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How can I move my Outlook Express Folders and Address Book from one installed hard drive to a second (new) installed hard drive?

Posted on 2008-10-15
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My old OS failed, but my hard drive is OK. I purchased a new computer and installed my old hard drive as a second drive. Both computers used Xp as the OS. How do I move my Outlook Express folders and address book from my old hard drive to my new one?
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Question by:Pres39
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by:SirDragon
ID: 22723842
Hi,

You can actually export both your mailbox (with all subfolders) and the address book to the new computer, from the menu option file>export
In either case I would make backup copy of both components.  The Address book has an extension of *.wab, so if you search for such a file you will find it under the user's profile (documents and settings).
The address book is located under:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book

The mailbox folder is:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Before you start the export of your mailbox, try to compact it, it will save you a lot of time and space (tools>options>maintenance>compact now)

Hope this helps.

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by:Pres39
ID: 22724277
When I go to the Address book file and click on file in the menu bar, there is no expert. What now?
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22725184
Pres39--Perhaps of help
http://www.iopus.com/guides/oe-backup.htm
Note the links at the bottom.
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by:Pres39
ID: 22725246
I am not trying to move the outlook express folders and address book from one computerto nother,, I am trying to move them from one hard drive in my computer to a second hard drive in that same computer. Any ideas how?
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by:SirDragon
ID: 22726022
Sorry for the misunderstanding

To move the Outlook mailbox, Tools>Options>Maintenance>Store Folder
there you can select a new path for your mailbox

As far as the Address book is concerned, you can copy the *.wab file to the new hard drive and then use the wab.exe /? from the command line to see the options.  you can then create a shortcut on your desktop to alway open that specific address book.  the command would like something like that:

wab.exe d:\new address book\mybook.wab

Unfortunately, I am not sure when you open the address book from within OE it will be able to redirect it.

Hope that helps

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jcimarron earned 500 total points
ID: 22726087

Pres39--The procedure is the same only easier, since you do not have to make "backups" and physically move the data from one PC to the other.  You just locate the existing old files and then use the OE File|Import procedure in the new PC's OE program.
In the following I have used the info in  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q270670  but trimmed it down to reflect your situation.

