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Importing multiple dbx files into Outlook Express

Austinns
Austinns asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a client that is using Outlook Express.  She was also using IE6 and then installed IE8.  She then uninstalled IE8, which then reverted back to IE7.  OE was working fine before all of this, but now she can only see her inbox and sent items.  All of the folder structure in the inbox is missing.  I have found all of the dbx files in her identity, which have names of the folder she had.  There are about 20 of them.  I created a new identity and tried to import the dbx files, but it will only import the inbox and the sent items.  OE doesn't seem to see the other files, even though they are in the same folder.  Anyone else had these issues with IE8 and know how to import all the dbx files so we can get the folder structure back and all the associated emails?

Thanks in advance.
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Commented:
I would try to import those files on a machine running IE8, or even windows Vista.  Hopefully Windows Mail will be able to read all of the dbx files and open them up.  Once you have access that way, then you should be able to export them to a format that the older Outlook Express can read.
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
yes, although this sounds counter-intuitive :)

outlook has no way to specify folders, nor does it have an import function.

however, if you delete or rename the folders index file (folders.dpx) outlook will re-create it, and find the other folders again.

so the answer to get outlook to see all folders is to delete one of them - albeit a fairly special one :)
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Commented:
But OE does have an Export Funtion, if I remember correctly, as it will, dump straight to Outlook... Might be worth a shot to see if there is data thats readable....

Author

Commented:
I have tried importing them with IE8 installed on a Vista machine, but it still only recognizes the inbox and the sent items.  I can export the data OE sees into Outlook, but that doesn't help with all the dbx files that I need access to.  If OE doesn't see them, it can't export them.
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Commented:
I was just wondering if it saw them at a low level, but couldnt dispolay them..... How are you doing the impoort, via the OE6 Store Directory? Put the Identity folder on a thumb drive, and try another machine, if you havent tried this method yet....

Commented:
Ok, then find your data that you are importing, there should be a file that is called 'folders'

This outlook file is just a definition file that tells outlook what folders are available.  If you delete this file, and then tell outlook to repeat the import, then it is forced to scan the folder for all of the .dbx files and recreate the 'folders' definition file.

Of course have backup files ready before deleting anything.

Author

Commented:
I am going the import from a flash direct through the store directory.

I moved the folders.dbx file to a sub dir on the flash drive.  After doing this, the import in Windows Mail errors out saying that the location does not contain any files.  
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware Engineer

Commented:
just copy all the files from the flash drive into the store dir *apart from* the folders.dpx which should not be copied, and existing folders.dpx in that dir deleted.

Author

Commented:
I cleared all the files in the Windows Mail store directory and then copied all the dbx files except the Folders.dbx into the clean store directory.  After launching Windows Mail, it created several files and a Local folders directory.  The program would not recognize the dbx files and it would not import them from that directory.  I then tried moving the files into the local folders directory, with the same result.

I am to the point of trying a few OE recovery programs to pull the messages out of the individual dbx files.
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