new powerful Windows 8 machine......


Thanks for help everybody.



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Hi Geranium,


As the site states "Sandalone software, no installation required". So just extract the zip-file somewhere. (Right-click on the zip-file-> extract all) And run "mailviewer.exe". It should work.

(I haven't tested the program it on my own machine.)


I hope this helps.

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Hello Durew


Thanks and yes that is a great help.


I was trying to follow some instructions I had had from elsewhere  that said "to be able to simply open dbx's with a double click, set MailView as the default program for that file type.   Right click a dbx file and select Open With. Browse to and select MailView.exe and check the box to "Always use this program to open this type of file" and OK.


I could not see how to "Browse to and Select MailView.exe" and I thought I had done it at one point but then the dbx files were trying to open with Acrobat.  See pic.






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I couldn't see how to browse to MailView.exe when it wasn't installed but I have now managed to make .dbx files always Open With this program. .

I would like some help with copying off the opened emails and storing them somewhere else please because I can't see how to do that at the moment.
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open with which program ?

(your last couple of entries are a bit un-clear)


elsewise , if you have made the .dbx files open with the "dbx viewer" program (the process you are working on is called "file association") you need to navigate to the dbx files and "right click" on them , tell them to open or (maybe) just a double left click .

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been using Thunderbird and Outlook 2010 for a while now but from what I remember you need to first install windows live mail and convert it to outlook files. 

Follow these steps:


1. First open Outlook and try File|Import and Export|Internet Mail and Addresses|Next and just follow the instructions. <--If this works you don't need to convert. If it doesn't continue..

2. Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/essentials-other#essentials=overviewother and download/install Windows Live Mail.

3. After Windows Live Mail installation open it and click File|Import|Messages and click Microsoft Outlook Express 6. **Make sure Import mail from an OE6 store directory is selected, and then click OK**

4. Click "Browse|Select Folder|Next" the usual spot is C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Local Settings\application data\Identities\{E3E4FFDS5-BX442453}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

5. Then in Windows Live Mail Go To File|Export|Email messages\Microsoft Exchange\Next

6. Just select the folders you want to export and click ok. **Wait for an "Export Complete" Message.**

7. Then once in outlook Go To File|Import and Export|Import Internet Mail and Addresses|Next and just choose your backup location. 


Good Luck!!


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  • 4 months later...



That is a spammer with a spam link.

User has been reported to the mod team.


FWIW, as a safety precaution within the context of "situational awareness" to prevent becoming infected, it's a good idea to be wary of someone brand new replying to an old forum thread, especially if the reply includes an external link.

IOW, it's a good idea to wait (and or research things a bit) before clicking on external links, even in a forum reply such as that one.

<just saying>





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Oh dear!!


There are two of us here mygoose and geranium.


We are different entities but help each other.


We each need our own account.


We are beginners and got in a muddle with one of the accounts logged in all of the time when thought it was the other account.


Please do not do anything to our accounts.  we have not done anything wrong. Just trying hard.


Thanks for help

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"it's a good idea to be wary of someone brand new replying to an old forum thread 







We are not brand new daledoc1.  This is my thread and we have both been on here for at least a couple of years.


I did not realise that the other user was already logged in not me. That is all.



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