How to transfer Outlook Express items
Note To restore items when you use multiple identities in Outlook Express, you may have to re-create the identities before you follow these steps. Repeat each step as needed for each identity.  Ditto for multiple email accounts.
Step 1: Import messages
1. On the new PC's OE File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
4. Click Browse, and then find and click the location on the old hard drive.                          5. Click OK, and then click Next.
6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.
Step 2: Import the Address Book file
1. On the File menu, click Import, and then click Address Book.
2. Click Browse.
3. Find and click on the old Address Book, and then click Open.
4. Click Next, and then click Finish.
5. Click OK, and then click Close.
How to preserve the Blocked Senders list and other e-mail rules
For more information about how to preserve the blocked senders list and other e-mail rules, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
276511 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/276511/) How to back up and restore Outlook Express Blocked Senders list and other mail rules
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by:Pres39
ID: 31506797
Many thanks. The only comment I have is that this solution did not pick up my Local Folders (those added to Sent, Inbox, etc.). Any idea how I can pick those up?
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22734488
Pres39--By "Local Folders" do you mean the first heading in OE's folder list?  That contains no messages, but is the directory for all the other OE boxes.  Or is this a personalized folder (containing email messages) you added to the standard list of OE email message folders?
If you mean the latter, perhaps you can just copy the .dbx folder involved from the Store Folder of the old PC and paste it into the Store folder of the new PC.
If you mean "Local Folders" at the head of the list, I have not seen this situation before.  I do not know if this is the folders.dbx in your OE Store Folder.  
Since I understand you can see your messages from the old PC on your new PC, I hesitate to say folders.dbx is corrupt.  At the bottom are a three references about folders.dbx.  You can see that the MS KB is a little less negative about the consequences of deleting folders.dbx.  
But something you could try first is to copy the folders.dbx file from the old PC's Store Folder, rename it folders(1).dbx and manually paste it into the Store Folder on the new PC.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/295965
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/community/columns/filecorruption.mspx
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Groupware/Outlook/Q_21430166.html
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by:tyby
ID: 22738712
Sorry to bother, but isn't it easier to just COPY the whole OE folder from one drive to another and - after that - just select it as store folder for the identity on the destination system?! (tools - options - maintenance - store folder). If you have to import 20 GB+ of emails, this will take a while, and the possibility of corrupted folders to apear is somehow important. Copy and change store folder procedure is agreed by MS and it takes ... let's say  ... just the time to copy the store folder from one machine (hdd) to another.
Wish you luck!
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22744119
tyby--I think that method will probably result in duplicate folders in the receiving PC's Store Folder.
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by:tyby
ID: 22745548
nope, sorry. No duplicate folders. No reason for duplicates.
At the moment you change store folder to a folder taht allready contains main OE dbx'es (folders.dbx, inbox.dbx, sent items.dbx etc), It will ask you something like:
There appears to be and Outlook Express message already in the folder you have chosen. Do you want to switch to using that store? If not, it will be deleted and replaced with your current store.
And you have to answer YES to this question if you intend to do what you asked.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22746274
tyby--"There appears to be and Outlook Express message already in the folder you have chosen. Do you want to switch to using that store? If not, it will be deleted and replaced with your current store.
Maybe on a fresh new PC that would be acceptable, but it sounds like any existing messages would be deleted.
This is why I suggested naming any folder from the old PC with a slightly altered new name (such as folders(1).dbx ).
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by:Pres39
ID: 22748612
I am still having a problem retrieving my personalized folders that I added to the standard list of OE e-mail message folders. I copied the folders from my second hard drive (F:) to my new hard drive (C:) and they show up under the Outlook Express folder on the C: drive. However, they do not show up on my OE page when I open the program. Any ideas how to fix this?
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22749277
Pres39--Sorry to hear you are still having problems.  
"I copied the folders from my second hard drive (F:) to my new hard drive (C:) and they show up under the Outlook Express folder on the C: drive. However, they do not show up on my OE page "
I am not sure what you mean by "copy" or "Outlook Express folder".
Is this the procedure I suggested in my post ID# 22726087?  That says to use OE File|Import which should automatically put your message folders into your new OE Store Folder.  There is no copying involved. You do not work with individual files.   And the Store Folder is  C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{8D32DF8B-D3B8-4783-A0C5-FE37E2FC8659}\Microsoft\Outlook Express  (your GUID number may be different) not C:\Program Files\Outlook Express.
Or did you indeed "copy" the files rather than use File|Import?
If you "copied" is the new Store Folder where you put your personalized folders?  
Do you see them there?  If so delete them.  (I assume you still have these files on your old PC.)
And I assume you do not see the names of your personalized folders in the new OE Folder List.
Now create folders with the names of your personal OE message folders in the new OE Folder List.  (just the name, not the .dbx extension)  Then go into the new Store Folder and delete the empty files with the names of your personalized folders. (New ones will have been created when you put the names in the Folder LIst.)   NOW just copy the personalized .dbx folders from the old PC into the OE Store Folder on the new PC.  
Reboot.  Is all OK?  You, of course, will have to go into the Folder LIst and click on a personalized folder name in the tree to see the messages that folder contains.
If still no success, again delete all folders in the new PC's Store folder and go through the File|Import procedure again.  Remember you still have the names of all the folders in the OE Folder LIst.  That is what you want.
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by:tyby
ID: 22750334
Sorry guys, cannot argue with you. The process is simple and straightforwad:
copy ENTIRE dbx folder from old HDD to the new one, make a new identity of OE, go to Tools - Options - Maintenance - Store folder and choose the path where you did copied the old OE store folder. It will ask you the question above but - since THAT is what you really intend to do - it's safe to answer YES to it. And that's all.
Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:Pres39
ID: 22752803
Sorry to be such a pain, guys, but I have done what jcimarron said and checked the recommendations of the others, but I still do not have my personalized folders. When I go to C:\Cocuments and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express and double-click on this, I can see my old imported files, and they all contain data. However, after naming empty folders with the same names as those in the OE folder (path shown above) and re-booting, those personalized folders are still empty after the re-boot. What am I doing wrong here?
Many thanks for all your help.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22753192
Pres39--Have you also done what tyby suggested?
If no help yet, it will be good for you to tell us the present status.

