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Importing Outlook Express mail settings from an old hard drive.

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have a hard drive with a Windows installation that corrupted. There was no way to get it back up and running into Windows, but I am able to access the data on a new installation I have done on a new hard drive.

I need to get everything back up and running in outlook express. I have got the WAB and all the emails back in no problems, but there was never any backup of the old mail settings (iaf file).

The customer doesn't know any of there mail settings, or who host there domain to get the settings back. They said another person who used to keep these details has left.

I looked into it and some people have said about importing the settings from the old registry hive. I have opend regedit on the new install and loaded the SOFTWARE hive off the old drive, I have then exported the :

The Internet Account Manager registry key

|-HKEY_CURRENT_USER
|----Software
|-------Microsoft
|----------Internet Account Manager

Which is supposed to restore it, but it has done nothing.

Anyone got any ideas?
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Question by:James7285
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by:cnjuguna
ID: 34239410
I am not sure how to get the settings from the registry. However, you could try opening one of the emails and checking the headers to see the last host that received the message. That will be the SMTP server of the host. At least with the domain name from the SMTP host you should be able to trace the hosting provider and thus get the POP3/IMAP settings.
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by:James7285
ID: 34239506
I think there broadband provider is BT, but I'm unsure as to weather they used BT as there SMTP (they don't have there BT login details) or if the Outgoing was done with the domain host.

So if it's BT I'm still at a bit of a loose end.

I will have a look anyway, but if anyone knows how to grab the settings from the old drive that might make my life a lot easier.

Thanks for the help so far.
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Expert Comment

by:yarwell
ID: 34239704
If you know the domain you can look up who hosts it and work from there.

nirsoft.net have mailpv an application for viewing mail passwords and other settings. I don't know if this has to run on a live windows installation or if the website offers further information on remote / slave data recovery.
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34239800
I presume you are loading the registry hive from the profile on her old computer?
Are you sure you are loading the correct file from the correct profile?
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34239863
I loaded C:\Windows\System32\Conifig\Software

I then took a backup of

|-HKEY_CURRENT_USER
|----Software
|-------Microsoft
|----------Internet Account Manager

I had to open the file up and do a find and replace because the reg entries were pointing to "old software" (the name I gave the hive when loading it). Once I had done that I imported that reg file back into the current registry.

All of that went find and from what I have found on the net that's basically what your supposed to do... but it didn't work for me.
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34239873
Sorry when I say:

"I loaded C:\Windows\System32\Conifig\Software"

I actually ment E:\ because I was loading the hive from the old hard drive
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by:noelmul
ID: 34239937
Were you not supposed to load the hive from NTUSER.DAT under her profile into regedit and then export the registry keys from there?

See here:
http://bytes.com/topic/windows/insights/686627-retrieving-registry-info-outlook-data-after-crash
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Accepted Solution

by:
noelmul earned 500 total points
ID: 34239950
You could use something like this to view the contents of the file if you have any problems viewing it with regedit:
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/rfv.html
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240015
That first atricle you posted sounds spot on. But it says to use the program "registry tool" which it links to. You have to purchase it at $129!! Do you know of any free reg tools that can access the NTUSER file?

thanks for the help
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240069
Here is a link to a freeware tool to view the contents of the file:
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/rfv.html
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240132
Thanks, I will give that a go and keep you updated.
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240387
Right... I think we are just about there...

I downloaded that tool, I then went to file > open and opened the following file:

E:\Documents & Settings\<User>\ntuser

I then browsed to

\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager\Accounts

In there I can actually see the mail accounts, I can even see the details in the various registry files. The only thing is doesn't show is the passwords (which the customer doesnt know)

So to make life easier I just wanna export these reg files and import them into my current registry, that should clear it up... my only problem is I can't see an export option in this program.

If I right click the folder I was I get the following options:

Copy Key Path To Clipboard
Key Information
Security Information
Hash Records

and if I go to the File menu there is an "Export to Regedit4 format" but that seems to export the entire registry and not just this folder?

Any ideas?
I think we are just about there.
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240513
Click on the folder you want to export
Then select "File" and "Export to Regedit4 format" from the menu. Then make sure you tick "Only selected key" to export only the folder you want.
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240593
Oh yea! Sorry I missed that one!

Right so I have exported it and imported it back. Now if I go to regedit to look at the machines local registry, under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager

I can see the two accounts there as they should be... but when I open outlook express there is nothing there still.

Any ideas why that might be?
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240614
have you restarted your computer? (a log off and on might do it also but restart to be sure)
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240664
Yeah, I tried a restart. No luck.
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240743
Under the "Internet Accounts Manager" > "Accounts" folder is their a folder called "00000001"? inside which there are keys?
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240819
There is Actually not a 00000001, but there is a 00000002 and 00000003...

There are 2 screen shots attached with the keys shown. sorry for the rubbish quallity, the monitor is pretty old that Im working on.


photo.JPG
photo2.JPG
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34240830
It looks like all the right information is there... but the only thing I dont have are the passwords, they say they haven't got a clue what they are and they dont have a clue who hosts there email accounts.
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240947
You might want to purchase a tool like
http://www.passcape.com/outlook_express_password_recovery
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240969
With regards the accounts not showing up (meant to post this first) you could try renaming the folders to "00000001" and "00000002" instead of "00000002" and "00000003"

If this doesnt work you could recreate the accounts and import just the "Pop Password2" key and make sure the prompt for password key is set to "0". If this doesnt work then you might need to use the software I linked to.
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Expert Comment

by:noelmul
ID: 34240984
Also to include the password recovery tool above will show the first 3 characters of the password in demo mode which could jog the computer owners memory.
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Expert Comment

by:yarwell
ID: 34241188
they say they haven't got a clue what they are and they dont have a clue who hosts there email accounts.

look it up - they do know their email address I suppose ?
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Author Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34246859
I have managed to solve it.

I created a brand new account in Outlook Express and then I did a search in the registry for that account. Instead of the files being stored in

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager

I found the files in

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{xxxxxxxxxxx}\Software\Microsoft\Internet Account Manager

So I moved the two accounts over to there and they came up in Outlook Express. It didn't copy across the passwords but I used the utility you posted to get the first 3 digets and it the passwords were actually predictible from there as they matched the account names!

Thanks for all your hard work!
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Author Closing Comment

by:James7285
ID: 34246870
This post lead me to find all the account information, and with a little more work we managed to get everything up and running.
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