Restoring Outlook Express folders after reinstalling Windows

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Article ID: 283205 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you re-install Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 over itself (for example, if you do not use the format or parallel installation methods), Outlook Express may append new configurations and mail to the end of existing .dbx files. However, when you run Outlook Express, it only displays the mail that you received after you re-installed Windows; it appears as if all of the older mail is lost.

MORE INFORMATION

Outlook Express stores mail in several .dbx files that are located in the Windows\Application Data\Identities\hexadecimal_string\Microsoft\Outlook Express folder. The Inbox.dbx file contains mail that is displayed in the Inbox folder in Outlook Express, the Outbox.dbx file contains mail that is displayed in the Outbox folder, the Drafts.dbx file contains mail that is displayed in the Drafts folder, and so on. If you re-install Windows by running Setup from the Windows installation media and you have not previously renamed the Windows folder or formatted the disk, the original Outlook Express .dbx files are retained. However, when you subsequently restart the new Windows installation and run Outlook Express, Outlook Express does not display the mail in the appropriate folders. Instead, Outlook Express displays only the mail that is dated later than the most recent Windows installation.

To restore mail that you received before you re-installed Windows, follow these steps:
  1. Copy the .dbx files from the Windows\Application Data\Identities\hexadecimal_string\Microsoft\Outlook Express folder to another temporary location.

    Note When you copy the .dbx files, make sure that you include the Folders.dbx file. If you do not include this file, Outlook Express will not reconize the data when you try to import the data.
  2. Start Outlook Express, click Import on the File menu, and then click Messages to start the Import Wizard.
  3. In the Select Program dialog box, click Outlook Express as the e-mail program from which to import, and then click Next.
  4. In the next dialog box, click Import mail from an OE store directory, and then click OK.
  5. Locate the temporary location of the .dbx files, and then select the files that you want to import. Outlook Express should begin to import the old mail and to create or to populate folders.
In some situations, you may be able to import directly from the default location into Outlook Express.

Properties

Article ID: 283205 - Last Review: January 29, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.5
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
Keywords: 
kbprb KB283205

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