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How to remove and reinstall Outlook Express without reinstalling Windows

Posted on 2006-05-22
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Outlook Express (OE) is part of Windows. It has become corrupt and fails to start with a an error (at startup of OE) that msoe.dll is missing. When this dll is copied from another PC it still will not start. So I must reinstall OE without reinstalling Windows as there are valuable applications that cannot be reinstalled after the reformat install of Windows as the App CDs are lost. Plus it will take time to backup the personal files also of which there are many.

(1) How can I Remove and reinstall OE in Windows XP Home SP2 without reinstalling Windows. A Repair install is very undesirable here (even if it might work) as repair installs sometimes hang in the middle and then the PC will not boot. And it does boot now and work except for OE.

There is ONE other sympotom: The PC became slow at the same time OE stopped starting. But I prefer to not go there. If there is virus/spyware then  I will reinstall OE, the problem will reoccur and then I will look for Spyware/Virus, not in the other order. Please stick to the questions asked here in your reply. I know how to get rid of spyware/virus if needed.

(2) Also if sfc in a DOS window might fix this than please say that BUT also please reply to (1) above in case sfc (if advisable) does NOT fix the problem.

Assume that a Retail Windows XP Home SP2 CD is available if needed (for either (1) or (2) above) but it is NOT the one used to install XP on the PC in question. This available CD has been activated on ONE PC (over the internet) and another PC also by calling MS for activation. I believe activation issues are irrelvant here as I do not plan to use it for a full/reformat install or a repair install (and the latter use will activate in any case).

I.e In reality OE is a SEPARATE application that MS happens to include with Windows. It is NOT REALLY part of Windows, right?? So there should be a way of Removing and reinstalling it just like any other application.

Please do not skip over the REMOVE part of my question!! OE does not appear in the Add/Remove programs list so this is not a no-brainer. Instructions to just reinstall OE are NOT sufficient here unless you are convinced it will find and remove all corrupt parts of the current OE. And we cannot assume that msoe.dll (usually found in the Program Files/Outlook Express folder) is the ONLY problem; there could be others.

I have posted this under Outlook as there is no OE category in EE email PLUS when one calls MS Tech support on OE you DO NOT get transfered to the Windows group, you get transfered to the MS Office group!!! who told me that OE and Outlook (part of MS Office) are really supported by the same group and not by the MS Windows group.

Regards,
  Mike
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Question by:mgross333
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war1 earned 1500 total points
ID: 16737137
Greetings, mgross333 !

Outlook Express is tied closely to Internet Explorer.  And Microsoft has it made very difficult to uninstall Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP.  There are some ways.

1. A recent Outlook Express update, KB 911567, can cause the problem.  The only fix now is to uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel and disable Windows Autoupdate.

2. Register an important Outlook file. Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 OLE32.DLL

3. Create a new Outlook Express identity.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/209169

4. Go to Add/Remove Programs, Windows Components.  Uncheck Outlook Express. Click OK. Reboot computer. Recheck Outlook Express. Reboot.

4. Repair or Reinstall Outlook Express.
http://www.theeldergeek.com/repair_reinstall_ie_and_oe_6.htm
OR
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;318378


Best wishes!
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16737460
War1,

I'm sorry but as I noted the Add/Remove program list does NOT have OE in it.

Please clarify your instructions. I cannot do your 1. as there is no such component (OE Update) in the A/R list. Or do you mean that 2 thru 5 (your 2nd "4" should have been numbered "5") implement what you said to do in 1. PLEASE REPLY ON THIS.

Also doesn't 4 (your first 4) reinstall OE or is your 2nd step 4 also necessary?

Regarding Your 2nd Step 4, I have an example of someone who had this problem and the link in your 2nd step 4 failed to fix problem.

Go to www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=44688 (scroll down and read). Regarding the solution there, I do not understand what CD he had that had IE6 on it or what procedure was used to reinstall IE6 from CD or whether he did the registry change at YOUR link first or not.

Is the difference that you proceed your 2nd step 4 with your steps 2- first step 4 and that makes a difference?

