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Outlook express 6 deleted emails!

Posted on 2006-10-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
If ever I needed an experts help, this would be the time.  Our email is pop3, we use either outlook, outlook express or thunderbird to pull down the mails and read them.  The user in question uses outlook express..  He doesn't back up (I know, I know), or save his mails somewhere else, just divides them in to folders within outlook express.  Yesterday, when shutting down, outlook express prompted him to compact his folders, which he dutifully did.  However, now his inbox is missing all mails from September and October up to today.  Is there any way at all to find where the mails have gone or undo the damage that OE appears to have done?  I know they should be backed up, on a mail server etc., and we are looking into it (had a meeting on it this morning before I heard of this, ironically enough), but its too late for that now.  Please help if you can, this is an extremely bad situation!  
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Question by:GlobexCorp
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war1 earned 500 total points
ID: 17804087
Greetings, GlobexCorp !

If the user compacted the folder, the emails could be lost.  Look for the Inbox.dbx file and check if emails can be found there.

Inbox.dbx is located in one of these folders:
C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Identities\
C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\

DBX files are hidden files. Go to any folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

Then use Macallan or DBXtract to extract the emails.
Macallan
http://insideoe.tomsterdam.com/resources/tools.htm#macallan
OR
DBXtract
http://www.oehelp.com/DBXtract/Default.aspx

Both programs work about the same way. They extract the emails one by one as .EML files. Then you can drag the emails back into Outlook Express viewing pane.

Best wishes!
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by:GlobexCorp
ID: 17806859
Thanks for the help, war1..  Inbox.dbx is there - it contains mails going back as far as 2001, the only mails missing are those from the last 2 months.  

I tried running the macallan file, didn't pick up the missing mails.  I've given up for tonight because the stress of it all is making my brain explode :)  I'll try dbxtract tomorrow and let you know how I get on.  Watch this space :)  If you think of anything else in the meantime, let me know!  

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by:GlobexCorp
ID: 17811466
Hello again :)

Purchased DBxpress, it really got my hopes up, because it found 2870 emails in the inbox, whereas yesterday there were only 2730..  However, the extra e-mails were just full of rubbish :(  

Am I out of luck or is there anything else I can try?

Thanks!  
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 17812617
GlobexCorp,

Unless you have a backup file somewhere, you are out of luck. The emails are gone. Sorry!
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by:GlobexCorp
ID: 17814489
That's what I was afraid of!  Thanks for the help, regardless - I'm sure the utilities you suggested will come in handy in the future!
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