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Outlook Express

Posted on 2004-08-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
My Outlook Express 6 which has been working reasonably well for two years has just developed a baffling fault when I try to open any local folders such as Inbox, Outbox, Drafts etc
I retain tool bar, views bar etc but receive a blank page with no folder views etc  I can view any message received through my hotmail accounts but other mail accounts will not work I have tried virus checking, unloading, reloading OE6, reloading Windows 98, run spyware cleaners  etc but the problem persists
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Question by:morskoivolk
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11868412
Open outlook express
go to tools --> options --> maintainence --> store folder and note the path
close outlook express

Navigate to that path and make a backup of all DBX files

Then do this

Rename folders.dbx

**********
Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
In the Named box, type folders.dbx.
In the Look In box, click your primary hard disk (usually drive C), and then click Find Now.
Right-click the Folders.dbx file, and then click Rename.
Type folders.old, and then click OK.
Start Outlook Express. This creates a new Folders.dbx file automatically.

Source : http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=295965
************

Open OE and check

SR
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11868425
morskoivolk,

Also check this

"Recovering a lost Message Store"
http://www.mindspring.com/~oe_oh/recovering_a_lost_message_store.htm

SR
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11869394
morskoivolk,

I am not sure if you have backed up all the outlook express DBX files or not. Actually you can move them to a different location and then
Try to go inside outlook express and import those DBX files again and check if that would help
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 11870417
If, after trying the above good suggestions, you discover that one or more .dbx files is corrupt and does not restore functionality, it is often possible to recover emails from within your "inbox.dbx" and "sent items.dbx" using the "DBXtract" utility:

http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/Default.aspx

http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/DBXtract.zip

>>>
"OE5 and OE6 have a proprietary binary format that makes archiving individual messages difficult. In addition, a number of people have indicated that their message folders have become corrupted and OE can not read them. Consequently, they have lost all the messages in that folder.

DBXtract.exe extracts all mail and news messages from individual dbx files. After extracting the messages one can drag them from a Windows Explorer folder into an Outlook Express mail folder.   It requires the existence of the VB6 runtime dll (msvbvm60.dll).  If you do not have that in your c:\windows\system folder, you can download it directly from Microsoft http://download.microsoft.com/download/vb60pro/Redist/sp5/WIN98Me/EN-US/vbrun60sp5.exe.

The program works by reading the location of the data message stores from the Registry and then loading those into the Path combo box. It then searches the path and loads the dbx filenames that are present in that path into the File combo box. To designate an alternate path name, either type or paste into the Path combo box, the path you wish to use to the dbx file you wish to extract. One can also use the Browse button to desigate a path. If the path is correct, the dbx file will appear on the File combo box and the Extract button will be enabled.
Messages can be extracted with two different file naming procedures. The default (By Subject) names the files by the subject of the message (with all punctuation removed). Choosing the By Prefix option, allows one to specify a prefix in the text box and then all files are extracted using that prefix rather than using the message subject. With both procedures, duplicate filenames are appended with a number (e.g. filename(2)). Messages are extracted in the order they appear in the dbx file, which may be totally unrelated to the temporal sequence of the messages. Some subjects contain unusual characters and if they cannot be incorporated in a filename, then that message will get a filename of "Problem Subject".

The program automatically distinguishes between news and mail messages and names the files accordingly with the respective nws and eml file extensions.   It also extracts messages completely intact, be they plain text messages with attachments or HTML messages.

By default, the folder in which the DBXtract program resides is the output folder and is listed in the Path textbox under Output. This path can be edited by typing or pasting in different values or by choosing the path via the Browse button. The path must exist, however, or the Extract button will not appear.   Upon clicking the Extract button, the program reads in the dbx file and then extracts the messages into the designated folder. The program can be aborted in progress by clicking on the Cancel button. The program can be terminated by clicking the X box in the upper right hand corner.