Also is this a known problem with MS Cumulative security update 911567 ?? If so please provide a link to the MS website documenting this. I found a link to a different error after installing MS update 911567, an error about the OE address book. At  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917288/en-us

That is NOT my error message.

War1, Are you guessing or do you 100% know that your procedure will fix the problem I have??

Or are you saying it does not matter because your procedure will uninstall and reinstall OE and that was my request.

Regards,
  Michael



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by:war1
ID: 16737767
>> I'm sorry but as I noted the Add/Remove program list does NOT have OE in it.

When you are at Add/Remove Programs page, look for Windows Components.  Click on it. That will lead to a list of Windows Components, including Outlook Express. Uncheck it.

>> 1. as there is no such component (OE Update) in the A/R list.

This OE update has caused many OE problems.  But if it is not there, then you have not installed it. I assume you do not have AutoUpdate turned on.

>> Or do you mean that 2 thru 5

2 through 5 are different troubleshooting steps.

>> Also doesn't 4 (your first 4) reinstall OE or is your 2nd step 4 also necessary?

2nd step reset the OE service.  Sometimes this fixed OE problems without reinstalling.

>> Regarding Your 2nd Step 4, I have an example of someone who had this problem and the link in your 2nd step 4 failed to fix problem.

Someone else problem is not your problem. So if you does not their problem, it may fix yours.

>> Is the difference that you proceed your 2nd step 4 with your steps 2- first step 4 and that makes a difference?

No!  Step 2 and 4 are separate steps.

>> Also is this a known problem with MS Cumulative security update 911567 ??

Since you do not have 911567 installed, it does not matter.  Update 911567 causes address book errors, but also caused other errors.  Here is one of the problem that it caused
http://news.zdnet.com/5208-1009-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=19972&messageID=385713&start=56

Yes, I am making an educated guess, as you are making an educated guess that reinstall OE will fix your problem.  No one is every 100% sure unless the problem is trivial. And your problem is not trivial.

>> Or are you saying it does not matter because your procedure will uninstall and reinstall OE and that was my request.

Procedure 5 will uninstall and reinstall OE.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16738129
War1,

Please reply again. You do not understand the situation completely. I fix PCs for a living. The broke PC is not my PC. On MY OWN PC (which runs exactly the same OS version as the problem PC **AND** DOES have Autoupdate turned on **AND** my PC is always turned on and logged on so AutoUpdate is doing its thing) I find no OE Update in the A/R list. It may well be there on the problem PC (which may or may not have Autoupdate turned on).. I will not have access to the problem PC until I have a definite plan or several alternate plans before I arrive. These plans must be based on the limited information in my Original Question and this post you are now reading.

As the customer claims the problem started two weeks ago "out of the blue" that fits your Autoupdate hypothesis. Why the OE update does not show up on my PC remains a question however.

Now to move on.

Before I get to clarifying your original post I want to point out that the first link above at www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=44688 (scroll down to where the thread-starter says briefly this is the Fix (ie. what worked to remove exactly my error message) and it was resinstalling BOTH IE6 and OE6. As far as I can tell your post is entirely related to OE-related fixes. Any comment? i.e Do you think it is LIKELY that I need to also unistall/reinstall IE or just try your 5 OE ideas first?

Now for my MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION about your post:

Does your latest reply MEAN that I should try Your Step 1 (see if it works). If not (or no OE Update in A/R list) then try Step 2 (see if it works). It not Try Step 3 and so on?

OR are any of your steps tied together as 2-step options. i.e I must do step 2 and 3 together? Or are they all separate steps to try one at a time. PLEASE REPLY.

Also your link http://news.zdnet.com/5208-1009-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=19972&messageID=385713&start=56 
does NOT mention a missing msoe.dll error message and does still refer to a lost address book (and inaccessible dbx folders). I would feel better if the Update was linked to MY (i.e my customer's) errror message.

But I am willing to try your ideas if you clarify how to use them. i.e Is each one of your 5 steps a separate idea on it's own or must I do 2 consecutive ones and then test?