1) Do you have your normal OE categories of messages (Inbox, Sent Items, etc.) working properly in the new PC's OE window?  
2) Do you have the names of the personalized folders in the new PC's Folder LIST ((Near top left of an OE window, when you click on the word Inbox under Create Message)?  The Folder List is not the Store Folder.
3) Do you have your personalized folders (containing data) in the new PC's Store Folder"?  Or do you have such folders, but without data?
4) I assume you still have the personalized folders (containing data) in the old PC's Store Folder.

"I can see my old imported files, and they all contain data"
I am not clear which PC you are talking about and whether this is the present status (see question 3 above) or not.  Is this the new PC's Store Folder after you have tried the various procedures suggested?
"However, after naming empty folders with the same names as those in the OE folder "  
If by "OE folder" you mean the Store Folder on the new PC, the procedure I offered earlier does not suggest you name the folders in the OE Store folder.   (You name folders in the OE Folder List --see question 2 above.)    
However before you do anything further or I make further suggestions, I think I should wait until hearing your responses to the above.  If you have questions about my or tyby's suggestions, please let us know.
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by:Pres39
ID: 22753246
1) Do you have your normal OE categories of messages (Inbox, Sent Items, etc.) working properly in the new PC's OE window?  YES
2) Do you have the names of the personalized folders in the new PC's Folder LIST ((Near top left of an OE window, when you click on the word Inbox under Create Message)?  The Folder List is not the Store Folder. I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS QUESTION. WHEN I CLICK ON 'CREATE', ALL I GET IS A 'NEW MESSAGE' WINDOW, ALL MY FOLDERS ARE ALREADY SHOWING IN THE 'INBOX WINDOW'.
3) Do you have your personalized folders (containing data) in the new PC's Store Folder"? YES  
Or do you have such folders, but without data? FOLDERS HAVEDATA, BUT NOT WHEN I CLICK ON THEM IN THE "LOCAL FOLDERS" WINDOW.
4) I assume you still have the personalized folders (containing data) in the old PC's Store Folder. YES.

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by:jcimarron
ID: 22753350
Pres39--In response to your immediate post.
2)  Sorry, what I said earlier applies to OE.  This reference has a picture of the Windows Mail window and tells you how to access Folder List.
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/help/645b0e95-2985-484c-b819-4331ba14b68b1033.mspx
Do you have the names of the personalized mail folders in that list?
3)  Go into the Store Folder again and be sure that the names of the personalized .dbx folders are exactly the same as those on the Folder List and that there are no duplicates perhaps with the same name, but with a suffix such as (1).
Did you try what tyby suggested?
And a new question, please elaborate on your earlier statement  ""However, after naming empty folders with the same names as those in the OE folder "  
Did you in fact name folders (not items on the Folder List) at some point?  I wonder what these folders are and if you still have them.  I assume they are still empty.
Sorry for all the questions.  What I am leading up to is to try to get things to a point where I can suggest what to do next.
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by:Pres39
ID: 22753428
Pres39--In response to your immediate post.
2)  Sorry, what I said earlier applies to OE.  This reference has a picture of the Windows Mail window and tells you how to access Folder List.
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/help/645b0e95-2985-484c-b819-4331ba14b68b1033.mspx
Do you have the names of the personalized mail folders in that list? YES
3)  Go into the Store Folder again and be sure that the names of the personalized .dbx folders are exactly the same as those on the Folder List and that there are no duplicates perhaps with the same name, but with a suffix such as (1). DONE - NO DUPLICATES
Did you try what tyby suggested? NO
And a new question, please elaborate on your earlier statement  ""However, after naming empty folders with the same names as those in the OE folder "  
Did you in fact name folders (not items on the Folder List) at some point?  I wonder what these folders are and if you still have them.  I assume they are still empty. YES. UNDER "LOCAL FOLDERS" , FOLDERS LIKE: vnpc, communications, debate, ETC.
Sorry for all the questions.  What I am leading up to is to try to get things to a point where I can suggest what to do next.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22753664
Pres39--Thanks for the input.
Obviously the personalized folders in the Store Folder are not connecting with the links in the Folders List.
First of all, right click (separately) each of the personalized .dbx files in the Store Folder on the new PC.  Then click Properties.   Are any of the personalized folders checked Read Only?  If so, uncheck the Read Only.  Apply|OK .  Do things work now?
If not, there are three things to try but all involve starting from semi or almost complete scratch.  
Semi-scratch means deleting the names of the personalized files from the Folder List and deleting the personalized .dbx files from the Store Folder.  This should bring the new PC's store folder and Folder List back to where it was before you started the move, except you will have the standard OE .dbx
folders in the Store Folder and they work.
Then create folders with the names of your personal OE message folders in the new OE Folder List.  (just the name, not the .dbx extension)  Go into the new Store Folder and delete the empty files with the names of your personalized folders. (New ones will have been created when you put the names in the Folder LIst.)  
1) Now copy and paste the personalized .dbx folders from the old PC into the OE Store Folder on the new PC.  
Reboot.  Is all OK and working?  Including your normal OE folders?