IMPORTANT: While the program only reads the dbx files, it is important that OE is closed when the program is in use. This is especially true if one has background compaction turned on under Tools | Options | Maintenance. If OE is open and is accessing the dbx file at the same time as the program is, it is possible the file could become corrupted (or the entire message store could be). It is very important then to make sure OE is closed. The program itself does not modify any dbx files or any files associated with OE.
It is unwise to run the program from the Desktop, if one allows for the default output path to be the Desktop, as then all messages will be extracted there, and if the file contains several hundred or thousand messages, then the Desktop will be overfilled. It is best to run the program from an empty directory or designate the output path to such.

DBX files can get rather large and the larger the file the more slowly it will run. It is best to compact the dbx files in OE using File | Folder | Compact to minimize their size, but it is not necessary to compact them in order for the program to function accurately. With uncompacted folders, however, more messages or some partial messages may be extracted than the number that OE indicates are in the folder. DBXtract is designed as a recovery tool, so expect many false positives in the extraction process. Most of these will have a filename of "No Subject".

KNOWN PROBLEMS: DBXtract will not function properly with Asian versions of Windows. If your dbx file is copied to a machine that has a non-Asian version of Windows, then you can use DBXtract on that machine to extract your messages. Then you can copy the extracted messages back to the machine with the Asian version of Windows and then reincorporate the messages into OE.
<<<

Hopefully this gives some hope if all other attempts fail.

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Author Comment

by:morskoivolk
ID: 11870601
Thanks for the suggestions

My OE  problem has just appeared.   Outlook Express has been operating fine for about three years Now when i open Outlook Express i am given toolbars and views but the rest is a complete blank page  
 
I have everything checked in the View Layout options
 
When I select  view / go to folder and select a Hotmail inbox  then I see all my folders and contacts  including local folders, contacts etc  but if i try to click on any of the folders in local folders I receive a blank page

I hve located my message store and imported the messages All my folders appear and my inbox ndicates unread messages so I am happy with that  It is when I click on the inbox that a totally blank page appears as indicated above
 
Something seems to be wrong with opening Outlook Express   I am not opening to the normal Outlook Express display  I see the toolbars only and absolutely nothing else
 
Any ideas ?  Could I hve a sneaky virus which is not being detected by AVG ?
 
Further comments are welcome
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
sunray_2003 earned 500 total points
ID: 11870628
Do you have different identities in your outlook express ?

As given in my first comment, take a backup of all DBX files going to that location.

Create a new identity in outlook express and import the folders there. Check if that would work ..

May be identity issue

SR
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11870652
>> I hve located my message store and imported the messages All my folders appear and my inbox ndicates unread messages so I am happy with that

oops..didnot notice you came until here

Try this

Start--> Run  --> Typein : regsvr32 inetcomm.dll
Now check if the messages would appear

SR
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Author Comment

by:morskoivolk
ID: 11870764
BillDL thanks for yr suggestion I don't think kmy problem cud be solved by paying for further programs

sunray  tried yr latest suggestion sorry didn't work
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11870837
>> I hve located my message store and imported the messages All my folders appear and my inbox ndicates unread messages so I am happy with that  It is when I click on the inbox that a totally blank page appears as indicated above


Did you check on the identity that you have got as per my previous suggestion ?

Does all the folders appear blank ? I would think generally if you have got sooo many emails , it would be slow to open .

My previous comment registry fix is only in preview pane you see the where the emails come from and NOT being able to see the body of the email. That wont help in your case as you donot see that atall..

Weird ..

SR
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Author Comment

by:morskoivolk
ID: 11870930
sunray  I tried yr suggestion re identities and I think it has worked  I have been able to import the messages for the local folders and open them  all i now have to do is import my address book for the new identity  keep my fingers  crossed  Thanks I will give you the points
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11870952
Great.. I would think  this question should be moved to Outlook TA ..

What do you think BiLLDL ?

If everyone agrees, morskoivolk please post  a 0 pt question in Community support and request the Mods to move it over to Outlook TA

Thanks

SR
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 11871633
yes, sounds good to me sunray_2003.  By the way, sunray, we are now in 2004, shouldn't you update your user name?  :-)
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 11871647
>> By the way, sunray, we are now in 2004, shouldn't you update your user name?  :-)

Not sure if you are kidding.. But I guess there is a way of converting all sunray_2003 to sunray_2004..
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 11883452
thanks for stopping by , Lunchy
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