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oe6 - Extracting Contacts from Contacts.dbx

Posted on 2004-08-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I am using Outlook Express 6 and have been backing up all of my DBX files to an alternate hard drive. My computer crashed a few days ago and all I am able to recover from are my dbx files. Is the Contacts.dbx file my oe6 address book. If yes, how do I recover the contacts. If no, where are the contacts stored and how do I get them back?

Thanks - Geoff
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Question by:geoffdavis
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sunray_2003 earned 63 total points
ID: 11794020
Hi geoffdavis,
>  Is the Contacts.dbx file my oe6 address book.

No, contacts.dbx is not a standard folder that you can see in outlook express .. If you want to recover your contacts you should have got *.WAB file.

Contacts.dbx can be found ONLY IF YOU CREATE a folder named "contacts" under local folder which no one does ..

Search for WAB file

SR..
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by:geoffdavis
ID: 11795978
If I open up a clean version of oe6 and click on contact + new and then add a new contact. Where is that information being saved?
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by:RanjeetRain
RanjeetRain earned 62 total points
ID: 11813021
>> If I open up a clean version of oe6 and click on contact + new and then add a new contact. Where is that information being saved?

In a .WAB (Windows Address Book) file. Exact location would depend on the OS, but generally, it lies in a folder under Document and settings > UserName > Application Data > Microsoft > Outlook Express > Profile ID (a wierd string of hex charactes techinically referred to as GUID).

DO a serach on *.dbx in your old HDD if you have the data intact. Check it last accessed/modified time. That should give you a good idea which .WAB  your contacts lie in. Once you have the file, you can easily replace your current .WAB file with your old one.

HTH
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Author Comment

by:geoffdavis
ID: 11836420
Thanks for the replies. I have tried a couple of things based on your suggestions and here are the results.

First, I have all of my original DBX files and with the exception of a file called Contacts.dbx, all of them came back into my new oe6 install without any problems. I don't recall having a folder called Contacts inside of my previous oe6 version?

Second, I'm running WinXP Pro, I started with a new login name and opened oe6 and created a profile. I then created a single contact from the standard contact interface. I then exited oe6. I started oe6 backup to make sure the contact was still there. It was. I exited again and then searched for *.WAB. Zero files found. So this makes me again wonder, where is the contacts data being stored?

FYI: I do know where the oe6 dbx files are stored and checked there for any dbx files that do not show up as folders and there weren't any.

All this time, I had believed that Contacts.dbx was the address book. I can't figure out how it got created and I can't do anything with it. I have somewhere around 3 or 4 hundred contacts and would really like to get them back. Thanks again for the responses.

Geoff
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Expert Comment

by:RanjeetRain
ID: 11842454
Disable hiding of some files. Select the 'show all files' option in explorer folder options and then serach on *.wab in 'Document and settings' folder.

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by:geoffdavis
ID: 11865352
Hello RanjeetRain,

All files/folders are being viewed but still no wab file found. Can anyone confirm the automatic creation of a wab file when a contact is added in the 'Second' step in the post above? I still have not been able to determine where the contacts are being stored. Thanks - Geoff

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Author Comment

by:geoffdavis
ID: 11886692
There must be some smart feller or feller-ett out there that can answer this question?

I'm running WinXP Pro, I started with a new login name and opened oe6 and created a profile. I then created a single contact from the standard contact interface. I then exited oe6. I started oe6 backup to make sure the contact was still there. It was. I exited again and then searched for *.WAB. Zero files found. So this makes me again wonder, where is the contacts data being stored?

Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:RanjeetRain
ID: 11888696
NO!

Adding a contact does not result in the creation of a Contacts.dbx. That's what I know.

And you may rest assured, they are stored in a .WAB file only. You are unable to get to it is a different matter.
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