Also I am not convinced you have yet noticed there are TWO Step 4's in your original post. Because of this interaction above

">> Also doesn't 4 (your first 4) reinstall OE or is your 2nd step 4 also necessary?

War1 replies" 2nd step reset the OE service."

Yet it appears to me that the FIRST step 4 (the A/R, then A/R Windows Components on the left) does the reset??? Or is it the link in the second step 4 that does the reset?

Mike

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by:war1
ID: 16738242
>> it was resinstalling BOTH IE6 and OE6. As far as I can tell your post is entirely related to OE-related fixes. Any comment?

If you look at my Step 5, you will see instructions for both Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. The instructions to reinstall are often found together.  In the Windowsbbs forum, I read it as instructions to reinstall OE.

My suggestions is to reinstall OE.  If it does not work, try reinstall also IE.

>> Does your latest reply MEAN that I should try Your Step 1 (see if it works). If not (or no OE Update in A/R list) then try Step 2 (see if it works). It not Try Step 3 and so on?

Yes, try step 1. If it does not work, try step 2.

First step 4 is Step 4.  Second Step 4 is Step 5.  The are separate.

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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16742727
War1,

Thanks, that is it. I will assign points after I try your recommendations Weds morning at the customer site and see if any work.

Also please reply to my closely related NEW question at XXX

Regards-Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16742750
War1,

Please reply to my closely related NEW question at www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_21831733.html  . Value 500 points.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16744656
War1,

I just realized that we are not done yet here.

In your 2nd step 4 also called Step 5,2nd link,  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;318378  I do not understand the instructions. After editing the registry setting from 0 to 1 or viceversa it says next install IE6. Well how do I do that?? It does not say except at the beginning of that URL it says I should reinstall by MAYBE ??? doing sfc /scannow. Well that is a very indirect way to reinstall IE6 isn't it??

Please reply with how to reinstall IE6 (after changing registry setting) AND also EXPLICITLY confirm that reinstalling IE6 will ALSO reinstall OE6 (the whole point here). If I need the XP SP2 install CD, to get IE6 off of,  I have it.

Mike
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by:war1
ID: 16747535
Mike,

Does your client have Windows SP1 or SP2?  The Microsoft instructions are different.  For SP1, you edit the registry.  If you want to reinstall only OE, you edit the registry of OE.

For SP2, there are two choices, which does not include the registry edit.
1)  Runs sfc /scannow or reinstall
2)  Reinstall Windows XP SP2

That is what I mean when Outlook Express (and Internet Explorer) is closely tied to Windows.  Microsoft has make it almost impossible to uninstall.

This is the other reason that I posted unchecking and rechecking OE in Add/Remove Windows Components.  It is a lot easier than reinstalling Windows XP SP2.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16752040
War1,

Thanks for your reply. Customer has XP Home SP2. So for your second step 4 (Step 5). I will not edit the registry and instead just do sfc /scannow.

But I am confused. You say
>Runs sfc /scannow or reinstall

What do you mean by the "or"??? Is that a typo. I mean the 2nd choice is a reinstall???

Please reply very soon as I will be at the customer in 45 minutes and may get to this step 5 in 1 1/4 hours around 12:15 PM EST today Wednesday.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16752069
That was an error on my part.

The line should read, "Run sfc /scannow"

Or to be more specific, go to Start > Run and type sfc /scannow
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16753798
War1,

Thanks for clarification. I am at customer now.

Step1: No OE update entry in A/R LIST

Step 2: Does not fix problem

QUESTION: Did you mean to have me Register the msoe.dll indentified in the error message (which has since been replaced by a good one (I hope ??) got from another PC by a friend of my customer. But his friend may not have registered it.

i.e Should I register msoe.dll (from the error message in my original Question that started this thread,see first sentence). I NEED A QUICK REPLY. I am afraid to do this unless you tell me to !!!

Step 3: I cannot do Step3 !! Creating a new identity requires starting OE. Again the first sentence of my Question above says I can not start OE. Did you notice that???

Badddd. I am running out of options. Every time the customer comes by to ask how it is going, I cringe !!

