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Recover missing email and address book in Microsoft Outlook

Posted on 2004-08-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
My IT department kindly upgraded my office PC when I was on vacation.  The original operating system was Win98 Second Edition.  The PC was upgraded to XP Professional.  I have lost previous inbound/outbound email and (2) address books within Microsoft Outlook.  We are "Not Utilizing" an Exchange Server.  I have looked through several areas of my drive and cannot locate the information for retrieval.  Do these files automatically get deleted with a system upgrade?  I was not able to export the email folders and address book prior to leaving on vacation.  The upgrade was unfortunately completed without my knowledge.  The information was extremely important.  
Question by:triccardi
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Eric earned 2000 total points
ID: 11718578
Hi triccardi,
They were probably just not imported.
Search for *.wab or *.pab (windows address book personal address book)
search for *.pst  for messages (personal files for exchange)
You can use the import feature to bring these objects into outlook

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 11719004

Attempted to search for *.wab or *.pab and *.pst  on my drive.  No results found?  Is it possible that the addition of XP Professional renamed or archived the Outlook files somewhere else on the drive.  I talked to my IT department and they "Did Not" format the drive.  The data should still be present.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 11719249

Look for *.pst file searching in hidden folders
Mostly it would be found in
C:\Documents and Settings\{your profile name}\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

OL2000: (CW) How to Back Up, Restore, or Move Outlook Data

OL2000: (IMO) How to Back Up, Restore, or Move Outlook Data

If the above doesnot work , let us know

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Expert Comment

ID: 11719517
Are there any other accounts on the computer, maybe there is another account on the computer that has your mail.  You said your just missing mail do you have all of your other documents and stuff.  I would check and see if your IT people can logon to the other accounts on the computer and see if your mail is perhaps there.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 11719682
Are you sure they will be found there SR?  it was 98.  Does xp not create a seperate windows folder?  So the old profile is c:\windows\profiles
I think

yes make sure you have subfolders being checked, system folders, and hiden files and folders when doing the search.

TIP for file browsing files via mycomputer or windows explorer:

From my computer, tools | folder options
view tab
show hidden files and folders
uncheck hide extentions of known file types
click apply at botton
Click apply to all folders at top
click ok.

Author Comment

ID: 11721337
Thank you for the information - I appreciate your help.

I confirmed folder options for hidden files was available and "hide extentions of known file types" was not checked.  I was able to find a small .PST file, but it was for new email from today.  Could not locate a storage location for my address book.  Tried searching for .pab and .mab file extensions.

We are utilizing a standard POP3 server.  The incoming mail server was storing  inbound emails until they were downloaded by my PC directly.  As of today, I made a mail setup change that will store a copy of all inbound email for 30 days on the server.  I made the change to give me inbound email back-up.  All sent items, folder for alternate mail and downloaded inbound email was stored locally on my hard drive.  No other storage at our business facility.    

Do I have any other options?  I would like to take responsibility, but my IT guy is responsible for not backing up files.  I need to give him a little credit, he did backup my documents folder.  Still missing email, address book and favorites folder in my Internet Explorer.    

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 11721434
dependong on what you have you can do a tree command and post the results.
start|run= "cmd"
"cd %userprofile%\desktop"
"tree c: > treeinfo.txt"

on your desktop will be a text file with your directory structure.
look it over.. post if your comforable.

there is no reason you should not have already found it unless he archived it to .zip or something.
He probably did a fresh install vs. upgrade.

Any chance you were using outlook express before the upgrade?
then it would be *.dbx  instead of *.pst

Author Comment

ID: 11721559
I thought he did an upgrade, but you are likely right.  It may have been a fresh install.  I was not here when the changes were made and my "IT" guy is out of the office today.  I was attempting to resolve the problem on my own, but I am only a weekend warrior when it comes to fixing computer issues.  I do "OK" on many issues, but I am definitely no expert.  

What will I accomplish by running the tree command and posting the results?  This is a little ove my head.    

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 11721626
it only shows a directory structure. in a tree form.. easy to look at.
|   |_system
|_program files

its not real important.  If you dont have a \windows\profiles\  directory it was probably not an upgrade.

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