Article ID: 191946 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q191946
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SYMPTOMS

When you start Microsoft Outlook Express, you may receive one of the following error messages:
Address book failed to load, Outlook Express is incorrectly configured.
Unable to open the Address Book. The Address Book may not be installed properly.
Also, removing the Windows Address Book and then reinstalling Outlook Express may not resolve this issue.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur due to one or more of the following causes:
  • The registry values for Outlook Express and the Windows Address Book are set incorrectly.
  • The Windows Address Book is sharing the Contacts folder from a .pst file that is used by Outlook 98, or Outlook 2000 in the Internet Mail Only (IMO) configuration, and the .pst file has been moved.
  • The <Identity name>.WAB file may have become damaged.

    NOTE: This file contains all the users contacts and my not be recoverable.

RESOLUTION

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Incorrect Registry Values

To resolve this behavior, uninstall Outlook Express, remove four keys from the registry, and then reinstall Outlook Express. To do so, use the following steps:
  1. Uninstall Outlook Express. To do so, use the appropriate method for your computer:

    Windows 95-Based Computer

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click Microsoft Outlook Express, click Add/Remove, and then click Yes.

    Windows 98-Based Computer

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click the Windows Setup tab, click to clear the Microsoft Outlook Express check box, and then click OK.
  2. Use Registry Editor to export (for backup purposes) and remove the following registry keys:
    • HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express
    • HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\WAB
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WAB
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{7790769C-0471-11d2-AF11-00C04FA35D02} (default value is "Address Book5")
  3. Reinstall Outlook Express. To do so, use the appropriate method:

    Windows 95

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, and then click Add/Remove.
    3. In the Internet Explorer 4.0 Active Setup box, click Add a component to Internet Explorer, and then click OK. When you receive the prompt for Internet Explorer to check for components that are already installed, click Yes.
    4. Click Outlook Express, and then click Next.
    5. Click a download site, click Install Now, and then follow the instructions on the screen to finish the installation.

    Windows 98

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
    2. Click the Windows Setup tab, click to select the Microsoft Outlook Express check box, and then click OK.

Windows Address Book Is Sharing the Contacts Folder from a .pst File

If this is the cause, opening Outlook (IMO) 98, or 2000 on the same computer will cause an error with a message that states that the location, to which mail was being delivered, has changed. If you create a new .pst file, or locate the old .pst file so that Outlook 98 or 2000 is working properly, the Windows Address Book (WAB) link through MAPI to the Contacts folder is re-established, and the WAB will work in Outlook Express or in standalone mode again.

Create a New Windows Address Book (WAB) File

The WAB file may have become damaged or corrupted causing one or both of the above error messages. You will need to rename the existing .wab file and restart Outlook Express(OE). Once started, OE will create a new .WAB file. Microsoft does not recommend that you import the data from the old, damaged .wab file. If you do, you may import the damage into the new .wab file.
  1. Click Start, point to Find (Search on Windows 2000 or newer operating systems), and click For Files or Folders.
  2. In Search for files or folders named, type. *.wab and click Search Now.
  3. In the Search results window, Right-click the file(s) with an extension of ".wab" and then click Rename.
  4. Rename the file extension (the three left-most characters in the name) to "old" and press ENTER.
Outlook Express will create a new WAB file the next time you start it. For additional information about how to create a new PST file in Outlook (IMO), click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
195723 OL2000: (IMO) Creating a New Personal Folder For an IMO Account
179743 OL98: (IMO) Creating a New Personal Folder for an IMO Account
For additional information about how to locate and move a PST file in Outlook (IMO), click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257831 OL2000: (IMO) How to Move Your Personal Folders
257836 OL98: (IMO) How to Move Your Personal Folders

Properties

Article ID: 191946 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb win98 win98se KB191946

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