Outlook Express is corrupted and needs to be re-installed.

Posted on 2007-11-19
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I was helping my friend try to switch from using MSN to Verizon DSL.  She had Internet Explorer 6 and we went to Windows Update to upgrade her computer to IE 7.  It seemed to load with no problems and Internet Explorer works great.  
I then opened Outlook Express and created her server settings for Verizon and she was able to receive all her mail that was on Verizon's server.  Of course, she didn't have any addresses in her address book so we then signed on to MSN and exported her addresses to the Outlook Express address book.
This seemed to work fine and we were able to open some of her mail messages.

A little while later we decided to correct a few of her email addresses that needed updating.  When we tried editing one of the email addresses it didn't seem to update it after we added the new address.  

Then all of a sudden it hung up and we closed the Outlook Express.  When we went back into it, we were not able to open any of the messages that were in her inbox.  The error message said that we have to reload Outlook Express.  When we tried to go into her address book, it wouldn't let us and said the address book was corrupt and to reinstall it.

How do we re-install the Outlook Express or any advice to solve this problem will be so much appreciated.

I even tried to restore her computer to an earlier date (11/14) but Restore told us that it could not restore her computer.  We tried it twice for different dates and it won't restore.

Please help solve this problem.  I feel bad that I have my friend's computer messed up when all I was doing was trying to help.  Thank you.

Question by:Jeanne061397
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 20315005
Hello Jeanne,

Uninstall IE7 and revert back to IE6.  There are some known issues between IE7 and Outlook Express.

1. If no joy, register two important Outlook files. Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 OLE32.DLL
Also, type regsvr32 inetcomm.dll

2. Check if folders.dbx file is corrupt.  With OE close, do search for folders.dbx and rename it to folders.old.

The file is located in C:\Documents and Settings\<account name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\<hexadecimal number>\Microsoft\Outlook Express folder. It is a hidden folder, so you have to unhide hidden folders and files to see it. Go to any folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

3. Check if DBX file is corrupt. Perform a repair with
Outlook Express Repair Tool - free 30 trial version

4. Create a new Outlook Express identity.

5. Repair or Reinstall Outlook Express.

Hope this helps!

Expert Comment

ID: 20315479
Hi, if you just want to uninstall & reinstall outlook express, this can be done through add/remove programs>add/remove windows components>outlook express
Just remove the tick from outlook express this will uninstall it, to reinstall you will possibly need the i386 folder on the local hard drive or insert the windows CD.

Author Comment

ID: 20330588
Thank you for sending the suggestions to help me fix my friend's computer. I will have to wait until I can get over to her house to try the fixes. I'll get back to you when I do and let you know how I make out.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll be in touch.

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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 20330620
Jeanne, keep us updated.

Author Comment

ID: 20343324
Hi All,
I brought my friend's computer over here and I now have it connected.
I have tried several things that were suggested but so far no luck.
1  War1 - I did uninstall IE7 and reverted back to IE6.  It made no difference in the Outlook Express.  I still couldn't open messages or use it at all.

2.  I did register the files: OLE32.DLL and  inetcomm.dll.  No difference.

I did search for folders.dbx and windows can not find it (nothing comes up). I did go to C:\Documents and Settings\<account name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\<hexadecimal number>\Microsoft\Outlook Express folder.  I see the folders in here: deleted Items.dbx, inbox.dbx, outbox.dbx, etc.
I right clicked on the file folders.dbx, and when I tried to rename it to old folders.dbx, it said I couldn't because it is being used by another program.
Right now my friend is using the MSN Explorer and MSN email.  She wants to get the Road Runner connection working with IE and Outlook before she gets rid of MSN.  Could this be a problem?

3.  I did download the Outlook Express Repair Tool you sent but it only recovered 10 of the mail messages.  I do have the mail messages there in the Outlook Express so they don't need to be recovered.  

4.  I did try to create a new Outlook Express Identity but then I couldn't even open Outlook Express.  I deleted the new identity.

5.  I don't understand what to do with this website:  It seemed as though it was talking about IE.

I have since reloaded IE7 and updated the Windows  Update.

Now when I go to Outlook Express, I get this error message from Outlook Express:
"Unable to open the Address Book.  The address book may not be installed properly."

I didn't do as you suggested yet, to uninstall and reinstall outlook because I really don't want to lose all her messages.

Any additional help will be greatly appreciated.


Author Comment

ID: 20343378
Additional information to share since posting the last message.

I was on the Microsoft site and it said to search for *.wab file (I think this is the address book).  There isn't one that came up.  Interesting.

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 20343829
*wab file is hidden. So you have to unhide hidden files to see it.  Open Windows Explorer folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders". Click OK.

Outlook Express Address Book locations:

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\
C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\

Outlook Express Address Book (WAB File) Recovery

Author Comment

ID: 20344343
I think I'm giving up on ever getting Outlook Express to work.  
I tried to get Outlook to open and she could work with that but it has the same probem.  The address book does not work therefore nothing can be opened.  When I exported the mail from Outlook Express to Outlook, none of the "From" column came over.  That column was blank but all the rest, date, subject, size, was there.

So, what I decided to do was download and install Thunderbird and it works perfectly.  I had to retype all the email addresses as when I tried to import them from Outlook Express there was an error message and they couldn't find the addresses.

What do you think?  Should I just leave well enough alone and let her work with Thunderbird?

I really appreciate all the help you have given me.

LVL 97

Accepted Solution

war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 20344638

Is the address book the only problem with Outlook Express?  Backup the .wab file. Then delete it.  Check if OE will open, even with a blank address book.  If OE opens up without error, consider just typing in the addresses.  If not, switch to Tbird.

You said Thunderbird works perfectly.  So it opens up without any error.  If the wab is corrupt, you are not going to be able to import the the addresses.

Author Comment

ID: 20345752
I can't believe it, after I installed Thunderbird and it was working great, I decided to try your last instruction.  Delete the .wab file.  When I opened Outlook Express again it worked great.  Yes, I think the only think wrong was the Address Book.

Thanks for all your help.


I will now return her computer to my friend and she will be so happy.
LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 20345809
Glad to help, Jean!

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