Lost Outlook Xpress Emails When Changing Folders

Posted on 2004-09-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
I created new folders to store email files. I then COPIED (not moved) all the dbx files from the original location to the new folder. I then went into OE6 and changed the "store folder" to the new location. I exited OE6 and came back. Everything looked OK. I switched identities and repeated for the 3 other identities. My problem is that the main identity emails have all disappeared and OE6 appears to have re-initialised the data files (dbx files) not only in the current store folder but also the files in the original location. It has only done this for the files in the "main identity". My question is, is there any way of recovering the lost dbx files or must I assume that OE6 has trashed them by re-initialising the files?

PS: there's a moral here about taking a backup of the originals well away from where OE6 can get at them.
Question by:daviard
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 12033996
When you created other identities , where did you put the store folder location ?

For main identity , where is the store folder location ?

Have you already searched the entire system for *.DBX files  and made sure there are not DBX files you wanted ?

Try these



Author Comment

ID: 12034737
Thanks for getting back so quickly. This is my first experience of EE and it looks a bit complicated - but it feels good to think there's some support out there!

The emails for all the identities were all originally created in those subfolders with user-unfriendly names as created automatically by OE6. When doing a search for *.dbx we can see the files in the original locations and those in the new locations (which are all sub-folders of "My Documents" - deliberately (and ironically) chosen so as to ensure that email messages are automatically backed up when other files in "My Docs" are backed up.) We can't find any other dbx files that OE6 may have "parked" anywhere and the recycle bin is empty.

Thanks for the links to the recovery tools. I will try these but I am not very optimistic as the file size of the files which are apparently re-initialised is only 59k - whereas the originals were up to 1mb. It looks as if the files are re-initialised rather than corrupted.

What I'm really puzzled about is that I have had OE6 lose files in the new location before (not on this particular computer), but the originals have always been safe. I don't understand how OE6 seems to have gone back to the original file location and overwritten the files with blanks - especially since the current "store folder" is still being shown by OE6 as the new one. How - and why - did it go back to the originals?  Maybe a registry problem?

Thanks for your help. I need to learn more about dealing with questions on EE, closing questions, awarding points etc, so please bear  with me.

LVL 49

Accepted Solution

sunray_2003 earned 1000 total points
ID: 12034749
No problem in taking your time to learn about EE and what needs to be done here.

As long as your issue is yet to be resolved  , you may not want to think about giving the pts away but make sure to come back and respond to expert's comment. You are doing the right thing so lets try to solve the issue

yesterday there was  a question about putting OE data in my documents to do backup as you are planning to do

I did an educated guess of putting the files in your my documents under Microsoft\Outlook Express.
Try to do the same way and see if the DBX files are still there

Author Comment

ID: 12034794

Sorry if I'm wasting people's time here by repeating previously solved problems. I did do a search before posting my question, but maybe I didn'y phrase it properly.

Anyway, your suggestion re the path and the registry tweak sound great. I will definitely try this but it will be Monday at the earliest before I can do this. Thanks for giving me hope. I understand the importance of acknowledging the help that is offered and of awarding the points.

Thanks again,



Author Comment

ID: 12065403

I have tried re-organising the file structure so that the OE store is under Microsoft\Outlook Express and have had a good look around the hard drives for *.dbx files - there were no other dbx files lurking anywhere else and trying to recover deleted files did not reveal any candidates. The registry revelaed that the store was the new one - no surprises there and no benefit when reverting to the old one.We have now concluded that OE6 unilaterally went back to the old store, re-initialised the files, and then went backto the new one. Very odd, but I will now make sure I take another backup before changing store folders in the future.

I haven't yet got to grips with how the points system works in EE, but I'd like to say that the fact that someone responded quickly with pertinent, intelligent, suggestions was a great help morale-wise and as a reality check for me - despite the fact that we didn't get the data back.   If I can work out how to do it, i wish to award grade A and the points to sunray 2003 - thanks for your help, my friend.


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