lost e-mail please help

Posted on 2006-11-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
i have a client that was recieving a windows message to compress old files to save space. when he did this he lost a holw month of e-mail from his outlook what can I do he needs these thank you
Question by:zenworksb
  • 2
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 17984840
Greetings, zenworksb !

Check if the email is corrupt. Run PST2GB. It has a side effect of restoring deleted emails.

Then run ScanPST

If the emails are not recovered from the above method, then get the missing email from a backup PST. If no backup, the emails are gone.

Best wishes!
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Serena Hsi
ID: 17990413
(From Google groups,

For Outlook Express, it's compacting, not compressing, which is essential to do to keep OE running smoothly. Unless there was a power problem, (turning of the computer), or doing something else while the compacting function was in progress, this problem should not have happened.

Tools>Options>Maintenance>Store folder will reveal the location of your Outlook Express files. Press the Tab key to highlight the folder location, then Ctrl+C. Close OE, then Start>Run>Ctrl+V will put the location in the box - Click OK and you'll see the OE files. Otherwise, write the location down and navigate to it in Windows Explorer.

In WindowsXP, 2K & 3K, the OE user files (DBX and WAB) are by default marked as hidden. To view these files in Explorer, you must enable
Show Hidden Files and Folders under Start>Control Panel>Folder Options>View.

When you see the compact option, and select OK, and never touch anything until it has completed. A power change can cause you to lose mail also. If you  checked the Do not show me this again, OE will compact without you knowing. If this is the case, post back and I'll tell you how to replace the prompt.

Why Mail Disappears: 

About File Corruption:

Recovery tool, (if the messages are still there):

DBXpress is the best chance of recovery when run in disk mode: 

And this is a very good option for the future:

Steve Cochran has added a button in his new version of OE Tool that will not only Compact All Folders, but at the same time, resets the "Compact Check Count" to zero whenever you compact manually. You will see the prompt again if you do not compact before 100 closings.

It is still advised to check Work Offline before you compact.

A general warning to avoid losing mail in the future:

Do not archive mail in default OE folders. They will eventually become corrupted. Create your own user defined folders for storing mail and move your mail to them. Empty Deleted Items folder regularly. Keep user created folders under 100MB, and Default folders as empty as is feasible.

Backup often.

Backup and Restore: 
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

upul007 earned 500 total points
ID: 17993791
For Outlook as mentioned, there is a chance that the emails may have been Archived.
Open Outlook > right click Personal Folders > Open Outlook Data File - see if there is a file named 'Archive'. Select it and see if the lost emails are there.
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 18009913

We have not heard from you. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1

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