Alternate solution: Customer will use Outlook but must import OE files in (email and address book). Now if OE ran then one CAN Export OE email to Outlook with an OE Export option BUT NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Or at least the Outlook Import file command has NO option for OE (i.e *.dbx) email folders like Inbox.dbx, sent.dbx and so on.

War1, How can I import *.dbx files into Outlook when OE will not run ??? PLEASE REPLY IF YOU KNOW AN ANSWER.

Outlook Import does have an option to import "personal address book" files which I HOPE (???) will work with the OE WAB file (not the app, the wab data file). Will this work???

PLEASE REPLY FAST or I will be gone (kicked out by the customer if no progress soon).

I will now try your Steps 4 and 2nd Step 4 (Step 5).

Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16754247
War1,

If I go to the OE executable  in Program Files/Outlook Express  (msimn.exe) and click it I get a different Error message that a library is missing, not specifically msoe.dll.

First that is impossible, the error message can not change if I do this. The OE link on the deskttop is to this file.
However THAT difference means that msoe.dll may maybe NOT be the bad file and THAt affects my question to you about should I register msoe.dll??

So I am telling you this now. Still have not done Steps 4 and 5. Went down some rat-holes (is it spyware, is a firewall blocking OE (but I cannot find a firewall here ) And everything takes forever as there is not enough memory on the PC and this is dragging this out forever.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16754917
War1,

I did all 5 steps (except Step 3, see why above) and Not step 1 (see why above).

They all failed. So How can I get OE email folders and Address book into Outlook without an intermediary PC that is running OE.

Mike
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by:war1
ID: 16755986
>> Did you mean to have me Register the msoe.dll

For Step 2, I had meant you to register only the OLE32.DLL file.  This is a critical Outlook Express file.  But since you copied msoe.dll from another source, you should register the latter for the computer.  Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 msoe.dll

>> Step 3: I cannot do Step3 !! Creating a new identity requires starting OE.

I was hoping that once you register OLE32.DLL, you will be able to open OE.  Skip the step if it cannot be done.

>> Customer will use Outlook but must import OE files in (email and address book).

With Outlook. you do not import DBX files.  You import Outlook Express emails and OE address book.  There are options for them in Outlook Import and Export Wizard.

Go to File > Import and Export > Import Internet Mail and Addresses >  Outlook Express 4x or 5  and select the items that want to import and click Next.  Follow on through until you finish.
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16760499
War1,

You had the right idea about MS Cumulative security update 911567 causing the problem but you do not know how to reinstall OE. I spent 9 hours there yesterday including 2-3 hours trying to get Outlook to Import Dbx and wab files (Outlook is also broke too per ISP tech support and will not connect to ISP ).  Eventually I called MS tech support who spent 2 1/2 hours reinstalling OE. He took over my PC to do it as various registry deletes were needed (all the OE related entries) and even then the new OE would not work (no Address book and emails would not pop up in their own window) and it went on and on for 2 1/2 hours. Twice he brought system files in from the Win XP SP2 CD.

Regarding
> With Outlook. you do not import DBX files.  You import Outlook Express emails and OE address book

OE email folders **ARE** dbx files. Hence I do not understand your answer. Please clarify.

Also when I did this (last line of your reply immediately above EXACTLY as you state it) I got an error about inetcomm.dll from Outlook. Any comment?

Regards,
  Mike
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
ID: 16760567
War1,

First MS tech support said that msoe.dll error did not match known problems with that Security update. Then he said that because PC had been upgraded from Win 2K to XP instead of a Full XP install that the Security update could cause that error message on such a PC. And later he said that many people are now calling in about  problems with this security update and MS will issue a hot fix within two weeks at most. And to turn off Auto updates on customer PC for two weeks after MS tech support resinstalled OE or it would immediately resinstall the security update and the problem would reoccur.

Also to see the MS Security Updates and remove the bad one, one must check the "Show Updates"  box at the top of the A/R window. That is why I could not see it and remove it (Your step 1) as that box is not checked by default. But doing that would no be enough to solve the problem.

On my PC I have that Security update but because I have a FUll (not update) XP SP2 install I do not see the problem with my OE.

Mike
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