2)  If 1) did not work, delete the personalized .dbx folders from the Store Folder on the new PC.  That will leave their names in the Folder List on the new PC.  Now use the procedure from Step 1 of my earlier post
Step 1: Import messages
1. On the new PC's OE File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
4. Click Browse, and then find and click the location on the old hard drive.        
5. Click OK, and then click Next.
6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.
Again is all OK?
If not, then go back to almost complete scratch.  Delete all personalized .dbx folders from the Store Folder AND all the personal listings from the Folder List.

3) Now follow the instructions here http://blogs.technet.com/james/archive/2007/06/08/importing-outlook-express-dbx-files-into-windows-vista.aspx  The difference between this and what you did several days ago is that you are checking that the .dbx files are not Read Only, and under step 1) you are making a copy of the Store Folder from the old PC and pasting the copy on the new PC's hard drive.  (Do not worry about the statement "This directory needs to be within the user's space so as not to prevent possible access permissions problems."  That is Vista stuff.)  Remember where you put it.
Follow Step 1: Import Messages above, except that per #4, when you Browse for the location of the files to be imported, you will browse, not to the old PC's Store Folder, but to the copy made and placed on the new hard drive.  Complete steps #5 and #6. (Note #6 has you click "Import" instead of "Finish".  I assume you made that modification earlier if you had no Finish option. )
If still no success, go to complete scratch.  Delete all .dbx files from the new PC's Store Folder and all the personalized names on the new PC's Folder List.  (Leave the normal names, which were entered by Windows Mail.)  Note the normal OE messages will no longer be on the new PC, but you should be able to recover, if the following does not work, by redoing the procedure I made several days earlier.
4) Do what tyby suggested in his/her first post.
Good luck.  Let me know what happened.
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Author Comment

by:Pres39
ID: 22759945
jcimarron,
Thank you for your help. Remedy number 2 in your last message did the trick.
FYI - the following comments in your last message, Remedy 1, did not work exactly as stated:

Go into the new Store Folder and delete the empty files with the names of your personalized folders. (New ones will have been created when you put the names in the Folder LIst.)  THERE WERE NO NEW FOLDERS.
1) Now copy and paste the personalized .dbx folders from the old PC into the OE Store Folder on the new PC.  
Reboot.  Is all OK and working?  Including your normal OE folders? ONLY THE NORMAL OE FOLDERS WORKED.
Thanks again,

Pres
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22762415
Pres39--That is good news.
Thanks for the feedback.  It seems that the standard transfer procedure (Step 1 in my post of Oct. 10) does not work for non-standard .dbx files when you do not already have corresponding items in the Folder List.  By default the standard OE folders' names  had already been created in the Folder List by OE and that is why Step 1 worked for the standard .dbx files.
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