All e-mail items may be missing when you start Outlook Express 6.0 Service Pack 1 or Outlook Express 6.0 Service Pack 2

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When you start Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or you start Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2), all e-mail items may be missing.
This problem may occur if a mail and contacts database (.dbx) file is corrupted when the .dbx file is being compacted.

Note The .dbx file corruption has been reported to occur more frequently when one or more of the following conditions are true:
  • Outlook Express is closed while a .dbx file is being compacted.
  • The compaction process is stopped.
  • You typically leave Outlook Express running for long periods of time without closing it. For example, you typically start Outlook Express in the morning. Then, you do not exit Outlook Express until you shut down the computer in the evening.
  • The .dbx file is very large. For example, the .dbx file is larger than 1 gigabyte (GB).

Update information

To resolve this problem, install security update MS06-076. This security update is included in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
923694 MS06-076: Cumulative security update for Outlook Express
Additionally, to resolve this problem, the following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

DownloadDownload the KB918766 package now.Release Date: April 20, 2006

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

File information

The English version of this update has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformService pack requirement

After you install this update, a backup copy of the .dbx file is created every time that the database is compacted. After the database is successfully compacted, the backup copy of the .dbx file is moved to the Recycle Bin.

If the mail folder is corrupted while a database is being compacted after you install this update, follow these steps to restore the folder.

Note This update does not affect files that were corrupted before you installed the update. Follow these steps to resolve corruption issues that occur after you install the update.
  1. Exit Outlook Express.
  2. On the desktop, double-click the Recycle Bin icon.
  3. Locate the backup file. The file should have a name that resembles mail_folder_name.bak.

    Note In this file name, mail_folder_name corresponds to the mail folder that is missing in Outlook Express. If more than one file is corrupted, you may have to restore more than one file. When this occurs, the Recycle Bin contains more than one mail_folder_name.bak file.
  4. Right-click each Outlook Express backup file, and then click Restore. The file is restored to the %userprofile%\local settings\application data\identities\user guid\microsoft\outlook express\ folder.

    • In this path, %userprofile% is typically C:\Documents and Settings\user_name.
    • In this path, user guid resembles {05A26C0D-1173-4013-84A0-EAC2A1FE40F6}.
    • If more than one identity profile is used with Outlook Express, there may be more than one user guid. Each unique user guid corresponds to a separate profile.
  5. Locate the %userprofile%\local settings\application data\identities\user guid\microsoft\outlook express\ folder.

    Note This path contains hidden folders. If you want to view this folder, enable the Show hidden files and folders option in Folder Options.

    If the %userprofile%\local settings\application data\identities\user guid\microsoft\outlook express\ folder contains a mail_folder_name.dbx file that is the same as the file that you want to restore, move the existing mail_folder_name.dbx file to a different folder. You can delete this file after you successfully restore your e-mail items.
  6. Right-click mail_folder_name.bak, and then click Rename.
  7. Change the .bak file name extension to .dbx.
  8. Start Outlook Express. Your e-mail items should be restored.
If e-mail is missing from more than one folder, you may have to follow these steps for multiple backup files. If Outlook Express does not start, you may have to follow these steps to restore the Folders.dbx file. You can delete the .bak files from the Recycle Bin when you are sure that the database was successfully compacted.

How to compact mail folders manually

After you install this update, the counter in Outlook Express is reset when you compact your mail folders manually. Mail folders will not be compacted automatically until Outlook Express has been closed 100 times. If you have many e-mail items, regularly compact the database manually to help prevent data loss.

To compact mail folders manually, use one of the following methods:
  • On the File menu, point to Folder, and then click Compact or Compact All Folders.
  • On the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Maintenance tab, click Clean Up Now, and then click Compact.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
dbx, .dbx, database compaction, database corruption, compaction

Article ID: 918069 - Last Review: 12/09/2015 05:32:14 - Revision: 4.0

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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