Outlook Express - Import of old mails

Posted on 2002-05-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-17

I reinstalled Windows (2000) a few days ago. So I backed everything up. All my personal files and stuff like favorites and mails of course.

I use Outlook Express (OE) for e-mail-handling.
I copied the .dbx files which contain my inbox and other mail folders.

after windows had been reinstalled. I started OE.
I reclosed it. I looked for the folder where the .dbx files where stored.
Then I deleted the inbox file and replaced it by my old inbox.dbx file.
I hoped that when I would open OE again my old mails would've been imported.

Nothing happened however. :(

My inbox was still empty.

So I went back to the directory where the .dbx files were stored.
I noticed that the size of inbox.dbx was correct (i.e. it was a bigger file, because it should contain many mmore mails than the previous empty inbox file).
BUT, I noticed that windows changed the filedate. The file had been opened I guess when I runned OE again.

So, my question is:

How can I get my mails back?

And also, s there a way to import these dbx files into Outlook (not outlook express!)?



Question by:Phyrexian
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Dufo G. Belski
ID: 7003237
This article should be of some help:


Basically, in OE you click on File, Import and point to the folder where your dbx files are.

I don't have access to Outlook today, but I'm pretty sure doing File, Import will allow to to import dbx files.  The Import Wizrad makes it pretty easy.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 7003582
I did mine a little differently:
Close IE & OE
From this path:
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{1964B74B-694E-412A-85A2-0C750A71AF0D}\Microsoft\Outlook Express
I renamed all current mailboxes (such as inbox to inbox2)
then I copied all of the mailboxes into the above folder from my old dbx mailboxes.
Then opened OE to make sure that everything was there.
Then you can export to a .pst file (to import into Outlook)

Also I have used DBXtract (to import corrupt mail folders:)

Author Comment

ID: 7004195

I tried the simple command 'Import'.
OE mentionned that it had imported the mails succesfully.
But still no mails in my inbox.

I tried the remaining thingie, didn't work out. Mail boxes are still empty.
I also tried DBXtract.
It extracts messages (?) from the inbox.dbx file, and says the extraction completes fine.
BUT BUT BUT, I don't see any files in the folder I specified to extract to.
I tried the 'Recover Mode'. Then the program does extract files, but those are files that are already deleted from the deleted items, so I don't really need those mails.

I've got no idea what to do know.
It's very strange.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 7004531
Hmm I have one more idea here - back up all of your mail folders first (which includes folders.dbx)
then close out of OE and IE and go to the current directory and delete folders.dbx
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 7004536
After you have done that and if it still does not work try this:
Change the store folder location to your old file location (where your original *.dbx files are located:)
Open OE and go to:
Tools| Options| Maintenance
click the Store Folder tab |Change button and Browse to *.dbx folder. Click OK to close each dialogue and then close OE.
Then reopen.  Any progress?

Author Comment

ID: 7004585

I tried it all,
no progress whatsoever,
very very strange.

Author Comment

ID: 7004589
Maybe my dbx files are corrupted and empty?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 7004601
What kb's are listed when you right-click on them and select 'properties?'
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 7004603
Also try doing this with the administrator account and see if that makes any difference?

Author Comment

ID: 7004626
I'm already the Admin.
The file is 137Kb big,... small would be better word I think :)

Expert Comment

ID: 7165978
question, have you by any chance upgraded your version of outlook express before it crashed and have you perhaps not done this after reinstalling?

so, are you sure you are running the same version of outlook express at the moment that the files were backed up?

what you can also try is putting the files in a different directory.
then you can do an import --> messages --> outlook express 5 and select an OE5 store directory.
point this to the directory you made and see if you get a question which folders should be imported...

see if that resolves the problem

Expert Comment

ID: 7367572
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7444330
Hello Phyrexian, any update here? :O)Bruintje
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7550683
Hello Phyrexian,

this question is open for more then 4 weeks
it is time to clean up or revitalize
if not stated otherwise

my recommendation for the moderator will be
-PAQ and no refund
-this will be finalized by an EE Moderator
-with no further update (15.12.2002)


posted by ToolzEE v1.0

Expert Comment

ID: 7642628
This may be an abandoned question or perhaps forgotten?  
I will add this to a cleanup list to be reviewed by EE moderators.

Possible point split for expert effort or PAQ and refund as suggested above

If anyone participating in this Queue disagrees with the above recommendation,
please comment in this queue for the moderators.

Thank you,


Author Comment

ID: 7642968
Sorry guys,
I forgot about this open question.
I didn't find a solution to my broken outlook express files problem. So I've got over it and forgot about my old mails... I appreciate your help but nothing solved the problem... a computer still remains a pain in the ass doesn't it? :)

thanks and see you guys around.

Accepted Solution

SpideyMod earned 0 total points
ID: 7675007
Question placed in PAQ.

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