Outlook Express e-mails have disappeared on return to the office...

MD has corporate e-mail on his laptop (running XP Pro) in Outlook to Exchange 2003. Also has a POP3 e-mail for remote working when on the road, this is in Outlook Express. Done this way so his PA only forwards the important stuff for him to read.

I set up his laptop and checked POP3 e-mail working properly and it downloaded one e-mail that had arrived since he used his old laptop (which worked fine). He went away and used the GPRS card and received several e-mails. When he got back to the office they had 'disappeared' leaving only the one e-mail in his Inbox that was there when I handed him the machine for the first time!

I assumed this was a 'profile' problem, but he uses the same domain login whether LAN or GPRS connected (the GPRS connection is Internet only, not a remote domain login). Also I have searched his HDD and can find no other Outlook Express data files anywhere. His domain login account has local admin rights on the laptop. There was a problem that I had made a typo in his SMTP server name, so he could not send e-mails - I fixed that in a jiffy, but it should have no impact on the Inbox.

The path to the OE data files is, as you would expect, within his local profile on the machine. This path does not change whether logged in by LAN or GPRS - I have checked.

The POP3 mail appears to be working ok, but he needs some of the e-mails back, and also I need to know what is happening in case it happens again.

Any ideas?
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So you are saying, only few of his emails are missing in OE and not all ?

If he had lost some of the emails , I doubt if it can be recovered from the DBX files in which OE stores data ..

When  you searched in his HDD , did you choose the option to search in hidden folders aswell ?

dr_duddAuthor Commented:
One e-mail in his inbox when he went. He received lots of e-mails whilst away, but upon his return there was just the one (same) e-mail in his Inbox as before he went.

I have searched all hidden files and folders but nothing.
Is it possible it may have distinguished between logging onto the domain and logging onto the local machine, therefore creating a new profile for the local user?

To check this, look under "c:\documents and settings" and see if there is another profile for this user.  Sometimes, it will rename the domain profile to something like <username.domain>      then the local profile will just be the user's name without the ".domain" after it.

Just a thought.


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Also, can this user reconnect via GPRS and see if the emails are back?

dr_duddAuthor Commented:
The user uses the same login, whether LAN or GPRS connected. I have checked for OE files in all the profiles on the machine and there was nothing.

The e-mails have not come back when GPRS connected.

Maybe the inbox.dbx file has become corrupted.  It's possible that those emails are still there, but the inbox is corrupted and not able to display them.  You may be able to use a utility such as DBXTRACT or DBXpressto access the inbox and extract those emails.  The link to download either of these utilities is:


It also has instructions for installing and using them.  It's very simple.

If it does help you get those emails back, I would make sure you have everything you need out of the inbox, then rename inbox.dbx to something else like 'inbox.old'.  Do the renaming with Outlook Express closed.  Then open Outlook Express it will create you a new inbox.  Then drag and drop the messages from the folder you have the utility put them in to the inbox in Outlook Express.

If you are not sure where your .dbx files are, you can go into Outlook Express and go to Tools, Options, Maintenance tab, Store Folder, then write down the location, but don't change it.

Hope this helps.

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